Join our army against the free trade sellout. Cosign this statement that Congressman Grayson will be submitting to the House Committee responsible for trade questions.
We object to the inclusion of an “investor-state” provision in the proposed trade deal with the European Union. This provision would allow investors to sue based on the premise that consumer protection, environmental safeguards and labor laws are barriers to trade, and thus, can be struck down by international tribunals.
Investor-state provisions undermine sovereignty without significantly increasing trade. These kinds of provisions have been used to undermine country-of-origin meat labels, dolphin-safe tuna labeling requirements, regulation of hydraulic fracking, and restrictions on the sale of candy-flavored cigarettes to children. These are not fundamentally questions of trade; why are they governed by so-called “trade agreements”?
Of the $13.1 billion in the 16 pending claims under trade deals with “investor-state” provisions, all relate to environmental, energy, land use, public health and transportation policies – not traditional trade issues. In one of them, an American company is trying to sue the Canadian government for more than $250 million over Quebec's decision to halt hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” These policies are questions of public will and national sovereignty, and should not be decided by private foreign courts.
Please also note that the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (the national association of U.S. state parliamentary bodies) has strongly opposed this system because of its negative impact on federalism. States whose laws are challenged improperly have no standing in the case and must rely on the federal government to defend state policies, which the federal government may or may not support.
We strongly urge you to exclude any investor-state dispute settlement provisions in the upcoming U.S.-E.U. trade pact, and any other future trade agreements.