Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) erode the ability of governments to act in the best interests of their citizens by allowing foreign investors to sue sovereign states when governments' social, environmental and economic regulations have affected their profits. TNI, as part of the Seattle to Brussels network, is campaigning for a Just EU Investment policy that puts corporate accountability and human rights above corporate profits!
In the 2012 report Profiting from Injustice, jointly published by Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute, we boldly asserted that law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders have, over the past two decades, helped maintain an investor-biased arbitration system and have fuelled the rise in investor-state disputes.
During the CELAC-EU President Summit in Chile, some Latin American governments rejected the inclusion in the final declaration of the proposed EU wording in support of providing foreign investors legal certainty. To understand why, we need to look at the industry behind investment arbitration.
TNI’s Trade & Investment project opposes the European Union’s corporate-driven trade and investment policies by providing well-researched analysis on its social and ecological impacts, supporting the development of popular campaigns and proposing alternative policies that prioritise people’s rights over corporate profits.
South Africa is moving away from international investment treaties towards a new framework for investment protection based on domestic law. Contrary to some opinions, there are cogent arguments in favour of this approach.
China and the EU are preparing to launch negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement at the next EU-China Summit this November. The proposed agreement would replace existing bilateral investment treaties between EU member states and China. This is the moment to develop a more balanced international investment framework that would protect the sovereign power of both parties.
On 22 April, government representatives from Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and Grenadine, Venezuela, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico met in Guayaquil (Ecuador) for the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the Latin American States affected by transnational interests.
Civil society organisations are writing to express deep concerns about the lack of transparency around the ongoing trade talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). They call on The European Commission to open the negotiation process to the public, by releasing the negotiating mandate, documents submitted by the EU, and negotiating texts.
Geocide is the collective action of a single species among millions of other species which is changing planet Earth to the point that it can become unrecognisable and unfit for life. But we still have a chance; human beings can overcome even threats as terrifying as geocide, says Susan George.
In November 2011, Brussels was the stage for a 'Week of Action' which looked to expose the threat of Bilateral Investment Treaties to democratic governance and public interest and to advocate for an Alternative Investment Regime.
The U.S. and India should not sign a treaty that will only serve the short-term interests of large corporations, and undermine the authority of governments to protect their people from financial crisis.
Gus Van Harten discusses specific cases of investor-to-state arbitration to highlight what are the key problems with international investment treaties. How developing countries are being impacted by investment disputes and what the role is of lawyers and experts in promoting a growing international arbitration industry.
Seattle to Brussesls analysis: The European Commission’s note on “Investment Provisions in the EU-Canada free trade agreement ’’ is a lobby document, not an objective and complete presentation on the issue At the end of 2013 the European Commission produced a note presenting and explaining the “Investment Provisions in the EU-Canada free trade agreement” (CETA).