Pietje Vervest, Hilde van der Pas, Roos van Os, Roeline Knottnerus
27 January 2015
Dutch investment treaties (BITs) are frequently used by foreign companies to sue governments in the North and South for policies that might harm their future profits. 75% of these cases were brought by mailbox companies with no real economic substance in the Netherlands, making use of the vast web of Dutch BITs and the rights and protection given to foreign investors.
The requirements for reducing or eliminating poverty, in Europe and world-wide, are known and the money is there, but the weight of the financial lobby is such that political will at present seems non-existent.
Demands for tax justice have resounded worldwide, with growing anger at the tax practices of corporations such as Google and Starbucks. Yet trade and investment agreements are already constraining the ability of governments to impose fair tax deals and with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) this could become worse.