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WillyT

(72,631 posts)
Mon Feb 29, 2016, 02:18 PM Feb 2016

New Study Confirms: Private "Trade" Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy - HuffPo

New Study Confirms: Private "Trade" Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy
Richard (RJ) Eskow - HuffPo
02/29/2016 11:26 am ET | Updated 11 minutes ago

<snip>

A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international "trade" deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people.

Smaller companies and less-wealthy individuals don't benefit nearly as much from these private courts as the extremely rich and powerful do. Other interested parties - whether they're governments, children, working people, or the planet itself - are unable to benefit from these private courts at all.


The "investor-state dispute settlement" process, or ISDS, is built into treaties like NAFTA and the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It allows foreign investors to sue participating governments if they do anything that harms their investment in that nation. Corporations can sue governments through this process, but governments can't sue corporations.

As Todd Tucker pointed out in the Washington Post, a "wide range of policies can be challenged" under ISDS: "Argentina has had its macroeconomic policies challenged, Australia its anti-smoking efforts, (and) Costa Rica its environmental preservation laws."

Suits are not brought through a normal, public court process. Instead, they are heard before private panels of arbitrators, often made up of attorneys who represent corporations as part of their practice. These hearings are conducted under rules set up by independent arbitration bodies that include the International Chamber of Commerce.

Activists have been arguing for a long time that this process is unfairly skewed toward powerful corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals. Now there is data to back up that opinion. A new study published by York University's Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto has concluded that:

"the beneficiaries of ISDS ... have overwhelmingly been companies with more than $1 billion per year in annual revenue - especially extra-large companies with more than $10 billion - and individuals with more than $100 million in net wealth."


Report authors Gus Van Harten and Pavel Malysheuski point out that the "legitimacy" of the ISDS concept "appears to depend in part on an expectation that it benefits smaller businesses, not just large multinationals and the super wealthy."

But that doesn't appear to be the case. Virtually all of the financial benefits of the ISDS have gone to the rich and powerful. Nearly 95 percent of all award money went to giant corporations or extremely wealthy individuals.


<snip>

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/new-study-confirms-privat_b_9348238.html?utm_hp_ref=politics


15 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
New Study Confirms: Private "Trade" Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy - HuffPo (Original Post) WillyT Feb 2016 OP
Duh! stillwaiting Feb 2016 #1
absolutely duh EdwardBernays Feb 2016 #4
Duh & Ditto X2 DJ13 Feb 2016 #8
Nobody could have anticipated this. Warren Stupidity Feb 2016 #2
Well, they did write it. eom JEB Feb 2016 #3
And people wonder why Hillary secretly lobbies for free trade deals revbones Feb 2016 #5
and the sun might come up tomorrow SoLeftIAmRight Feb 2016 #6
Le Sigh. Maybe voting for the free-trade poster-girl isn't smart? AzDar Feb 2016 #7
Now where are our resident free trade zealots on this? Elwood P Dowd Feb 2016 #9
Well I think I put a bunch on ignore but TBF Feb 2016 #10
In other news, water is wet. Initech Feb 2016 #11
No doubt some plutocrat will show up to tell us why we are such horrible people for Rex Feb 2016 #12
New World Order lovuian Feb 2016 #13
Don't worry, jobs are on the way. Octafish Feb 2016 #14
Kick for the night crew. Still waiting for our resident free trade zealots to bring us their latest Elwood P Dowd Feb 2016 #15
 

revbones

(3,660 posts)
5. And people wonder why Hillary secretly lobbies for free trade deals
Mon Feb 29, 2016, 02:43 PM
Feb 2016

After promising unions and others to oppose them.

Elwood P Dowd

(11,443 posts)
9. Now where are our resident free trade zealots on this?
Mon Feb 29, 2016, 03:44 PM
Feb 2016

Fake free trade for us peons, billions of free money for the mega-rich.

Shame that it took over 20 years for someone to figure out what many of us have known since NAFTA's implementation.

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
12. No doubt some plutocrat will show up to tell us why we are such horrible people for
Mon Feb 29, 2016, 04:37 PM
Feb 2016

wanting things like clean water and breathable air.

Octafish

(55,745 posts)
14. Don't worry, jobs are on the way.
Mon Feb 29, 2016, 08:27 PM
Feb 2016

And affordable training for those human resources who are approved for loans... And affordable housing that's clean and roomy for those pre-qualified for loans... And affordable shopping within driving distance for those with official travel documentation...

Elwood P Dowd

(11,443 posts)
15. Kick for the night crew. Still waiting for our resident free trade zealots to bring us their latest
Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:55 PM
Feb 2016

corporate talking points and propaganda putting lipstick on their free trade pig.



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