This comes from Green America. They announce today that 100 small businesses sent a letter to President Trump urging him to side with small business in its opposition to ISDS’s presence in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is the provision in NAFTA that allows corporations to sue governments (and therefore claim settlements) over their perceived lost profits due to the regulatory actions of those governments.
It makes corporations freer to offshore U.S. jobs and it straightforwardly attacks the institution of democracy, in that laws that a voting public sets in place are vulnerable to being overruled by a tribunal of trade lawyers. They operate in secret and by and large serve the model—the free-trade, NAFTA model—which empowered them and which invented this dangerous sort of corporate power-grab.
Small businesses know this hurts our communities and lays bare the fact that these free trade agreements are for the largest multinational companies, not the rest of us. Thus it is necessary that while NAFTA is in renegotiation, ISDS be targeted for removal from the text.
Find Green America’s announcement here. The letter signers are members of the American Sustainable Business Council and Green America’s Green Business Network. The text of the letter is here.