Good news on TTIP: Germans don't want Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions
As negotiations move forward on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a wide range of German elected and civic leaders are in disbelief that the U.S. remains serious about including Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). From the German perspective, that's a failed 20th century approach. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman increasingly will hear from German leaders and others in Europe that continuing U.S. support for ISDS as an element in any trade deal is a non-starter. ISDS provides for secret tribunals that allow multinational corporations to sue nation states for loss of future profits and circumvent national laws and courts.
By most benchmarks, Germany is the most successful large economy in the world, with a rising standard of living, an educational system that creates real opportunity to move from school to work, a deep economic safety net, and worker participation in economic decision making. Participatory mechanisms include sector-based collective bargaining, works councils at every workplace, and codetermination on the board of directors that provides employee representatives with a significant voice in corporate decision-making.
[T]hanks to a suit brought by the Swedish energy firm Vattenfall against the German government, opposition to ISDS is nearly universal.
Vattenfall is suing Germany for billions in future lost profits due to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proclamation that after the horrors of Fukushima, Germany no longer supports nuclear energy development, as Der Spiegel International reports.
Probably Obama sucking up all Merkel's phone conversations isn't helping either. Not make or break -- Obama and Merkel are both big kids -- but probably adds an element of friction, as well as Europeans making for darn certain they are talking only amongst themselves when they talk, hardening division, I would think.
So, good news on the trade front at last. Fingers crossed!
UPDATE Here's a roundup of European bigfoot opinion.
UPDATE Then again, perhaps the tribunals are a bargaining chip for American (as opposed to Russian) gas:
Gaining access to some of the oil and gas gushing from North Dakota, Texas, and other states will be high on their priority list for this week's talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed US-EU trade agreement currently under negotiation.