By Tony Burke, Chair, Campaign For Trade Union Freedom
In a fresh blow to the announcement that the EU was to propose an “alternative” to the ISDS clauses in the TTIP Agreement announced by Trade Commisioner Cecelia MalmstrĂ¶m last week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has rejectedÂ the proposal.
Ms. MalmstrĂ¶m proposedÂ anÂ ‘Investment Court System’Â – a softer version of ISDS, to try to push on with the TTIP negotiations. The ISDS clauses haveÂ met with unrelenting opposition by opponents of TTIP and trade unions.
The U.S. Chamber’s Vice President for European Affairs Marjorie Chorlins issued the following statement on the announcement by the European Commission on their intent to adopt the Investment Court System – a new approach to the investor-state dispute settlement system:
â€śWhile we recognize the EU has a political problem relating to future investment treaties, the U.S. business community cannot in any way endorse todayâ€™s EU proposal as a model for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).Â The recent European debate around investment treaties the obligations governments accept in them and the methods they provide for dispute settlement is not grounded in the facts, and the distortions in this debate cannot be allowed to trump sound policy.
If the EU still regards the TTIP as a serious objective, todayâ€™s proposal is deeply flawed.Â Tough negotiations lie ahead, and the reforms the United States has undertaken in recent years in its own investment agreements represent a far superior starting point for these important deliberations.â€ť