fresh voices from the front lines of change







Today more than 40 organizations called on the U.S. Trade Representative to start an open, transparent, public consultation process allowing them to provide input on our country’s trade-agreement negotiating process and the resulting trade deals.

In particular these organizations want to have a say in how the “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) process will work. This is the provision granting special legal rights and privileges to foreign-based business interests. The letter says, “ISDS provides foreign investors the right to bypass domestic courts (including constitutionally created Article III courts) and challenge the U.S. government directly before an international arbitration tribunal, a right home-grown investors do not share.” The letter focuses on the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Europe already allows non-corporate entities to have this sort of input into their trade process.

The organizations joining the letter represent “small business, family farm, environment, health, good governance, faith-based, public health and other” interests. The AFL-CIO, which alone represents 12.5 million people, was one of these organizations. The letter was signed by the following organizations:

Americans for Financial Reform
Backbone Campaign
Campaign for America’s Future
Center for Effective Government
Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health
Citizens Trade Campaign
Coalition for a Prosperous America
Consumer Federation of America
Consumers Union
EarthRights International
Economic Policy Institute
Environmental Investigation Agency
Fight for the Future
Food & Water Watch
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends of the Earth
Global Exchange
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
International Fund for Animal Welfare
International Labor Rights Forum
Jubilee USA Network
Knowledge Ecology International
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Missionary Oblates USP National TPP Team
National Consumers League
National Family Farm Coalition
National Farmers Union
National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Oxfam America
Presbyterian Church USA
Public Citizen
Service Employees International Union
Sierra Club
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
US Business and Industry Council
Sean Michael Flynn, Professor, American University Washington College of Law
Cynthia Ho, Professor, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law
Brook K. Baker, Professor, Northeastern University School of Law

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