The New Age of Foreign Corporations - An Analysis of the TPPA's Investment Chapter
Online Publication Date: 21 January 2016
TPPA: The New Age of
by Gurdial Singh Nijar
Faculty of Law, University of MalayaThe TPPA’s finalised chapter on
investment and ISDS is out.
Sadly, it is not looking good for the country. It introduces a whole new system
that gives extraordinary protection to the investments and profits of foreign
corporations. It then empowers these corporations to sue governments if these
rights are interfered with in any way – through an entire legal framework that
is “fundamentally flawed” - known as investor-state-dispute settlement or ISDS,
for short. The bounty of extensive rights are not (and, largely, have never
been) accorded to citizens of the parties to the TPPA.
Malaysia’s Ministry of
International Trade and Industry (MITI), which led the negotiations, has put on
a brave face. In its web page it writes that the ISDS provision is not new. It
appears, it says, in Malaysia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Bilateral
Investment Treaties (BITs) with several other countries.
Two crucial aspects MITI does not
disclose. First, the scope of the protected investments in respect of which an ISDS
case can be brought is far wider than in any other of Malaysia’s previous trade
treaties. Secondly, for the first time the US is a party. Its big corporations
are notorious for pursuing all sorts of claims against other countries for
millions if not billions. Let me elaborate.
To read the full analysis, go here