The Devil in the TPPA – Investor State Dispute Settlement

Opinion – Bianca Mueller The Trans-Pacific Partnership TPPA is a free trade agreement that has been negotiated by Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Mexico, United States, and Canada since 2010. If signed, the TPPA will cover a about … The Devil in the TPPA – Investor State Dispute Settlement By Bianca Mueller The Trans-Pacific Partnership TPPA is a free trade agreement that has been negotiated by Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Mexico, United States, and Canada since 2010. If signed, the TPPA will cover a about 40 percent of the world’s economy (i.e. GDP of US$27.5 trillion). It is the goal of the negotiating parties to expand trade and investment across the Pacific Rim region through the elimination of tariffs and harmonisation of trade regulations. Equally important are strategic and geopolitical interests in the conclusion of the TPPA. The process of the negotiations (i.e. negotiations are carried out behind closed doors), as well as its content of the TPPA is highly controversial. An issue that stands out with regards to the proposed content of the TPPA is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions. It is an issue that goes to the heart of democracy. ISDS may excessively curtail New Zealand’s autonomy to regulate its own affairs, especially in the areas of human rights, environmental protection and public health. Concerns...

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