Another article, another letter and another press call from those opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and particularly its investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions emerged today. What we’ve seen over the past two weeks is, in reality, just more of the smoke-and-mirrors approach that opponents have been using for years, rehashing the same tired, false and discredited critiques of ISDS. These critiques have been rejected again and again by:
- The Obama administration when it fully considered and rejected these same arguments in its 2009–2012 Model BIT review, which included a broad public comment process;
- The Senate last year when it strongly rejected Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) amendment to eliminate ISDS from Trade Promotion Authority;
- Both the House and Senate when they rejected such arguments and voted in favor of Trade Promotion Authority legislation last year with its explicit direction to negotiate ISDS in new trade agreements; and
- A broad range of well-grounded academics, think-tank experts and media outlets, including The Washington Post and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
But like a group of vaudeville magicians—and equally out of date—the anti-trade and anti-ISDS crowd is using a sleight of hand to distract from the clear facts: that ISDS is a respected mechanism, fully in line with our own Constitution and basic rules, that helps protect individuals, NGOs and businesses alike from discriminatory and unfair conduct.
For those who may be new to the debate, here is a mini-video course of why ISDS is valuable.