Corporations Above and Beyond U.S. & International Law

Extreme foreign investor rights & private enforcement would promote offshoring, attacks against our laws

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) multi-national corporations gained an array of privileges:
  • Access to a corporate tribunal for grievances
  • Risks and costs of offshoring to low wage countries eliminated
  • Compensation for loss of “expected future profits” from health, labor environmental, laws (indirect or “regulatory” takings compensation)
  • New rights cover vast definition of investment: intellectual property, permits, derivatives

Under the original NAFTA, multi-national corporations fought hard to get the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision which allows corporations to sue federal governments for laws that inhibit their ability to make profits. This process has changed the way governments propose legislation because they know the new law might bring a lawsuit against a country under ISDS

Under this ISDS, foreign investors can skirt domestic courts and laws, and sue governments directly before tribunals of three private sector lawyers operating under World Bank and UN rules to demand taxpayer compensation for any domestic law that investors believe will diminish their “expected future profits.” Over $675 million has been paid to foreign investors under U.S. trade pacts, while over $12 billion in claims are pending on environmental, safety, and public health policies under U.S. trade deals.

Their Corporate Attacks on the Public Interest

Below is an education portal that will take you to content at, a project of Public Citizen.

John Oliver, of Last Week Tonight, drives home the point in his recent episode detailing the recent abuses by Big Tobacco.