Yesterday the investment chapter of the TPP was leaked to the public. I don't have any particular thoughts on this at the moment (except, how do these things get leaked?), so I'll just quote from some others.
Global Trade Watch says:
“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of TPP negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Via closed-door negotiations, U.S. officials are rewriting swaths of U.S. law that have nothing to do with trade and in a move that will infuriate left and right alike have agreed to submit the U.S. government to the jurisdiction of foreign tribunals that can order unlimited payments of our tax dollars to foreign corporations that don’t want to comply with the same laws our domestic firms do.”
In response, Julian Ku sees a left-wing version of sovereignty concerns:
What I find interesting is how many of its objections (from the anti-free trade left) echo the type of arguments often made by what Peter Spiro would call the sovereigntist right.
On this point, I do wonder what Global Trade Watch thinks about sovereignty in other areas. For example, do they support the idea of binding international rules on labor and the environment? Is there really a sovereignty concern here, or is it just about the substance of the law that is at issue?
Kevin Gallagher is a skeptic on investor-state, but sees a bright spot in one aspect of the leaked chapter:
Tired of waiting for the US to reflect current thinking and practice, the leaked text reveals two proposals by TPP negotiating teams that are a step in the right direction when it comes to granting nations the flexibility to regulate capital flows under the TPP.
Benn McGrady wonders whether other countries are thinking about opting out of investor state, like Australia has done:
Footnote 20 also indicates that Australia will not submit to investor state dispute settlement. Contact addresses have already been inserted into the draft for Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States. Brunei, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are listed in the annex, but the address details are not yet listed. Does this suggest that Brunei, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are not yet on board with the draft?
Is he reading too much into this? Or are others possibly having second thoughts?