A recent poll in New Zealand asked the following:
New Zealand is currently negotiating a free trade and investment treaty with ten other countries called the Trans Pacific Partnership. As part of the negotiations, there is a proposal to allow foreign investors to sue governments in private offshore tribunals if government actions threaten their future profits. The US advocates it while Australia says it would not sign a deal with this in it. Which one of the following statements do you most agree with:
Here were the possible responses, along with the percentages who chose each:
1 New Zealand should reject trade and investment treaties that would allow the government to be sued by foreign investors in private offshore tribunals - 64%
2 New Zealand should accept terms that would allow investors to sue the government in this way if that is what is required to get a Trans Pacific Partnership deal - 13%
3 No opinion / Can’t choose - 24%
So was that a fair poll question? Is "private offshore tribunals" the best description? Why not just "international tribunals"? And is "government actions threaten their future profits" the best way to describe the litigation possibilities?
I've always been curious how investor-state would do in a poll. I'm not sure this poll does the job perfectly, but it's interesting nonetheless.