OK, not really on ISDS, but touching on ISDS to a very slight degree. Here's what he said a couple days ago:
I’ve cleared the way for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines -- and added a requirement that American pipelines be constructed with American steel. That was the last minute. I said, where are we getting the steel? I won't tell you where, but you can guess. I said, from now on we have to go -- we have to build them here. You want to put pipelines under our land you're going to make the pipe in this country. (Applause.)
And one other thing happened. I have to tell you, it's sort of interesting. So I get a call from the ex-president of Goldman Sachs who now works for -- Gary Cohn. I said to him, Gary, let me ask you -- I heard there was a lawsuit. I hear the pipeline company is suing us. I said, how much? $14 billion. I said, wait a minute. I'm approving the pipeline and they’re suing us for $14 billion, and I've already approved it, right? I said, I just heard it. Go back to them and tell them if they don't drop the suit immediately we are going to terminate the deal. You have great -- you know, being President gives you great power, right? (Laughter.) So I just saw him this morning -- I said, by the way, how did you do? He said, sir, they dropped the suit. Good.
First off, last I heard, Keystone would not be required to use American steel. (Although who knows where this will end up.) The press report at the link seems to be from March 2.
Second, press reports (and the ICSID web site) suggest the lawsuit was suspended, not dropped. The press reports are from February 28, and the ICSID site talks about an agreement to suspend dated February 27.
But anyway, the suggestion here is that the Trump administration called TransCanada and told them to drop the case or the pipeline would not get approval. However, looking at the dates mentioned above, I wonder if it is possible that TransCanada agreed to suspend the lawsuit in exchange for an exemption from any domestic steel requirement. That's all just speculation, of course. I'll leave the investigative journalism to those who know how to do that sort of thing.
UPDATE: This is from the Financial Times: "The company said in a statement on Friday that the US State Department had signed and issued a presidential permit authorising the pipeline’s construction, which TransCanada said was an important piece of its US growth portfolio.
TransCanada said that it would continue to work with stakeholders in several individual states — Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota — to get the required permits and approvals to advance the pipeline’s construction. As a result of getting the presidential permit, the company said it would drop two legal challenges stemming from the prior administration’s rejection of the project."
TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced that the U.S. Department of State has signed and issued a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline.
In conjunction, TransCanada has discontinued its claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and will end its U.S. Constitutional challenge.
The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs has issued a Presidential permit to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (“TransCanada”) authorizing TransCanada to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil.