Multinational Monitor

APR 2001
VOL 22 No. 4


NAFTA's Investor Rights: A Corporate Dream, A Citizen Nightmare
by Mary Bottari

The Chapter 11 Dossier: Corporations Exercise Their Investor "Rights"
by Michelle Swenarchuk

Serving Up the Commons: A Guest Essay
by Tony Clarke

NAFTA for the Americas: Q&A on the FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas)
by Monitor Staff


Chile's Democratic Challenge
an interview with
Sara Larrain


Behind the Lines

Fast Track to Hell

The Front
Unilever's Dumping Fever - The Torture Trade

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Book Review
Trust Us, We're Experts!

Names In the News


Trade Madness!

Cartoon by Bulbul.

NAFTA's Investor "Rights:" A Corporate Dream, A Citizen Nightmare

by Mary Bottari

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) includes an array of new corporate investment rights and protections that are unprecedented in scope and power. NAFTA allows corporations to sue the national government of a NAFTA country in secret arbitration tribunals if they feel that a regulation or government decision affects their investment in conflict with these new NAFTA rights. If a corporation wins, the taxpayers of the "losing" NAFTA nation must foot the bill. This extraordinary attack on governments' ability to regulate in the public interest is a key element of the proposed NAFTA expansion called the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). MORE>>

Serving up the Commons: A Guest Essay

by Tony Clarke

The smoke and pepper spray had barely lifted from the streets of Seattle when the World Trade Organization (WTO) began a new set of global trade negotiations. Although efforts to launch a new round of worldwide comprehensive trade talks collapsed in Seattle, one of the built-in agendas which the WTO inherited from the Uruguay Round of the GATT was a commitment to expand global rules on cross-border trade in services through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) regime. In February 2000, the WTO launched what has been labeled as the GATS 2000 negotiations.

The GATS negotiations are designed to provide multinational corporations with the power tools they need to take control of much of what remains of the 'commons' on this planet. Every service imaginable is on the table, including a wide range of public services in sectors that affect the environment, culture, energy and natural resources; plus drinking water, health care, K-12 education, post-secondary education, and social security; along with transportation services, postal delivery, prisons, libraries and a variety of municipal services. By phasing out all governmental "barriers" to international trade and commercial competition in services, the GATS regime is designed to apply to virtually all government measures affecting trade-in-services, from labor laws to consumer protection, including regulations, guidelines, subsidies and grants, licensing standards and qualifications, and limitations on access to markets, economic needs tests and local content provisions. MORE>>

Chile's Democratic Challenge

An Interview with Sara Larrain

Sara Larrain: is the executive director of the Sustainable Chile Program (SCP) in Santiago, Chile. SCP is an inter-institutional program sponsored by the Institute for Ecological Policy, the National Environmental Network and the Bolivarian University. MORE>>



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