The U.S. Should Follow South Africa’s Lead on Investor Rights: No ISDS in the TPP

November 8, 2013

You may have heard of “investor-to-state dispute settlement,” or ISDS. Most people familiar with the term never heard it before the NAFTA debates of the early 1990s. NAFTA was the first so-called “free trade agreement” in which the United States included this provision, which gives foreign investors in the U.S. (and U.S. investors operating in foreign countries) the opportunity to skip traditional methods of complaining about laws and regulations they don’t like and sue nations directly in private arbitration tribunals made up of for-profit arbitrators rather than full-time judges.

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