Trade Talks Update

Mairead McGuinness803 views

The European Parliament yesterday passed a resolution outlining its view of how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment negotiations should proceed, by 436 votes to 241.

Here is the report.

The contentious issue in the resolution centered on the future of the investor state dispute system (ISDS).

I think it is important to read the content of the paragraph which received the support of 447 members, and which calls for a new, open and accountable system of dispute settlement.

“(xv) to ensure that foreign investors are treated in a non-discriminatory fashion, while benefiting from no greater rights than domestic investors, and to replace the ISDS-system with a new system for resolving disputes between investors and states which is subject to democratic principles and scrutiny, where potential cases are treated in a transparent manner by publicly appointed, independent professional judges in public hearings and which includes an appellate mechanism, where consistency of judicial decisions is ensured, the jurisdiction of courts of the EU and of the Member States is respected, and where private interests cannot undermine public policy objectives;”

This is about an open, democratic and accountable system to allow investors (e.g. Irish companies) who invest in the USA to ensure that they are protected against any discriminatory action taken by the US government – at a state or national level – which might impact on their investment.

The key here is discriminatory action specifically taken to impact on the Irish investor and which is not similarity targeted at the local or national investor.

For more information, see my briefing document on TTIP.

*The previous Parliament voted its position on 23 May 2013 and you can read it here.