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View Diary: Secret Trade Deal Battle: K Street vs. Middle America (125 comments)

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  •  The larger framework (6+ / 0-)

    That's an example of how the larger framework is unbalanced.  Under these deals businesses do get to challenge existing laws before international bodies of the WTO.  Workers and unions do not.  By this kincd of measure, we are now formally accepting different levels of citizenship depending on whether one is a worker or a capitalist.  

    Radicalism reborn, 21st century style @ The Agitator

    by ActivistGuy on Sat May 12, 2007 at 10:16:06 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  in both cases, only governments can challenge (1+ / 0-)
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      It simply isn't true that businesses can challenge laws at the WTO; only countries can take cases to the WTO. So, for example, when the US imposed steel tariffs that Europeans found objectionable, it was European governments who took the US to the WTO. If it was just some European companies that objected, but no governments objected, then they would've been outta luck.

      Labor regulations are treated pretty similarly: These treaties have labor standards in them, and if a country breaches one, the other country can object and take it to arbitration, just like with the restraint-of-trade types of objections. Neither companies nor unions can make complaints on their own, though, since these international organizations are intended to mediate disputes between governments, not to be a full-fledged system of international courts in which anyone can bring suit.

      "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

      by Delirium on Sat May 12, 2007 at 12:11:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're not talking about the WTO (0+ / 0-)

        but rather bilateral treaties between the US and particular nations. It appears that "investors" (but no other private parties) have the right to enforce NAFTA and presumably that will be the case for the pending trade agreements that are covered by the agreement between Democratic leaders and Bush administration trade officials. Here's a description of the enforcement provisions of NAFTA.

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