The AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) have reaffirmed their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Fast Track legislation that allows no amendments and limited debate on trade deals.
Among the provisions of the trade deals, the unions find investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) especially egregious. ISDS essentially allows foreign property owners to skip domestic courts and administrative procedures in seeking taxpayer reimbursement for losses to expected profits from laws, regulations, administrative decisions, and other government measures. They can instead sue the host country through a panel of private “arbitrators.” Labor groups contend that such extreme rights to challenge democracy are not good for domestic business, citizens, nor the rule of law. The AFL-CIO and CLC say they “will not cease in our efforts to promote good jobs, raising wages, strong social safety nets, state-of-the-art public services and infrastructure, and an end to corporate power grabs like ISDS in all pending trade and investment agreements.”