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"Human rights must be integrated into international investment agreements" - Joint statement by NGOs, experts

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23 November 2016

Trump disavows intl. trade deals but he will bolster corporate power through deregulation & tax breaks, says journalist

Author: Michelle Chen, In These Times (USA)

"Trump Vows to Disrupt Trade—Progressives Need to Push Him in the Right Direction", 22 Nov 2016

The one election issue tying together populist voices on the right and left was trade—or so it seemed...A group of human rights organizations, including the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), has framed a human rights-based trade agenda...Core provisions would include the right to a safe and healthy environment, fair access to medicines and respect for labor and indigenous rights...One of Trump's first policy announcements was that he would immediately kill the already-stalled TPP negotiations and, instead, seek to negotiate bilateral trade agreements supposedly more beneficial to the United States. But progressive internationalists, who note that the TPP was likely moribund anyway due to widespread public backlash, warn that Trump’s rhetoric is equally short-sighted...In a broadly-worded memorandum on a 200-day trade agenda, Trump's camp has laid out a program of deregulation and corporate tax breaks as a way to preserve domestic manufacturing jobs...Despite its populist spin, Trump’s plan centers on growing multinational monopolies, and by extension, aggravating global inequality,...Even if he scraps the TPP and similar deals, his whole business persona embodies the predatory multinational investment that underlies free-trade market liberalism...

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13 November 2016

Human rights must be integrated into international investment agreements

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Center for International Environmental Law, Cetntre for Human Rights in Practice, University of Warwick (UK), European Coalition for Corporate Justice, FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), International Corporate Accountability Roundable, Institute for Policy Studies, Madhyam, SOMO, UN Independent & UN Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order Alfred de Zayas

We, the undersigned human rights, environmental and development organizations, urge all governments to place human rights at the core of international economic agreements, by integrating human rights protections into international investment and trade agreements and to ensure that these agreements do not impair governments’ abilities to respect, protect and fulfill their human rights obligations... [The] following proposed international trade agreements, in their current forms, do not meet...core requirements [on human rights]:

  • Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (EU-Canada)
  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (ASEAN & other Asia and Pacific countries)
  • Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (EU-USA)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (12 signatories in Pacific Rim region)
  • EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

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