Trade agreements & investment disputes threaten tax justice, says report

Author: Claire Provost for Transnational Institute & Global Justice Now, Published on: 24 February 2016

“Taxes on trial: How trade deals threaten tax justice”, 1 Feb 2016

Demands for tax justice have resounded worldwide, with inequality at historic and unsustainable levels and increased attention towards the tax practices of major multinational corporations from Google to Starbucks…We believe that governments must be able to change their tax systems to ensure multinationals pay their fair share and to ensure that critical public services are well funded.  States must also be able to reconsider and withdraw tax breaks previously granted to multinationals if they no longer fit with national priorities.  But their ability to do so, to change tax laws and pursue progressive tax policies, is limited, thanks to trade and investments agreements.  In rapidly developing ‘corporate courts’, formally known as investor-state dispute settlement system (or ISDS), foreign investors can sue states directly at international tribunals.  This system has become increasingly controversial thanks to negotiations over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between Europe and the United States.  But access to ISDS is already enshrined in thousands of free trade and investment agreements crisscrossing the globe…[A] growing number of investor-state cases have in fact challenged government tax decisions…

Read the full post here

Related companies: Archer Daniels Midland Cargill Perenco Tullow Oil Vodafone