Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

UPDATED LINK ON TPP

I screwed up.  Sorry.  Here is the link to the TPP story I referenced in the previous post.

2 comments:

David Palmeter said...

The ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) provisions are likely to be the way Hillary, if elected, gets out of her TPP problem—having endorsed it as Secretary of State and opposed it as a candidate for President. The fact is that there are a lot of foreign policy reasons why any President would be inclined to support TPP, but ISDS isn’t one of them. Hillary has said that there are “provisions” of TPP she is opposed to, but so far as I now she hasn’t specified them. My guess is that she will renegotiate TPP to get rid of ISDS—and will have little problem doing so because ISDS is primarily as US negotiating demand. Other TPP parties are not likely to object.

ISDS indeed is a “private court” system for international corporations. These panels do have a real grounding in reality, however—as domestic courts have been known to be less than impartial when foreign investors are involved. A NAFTA case of a few years ago illustrates the problem from the point of view of the foreign investor.

A Canadian-owned funeral home chain was sued in a Mississippi court by an independent Mississippi funeral home for putting the latter out of business. A Mississippi jury awarded the funeral home owners $500 million—that’s right, half a billion dollars. The Canadians wanted to appeal, but to do so would have to post a bond greatly in excess of the $500 million and they didn’t have the money. They settled for something less than $200 million and then filed a complaint against the US under the ISDS provisions of NAFTA.

They lost. The Panel (of which Abner Mikva was a member) ruled against them on procedural grounds—holding that the Canadians could not invoke NAFTA unless they had exhausted all their judicial remedies in the US. By settling the case, they had not done so.

I don’t like ISDS for a couple of reasons—bizarre cases like the Mississippi case notwithstanding. For one thing, ISDS seems to be part of the trend to privatize everything—from prisons to the military contractors who run around in fatigues in Afghanistan and Iraq killing people to the proliferation of toll roads. For another, it reduces the risks involved in international investing. If a corporation wants to move its operations to another country it should have to take all the risks involved in doing that—including the risk of a possibly corrupt judicial system—not just cherry pick the advantages, like lower labor costs. The government should not be in the business of removing risks from investors who want to remove jobs at home.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you David Palmeter. That was infintely more than I knew about the subject and very helpful.