Obama: Show How TPP Would Stop Keystone XL NAFTA Lawsuit

email from Just Foreign Policy, 1/11/16

Urge Pres. Obama to show how the TPP agreement would prevent ISDS suits like TransCanada has filed against rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In his State of the Union address tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to tout the purported benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP] agreement. Supporters of the TPP agreement claimed that TPP critics’ concerns about corporations suing governments under the TPP against environmental, labor rights, and public health policies were overblown, and that reforms in the TPP would address these concerns. Now a Canadian oil company has sued the US for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline under similar provisions of NAFTA. TPP supporters owe us an explanation.

Urge President Obama to show how purported reforms in the TPP would have prevented the Keystone XL NAFTA lawsuit by signing our petition at MoveOn.

One of the most controversial aspects of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” [ISDS] – corporations suing governments in retaliation for laws or regulations that they claim reduce their profits. As Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote, “ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court.” [1] In response to criticism of ISDS provisions in the TPP agreement from Senator Warren, Senator Sanders, [2] and others, the White House promised to put “stronger safeguards” on ISDS in the TPP. [3]

Now Canadian oil company TransCanada has announced that it will sue the U.S. government for $15 billion dollars under the ISDS provisions of NAFTA for rejecting TransCanada’s controversial plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline. [4] Carroll Muffett, President of the Center for International Environmental Law, said: “TransCanada has proven what concerned citizens have argued for decades – that the primary purpose of ISDS is to subvert democratic processes and the public interest, in the name of private profit. It has demonstrated to the citizens of the United States, and the world, why these provisions have no place in new trade agreements.” [5]

Urge the Administration to show Congress and the American people how its claimed “stronger safeguards” on ISDS in the proposed TPP would prevent the Keystone XL NAFTA lawsuit by signing and sharing our petition.

Thanks for all you do to help make US foreign policy more just,

Robert Naiman, Avram Reisman, and Sarah Burns
Just Foreign Policy

References:
1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kill-the-dispute-settlement-language-in-the-trans-pacific-partnership/2015/02/25/ec7705a2-bd1e-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/the-tpp-must-be-defeated_b_7352166.html
3. https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/02/26/investor-state-dispute-settlement-isds-questions-and-answers
4. http://time.com/4170966/keystone-pipeline-canada-lawsuit/
5. http://www.ciel.org/news/8886/

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