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The Latest in the Parade of the Horribles: ISDS
 
By Bill Reinsch - March 23, 2015

Trade skeptics have recently set their sights on yet another ‘horrible’ in the trade debate – investor-state dispute settlement or ISDS. From politicians to anti-trade activists, there has been much scrutiny of ISDS – a chapter that exists in many bilateral trade and investment agreements to protect investors from unjust action by foreign governments. A good example of the trade opponent’s premise for attacking ISDS is the argument made by Melissa Parke, an Australian Labor politician. It is evident upon examination that Parke is writing a web of half-truths supported by weak evidence. And that’s putting it nicely.
 
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The New Status Quo and U.S.-Cuba Relations
 
By Richard Sawaya, Vice President, USA*Engage - March 11, 2015

 The position of those in high dudgeon about President Obama’s negotiated change of policy with the Cuban regime can be summed up by former Texas governor Rick Perry’s declaration: “We got a bad deal. This administration basically empowered the Castro regime with no thought of the Cuban people.” While this may work as an applause-seeking sound bite, does it stand up to reason?
 
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By Richard Sawaya, Vice President, USA*Engage
 
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Bring on Another Horrible in the Parade
 
By Bill Reinsch and Matthew Shim of the National Foreign Trade Council - February 26, 2015

It seems Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is marked with a big bull's-eye and is the latest target of trade critics, even though most of the criticism has more to do with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) than with TPA legislation. Chief among these critics are environmental groups that are speaking out against TPA and its potential role in shaping the TPP and TTIP agreements. 

In a letter to members of Congress in January, a group of environmental organizations claimed that TPA legislation will prevent Congress from ensuring trade agreements include safeguards for public health and the environment, resulting in weaker protections as a result of investor-state arbitration and regulatory cooperation, specifically in TTIP and the TPP. This sounds horrible, but it bears little relationship to reality.  

 
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By Bill Reinsch and Matthew Shim of the National Foreign Trade Council
 
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Danse Macabre
 
By Bill Reinsch, NFTC President - February 12, 2015

 Well, it's happened again, right on schedule. Just as Congress is about to take up trade legislation, the parade of horribles has begun.
  • Trade will mean job losses for Americans.
  • Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) cedes congressional authority over trade to the President.
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will mean 500 million people lose access to healthcare. 
  • TPP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will impinge free speech, Internet freedom and privacy. 
  • TTIP could increase toxic pesticide use. 
  • Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions will impinge on a government’s willingness to regulate.
  • Workers’ wages could fall by 3,000 British pounds a year.
  • TTIP threatens the future of Europe’s food supply.
  • TPP will significantly weaken public health and environmental protection.
 

 
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By Bill Reinsch, NFTC President
 
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America Needs Trade Promotion Authority
 
By Bill Reinsch - February 9, 2015

As members of Congress prepare to head home for the first major recess of the year, it’s a reminder of how fast time flies and how much there is to get done over the next several months. One of the key policy priorities on which Congress should act as soon as possible is the introduction, consideration and approval of bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.
 
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By Bill Reinsch
 
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