SENATORS INTRODUCE AMENDMENT TO STOP ALLOWING COMPANIES TO CHALLENGE U.S. LAWS OUTSIDE U.S. COURTS
Text of the amendment is available here
WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Edward J. Markey joined United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and 12 of their colleagues to introduce an amendment that would prevent "Fast Track" authority from being used to pass trade deals that include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS allows foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws and potentially pick up huge payouts from taxpayers without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. The amendment is cosponsored by Senators Joe Manchin (D - W.Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
Under ISDS, foreign companies that want to challenge U.S. regulations would be allowed to do so before an international panel of arbitrators consisting of private lawyers. Only international investors - largely big corporations - are able to access these tribunals, while other individuals and organizations such as labor unions must pursue challenges in traditional courts. Prominent legal experts recently raised concerns in a letter to congressional leaders that ISDS would undermine democratic norms and weaken the rule of law.