Clients and collaborators – For the past two decades, we have supported state governments, international coalitions, and public interest advocates who work on trade and investment policy. Their goal is to preserve policy space for governments to provide or regulate essential services (e.g., energy, health care, food markets), set labor standards, and regulate products that affect the environment and public health. See our list of trade-related clients and collaborators here.
Projects on Trade and Investment Policy
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) – The United States is leading negotiations to create the TPPA, a “21st Century Trade Agreement.” Starting with 11 countries, it is likely to become the largest trade agreement outside of the WTO. Negotiators are drafting chapters that are WTO-plus – expanding rules and coverage beyond the baseline of WTO agreements. Our clients ask us to identify ways in which the TPPA could shrink the policy space for governments to provide or regulate services, investments, procurement, and products that affect public health. Recent work:
- 2012 trade policy assessment: tobacco, pharmaceuticals & procurement – Robert Stumberg & Matthew Porterfield
Tobacco in trade and investment agreements – Since 2001, Congress has prohibited U.S. negotiators from allowing trade agreements to promote tobacco trade. Yet the past eight U.S. trade agreements expand market access and give tobacco companies a forum to challenge tobacco controls. We work with an international coalition that seeks to exclude tobacco from the benefits of trade and investment agreements, starting with the TPPA. Recent work:
Foreign investor rights – Foreign investors are using some of the 2,600 International Investment Agreements (IIAs) to challenge regulations in the public interest: tobacco controls, mining permits, and hazardous waste regulations, to name a few. Several countries have begun to limit their IIAs so that foreign investors do not have greater rights than under the national constitution. We provide legal analysis to international and South American coalitions working on current trade negotiations. Recent work:
- Foreign investor rights and customary international law – Matthew Porterfield
WTO limits on domestic regulation – A coalition of countries in the WTO is pushing for limits on government power to regulate service industries (“disciplines”), which would alter the constitutional balance of power between most governments and regulated industries (energy, banking, derivatives trade, hazardous waste, etc.). We work with and subnational governments (USA) and inter-governmental networks based in Geneva that seek to moderate these proposals. Recent work: