Friday, 25 January 2019

ISDS, No Friendly Society.

        ISDS, a rather innocuous seeming acronym, some may no doubt connect it with International Sheep Dog Society. However, it has another more sinister and undemocratic association connected to the corporate juggernaut and the financial Mafia, that's where the initials stand for Investment-State Dispute Settlement. This is a neat piece of legislation that allows companies to sue governments if the feel that that government has passed legislation that could harm its profits. Supposing a government passes some health and safety regulations and a large company thinks it could harm its profits, it can then sue that government and claim millions/billions in compensation, tax payers money of course.
      Here are some recent cases from Politico:
         In 2011, Australia introduced some of the world’s toughest legislation on tobacco packaging. It obliged manufacturers to remove all branding and sell cigarettes from plain brown packs dominated with grisly health warnings.
       Tobacco companies attempted but failed to overturn the legislation in Australian courts. Then Philip Morris tried another tack. It unearthed an ISDS clause in a 1993 trade agreement between Australia and Hong Kong — where Philip Morris Asia is based — and sued the Australian government.
          The case is still pending, but Australian media estimate taxpayers are having to fork out the equivalent of €34 million in lawyers fees for just the first phase of the litigation.
           In Europe, Swedish energy company Vattenfall is seeking €5 billion compensation from the  German government over its decision to phase out nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima radiation leak in Japan.
         Canada’s Lone Pine Resources Company is using a U.S. subsidiary to sue its own government for $230 million under ISDS provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That’s in response to a provincial authority in Quebec calling a moratorium on fracking for natural gas under the St. Lawrence River.
Such cases help explain mounting concern among the public and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic over ISDS provisions in the TTIP negotiations.
         Emotions are particularly strong in Europe, where there’s already widespread unease in some countries over the impact TTIP could have in areas ranging from privacy to labor laws and genetically modified organisms.
Read the full article HERE: 

         More on this pampered, privileged parasites' plan to run roughshod over the health and welfare of the people in their greed fest for profit.
From Roar Magazine:
        Over forty of the corporations listed as WEF “Industry Partners” have been involved in ISDS cases, often intended to undermine or discourage progressive policy, including environmental protections, minimum-wage increases and public health measures.
      ISDS clauses, found within a range of trade and investment agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), enable multinational companies to sue states via secretive international tribunals if governments take actions which they believe unfairly impede their profits.
       The Stop ISDS coalition, an alliance of over a hundred NGOs, including Greenpeace, ActionAid and Public Services International organized the action as a launch for a petition to the European Union to end the promotion of ISDS and support a Binding UN Treaty on Transnational Corporations to give people and governments the ability to hold the private sector to account.
      Some examples of ISDS cases by WEF corporations include:
  • Cargill sued Mexico in 2005 after the Government implemented a tax on high-fructose corn syrup to address the country’s obesity crisis. Cargill used ISDS under Nafta to extract over $70 million in damages from Mexico’s public budget. Cargill used the WEF in 2018 to launch a Corporate Social Responsibility project, claiming to “address social issues using the power of food.”
  • In 2015, Novartis threatened to use ISDS to successfully discourage the Colombian government from making a life-saving leukemia drug more accessible through compulsory licensing. The drug, which has brought in over €40 billion in revenue for Novartis, sold for over $15,000 per patient per year; twice the average person’s income.
  • In 2008, Dow Chemical sued Canada after Quebec banned the manufacture and sale of harmful pesticides. Dow Agrosciences declared the subsequent settlement a victory, and commentators noted the case may discourage other Governments from moving ahead with their own pesticide bans.
Read the full article HERE:
       So this is how capitalism works, profit above all else, health and welfare, living conditions, etc. don't even appear on the list of priorities of the corporate juggernaut and the financial Mafia. If you rely on governments to sort this one out, you'll have a long wait, governments rely on these bodies and have little to no power over them, and these bodies use governments to protect their interests. It is a relationship that excludes the people, their aims and desires.
      To see to the needs of all our people in a fair and just society, first dismantle capitalism, then work from there.
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