Investment Protection at a Crossroads by Pia Eberhardt

The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) currently negotiated in secret by transnational corporations gives foreign investors the right to sue sovereign governments before ad hoc arbitration courts when lost profits occur as a result of political decisions. These decisions cannot be appealed and undermine social, environmental and labor protections. The parallel justice system could attack jobs and end democracy. Public sector jobs, bank regulations, fracking moratoriums, minimum wage laws, health warnings on cigarette packages and closing nuclear power plants could all be attacked as reducing profits. Only foreign investors can sue; states cannot sue investors.

MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investments) was blocked by public outrage and social movements in 1997. The secrecy and total lack of transparency could invalidate the TTIP for violating all procedural norms and standards. The US Senate, the US public and the European public are all denied access to the documents and the hearings.

Pia Eberhardt is a researcher with Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). To read her extensive study “Investment Protection at a Crossroads” referriing to 16 court cases (including Metalclad, Vattenfall, Lone Pine, Philip Morris and others), click on

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