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Leading Business Groups Urge Administration to Maintain and Upgrade ISDS Provisions in NAFTA

Washington D.C. – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) yesterday joined more than 100 leading business groups in sending a letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretaries Wilbur Ross, Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin, and Director Gary Cohn, expressing the importance of maintaining and upgrading investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The letter reads:

"The existing NAFTA framework protects American individual, non-profit and business investors by extending several of the private property protections already found in the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law, including due process, non-discrimination, fair treatment by the government and compensation for the seizure of property.

"While baseline investment protection and enforcement provisions were included in the original NAFTA, there are significant gaps as those provisions did not provide full coverage to all sectors or full enforcement. The NAFTA modernization provides an important opportunity to improve the NAFTA by:
  • "Ensuring intellectual property is fully protected as in the United States as a protected investment;
  • "Guaranteeing all sectors are afforded the same protections and access to ISDS to enforce those protections;
  • "Improving U.S. investment access in Canada and Mexico on a non-discriminatory basis, including by locking in reforms that have opened markets since NAFTA was negotiated;
  • "Adding stronger disciplines against forced technology transfers and localization;
  • "Expanding access to ISDS enforcement for breaches of major investment contracts; and
  • "Extending the enforcement period to at least ten years after any potential termination of the agreement, to ensure that American investment is appropriately and fully protected.
  • "We urge that investment and ISDS remain high priorities in the NAFTA modernization to strengthen enforcement and ensure the fair treatment for U.S. individual, non-profit and business investors."

To read the full letter, click here.
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About the NFTC
Serving America's Global Businesses Since 1914- The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules- based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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