The leaders of three major U.S. business organizations this week told the Trump administration that a renegotiated NAFTA must include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism if the groups are going support a retooled deal.
[Brett Fortnam | August 25, 2017 | Inside US Trade]
In an Aug. 23 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons and Business Roundtable President Joshua Bolten reiterated their support for ISDS.
“Attempts to eliminate or weaken ISDS will harm American businesses and workers and, as a consequence, will serve to undermine business community support for the NAFTA modernization negotiations,” they asserted in the letter, also sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees.
The business groups disputed the idea that ISDS violates U.S. sovereignty. Lighthizer, in Aug. 16 remarks at the start of the NAFTA round, said the deal’s “dispute settlement provisions should be designed to respect our national sovereignty.”