time-sensitive FW: MAI Finalized US Sign-On Letter

Kender Taylor kendert at microsoft.com
Fri Oct 16 21:02:34 EDT 1998

Keywords: sustainable environmental democracy, commons defense
infrastructure, international Green Party Movement, 1992 Rio Earth Summit
NGO Treaty on Transnational Corporations, Multilateral Agreement on
Investment [ MAI ].

	"There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
	  and found and lost again and again,
	  and now under conditions that may seem unpropitious.
	  But perhaps neither gain not loss.
	  For us there is only the trying."
			T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

	The following text is provided for informational and policy research
purposes only.  It does not reflect the views of any corporation.

	Mitakuyeh Oyasin [ Lakota: All my relations ]. Sarva mangalam [
Sanskrit: May all beings benefit ].

	( Acarya ) Kender Taylor
	international Green Party movement organizer
	US PNW principal bioregional community outreach 1992 ( Report From
Rio ) 
						& 1996 ( Nader / LaDuke
nat'l campaign ) 

> ----------
> From: 	Lorraine Pozzi[SMTP:femme2 at scn.org]
> Sent: 	Friday, October 16, 1998 5:26 PM
> To: 	fair-trade at scn.org
> Subject: 	(mai) Finalized US Sign-On letter (fwd)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 12:17:24 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Margrete Strand-Rangnes <mstrand at citizen.org>
> To: Multiple recipients of list MAI-NOT <mai-not at essential.org>
> Subject: (mai) Finalized US Sign-On letter
> Included is the finalized US MAI Sign-On letter. For those of you who sent
> us individual endorsements we encourage you to send this letter with your 
> signature to the State Department and the USTR (and also send a copy to
> your 
> Congressperson and Senators).
> We will present this letter to the US Negotiators in Paris next week, and
> we 
> express our thanks to all the organizations that signed on!
> _________________________________________________
> 					October 16, 1998
> The Secretary of State
> Department of State
> 2201 C Street, NW
> Washington, DC 20520
> The Honorable Charlene Barshefsky
> United States Trade Representative
> 600 17th Street, NW
> Washington, DC 20506
> Dear Madame Secretary and Ambassador Barshefsky,
> We are writing to you as representatives of a broad cross section of civil
> society in the United States concerning the Multilateral Agreement on 
> Investment (MAI). As the US prepares for the resumption of negotiations on
> October 21, we remain united in strong opposition to the MAI. Given the 
> precarious state of the world economy and the impacts of foreign
> investment 
> on the daily lives of people here and abroad, we wish to underscore that
> the 
> MAI is the wrong approach for international investment rules. We would 
> support rules on investment that empower citizens, promote economic 
> stability, and protect the environment.
> Measured against these values the MAI is a failure. We hope that laying
> out 
> a rough outline of the kind of investment agreement the representatives of
> civil society on this letter would favor will allow you to better
> understand 
> the depth of our opposition to the MAI. We also intend this letter as an 
> invitation for the administration to revamp US investment policy in a 
> pro-people, pro-environment direction fit for the 21st century.
> We reiterate our opposition to the MAI as negotiated. Despite criticism
> and 
> engagement by citizens and members of Congress, the draft MAI retains the 
> basic flaws that have led to broad public opposition. Governments'
> proposed 
> environmental and labor amendments are in many cases cosmetic and do not 
> ensure that regulatory protections take precedence over investor rights.
> As 
> we work to defeat the MAI we will do so with the confidence that civil 
> society has tried to play a constructive role.
> Developments over the last year have increased our concerns. The
> continuing 
> financial crises spreading worldwide show that liberalization is not a 
> sufficient basis for a sustainable, equitable economy. The world needs 
> sensible regulation of speculative investment which undercuts development
> as 
> well as oversight of burgeoning mergers and acquisitions that concentrate 
> corporate power. The MAI would instead increase excessive capital mobility
> and narrow the possible actions governments can take to ward-off 
> destabilizing inflows and outflows of capital. The administration's
> actions 
> on the MAI will be an important test case: does the US government have its
> head buried in the sand or will it heed the call of non-governmental 
> organizations, major newspapers and economists to rethink our approach to 
> economic globalization?
> Further, the settlement of the NAFTA investment case of Ethyl Corporation 
> vs. the Government of Canada has confirmed our concerns over the 
> anti-democratic powers that the MAI would grant to corporate investors vis
> a 
> vis elected governments. The investor-to-state dispute resolution and 
> expropriation and compensation rules that Ethyl utilized are among the 
> provisions that must be eliminated from any investment agreement if it is
> to 
> win the support of civil society.
> The time is right for the U.S. and other governments to abandon the flawed
> model that brought us the MAI draft and begin the process of regulating 
> investment with full citizen participation. International rules governing 
> foreign investment should be based on people's economic, environmental and
> social priorities. And multinational corporations and financial investors 
> should be held accountable to these citizen-defined priorities.
> We call on governments to initiate negotiations for an international 
> investment agreement in a forum that allows for democratic public input
> and 
> the participation of all the world's countries. The World Trade
> Organization 
> (WTO) is not such a transparent forum and we will oppose efforts to shift 
> the MAI to the WTO.
> We believe that democratic negotiations would result in a different
> approach 
> to the regulation of foreign investment and capital flows. Our vision of
> an 
> investment agreement begins with the baseline that governments on all
> levels 
> should retain the flexibility to regulate investment to meet public needs.
> As opposed to the excessive rights granted to corporations in the MAI, we 
> believe that investors should be required to meet minimum environmental, 
> labor, human rights and social standards wherever they operate.
> Citizens should be empowered to hold investors accountable to these 
> standards. In place of investor- -to-state dispute resolution, an
> investment 
> agreement should ensure that domestic or international enforcement 
> mechanisms are accessible to the public.
> Finally, an agreement on investment should encourage rather than eliminate
> controls on short-term investment. Investment negotiations should lead to 
> international cooperation to discourage destabilizing financial flows.
> The details of these proposals will only be worked out through a
> democratic 
> process of consultation. We would welcome the opportunity for citizens to 
> channel their engagement on international economic issues in the direction
> of developing an alternative to the MAI. If not, we stand ready to
> continue 
> our political opposition to the MAI and similar unbalanced rules wherever 
> they are proposed. We will base our decisions on the government's actions
> in 
> the next months.
> 	Sincerely,
> 20/20 Vision
> 50 Years Is Enough Network
> Africa Faith and Justice Network
> Amazon Watch
> American Lands
> Board of Directors, Witness for Peace, Southwest Region
> Boston Women's Health Book Collective,
> Brightside Communications Corporation
> California Democratic Council, Region 20, Orange County, CA
> California Fair Trade Campaign
> Campaign for America's Future
> Campaign for Labor Rights
> Casa Baltimore/Limay
> Center for International Environmental Law
> Center of Concern
> Central New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club
> Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
> Columban Fathers' Justice & Peace Office
> Committee for Health Rights in the Americas
> Conference of Social Justice Coordinators of Southern California
> Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice
> Defenders of Wildlife
> Democratic Socialists of America
> Democrats of North Orange County
> Development Group for Alternative Policies Dominican Sisters of Hope; 
> Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk-U.S. Province
> Earthcommunity Center
> East Timor Action Network/U.S.
> Economic Justice Now
> Fast Carr Productions
> Free Burma Coalition
> Friends of the Earth
> Global Exchange
> Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO)
> Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
> Institute for Food and Development Policy - Food First
> Institute Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
> Interhemispheric Resource Center
> International Advocates for Health Freedom
> International Forum on Globalization
> International Labor Rights Fund
> International Rivers Network
> Ithaca HOURS
> Jubilee 2000 Africa Campaign
> Justice & Peace Committee, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
> Justice and Peace Committee, Sisters of the Holy Names, CA Province
> Latin America Emergency Response Network
> Los Angeles/Orange Counties Legislation and Education Committee, United 
> Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, CLC
> Madison Community Co-operatives
> Madison Hours
> Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns Maryland United for Peace and
> Justice, 
> Inc.
> Medical Mission Sisters' Alliance for Justice
> Mid-Missouri Greens,
> National Jobs for All Coalition
> Nicaragua Center for Community Action,
> Nicaragua Network
> North America Region of Franciscans International
> Office of the Americas
> Ohio Fair Trade Campaign
> PACT (People Against Corporate Takeover) of Western Mass
> Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
> Peru Peace Network
> Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide
> Prince William County United Nations Day Coalition
> Public Citizen
> Quixote Center- Quest for Peace
> Religious Task Force on Central America & Mexico
> RMF Development and Design
> San Francisco Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
> San Francisco MAI Free Zone Coalition
> Sierra Club
> Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ - Office of Corporate
> Responsibility
> Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Albany Province
> Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, CA Province
> Sisters of the Holy Cross
> Sisters of the Holy Names California Province Leadership Team
> South Sound MAI Not!
> Tennessee Industrial Renewal Network
> The Alliance for Democracy
> The Boulder Green Alliance, Boulder CO
> The Ecology Center, Inc
> The Edmonds Institute, Edmonds, Washington
> The Front Range Fair Trade Coalition, Boulder CO
> The Global Commission to fund The United Nations
> The Reform Party of Arizona
> The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Boulder CO
> TRI-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
> U.S. Catholic Mission Association
> United Church of Christ Network for Environmental and Economic 
> Responsibility
> United Democratic Clubs (Orange County)
> United Methodist Church, Women's Division
> University of Wisconsin Greens
> US Section, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
> Washington Fair Trade Campaign
> Wilson Computing
> CC: 	The Vice President
> 	The Secretary of the Treasury
> 	The Attorney General
> 	The Secretary of the Interior
> 	The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
> 	The Administrator of the Agency for International Development
> 	Representative Richard Gephardt
> 	Representative David Bonior
> 	Representative Ron Klink
> 	Representative Peter A. DeFazio
> 	Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
> 	Representative Jack Metcalf
> 	Senator Thomas A. Daschle
> 	Senator Paul David Wellstone
> 	Mr. John Podesta, White House Staff
> Margrete Strand Rangnes
> MAI Project Coordinator
> Public Citizen Global Trade Watch
> 215 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
> Washington DC, 20003
> mstrand at citizen.org
> 202-546 4996, ext. 306
> 202-547 7392 (fax)
> To subscribe to our MAI Listserv send an e-mail to mstrand at citizen.org, or
> subscribe directly by going to our website,  
> www.tradewatch.org

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