CWA: TPP Will Allow U.S. Regulation of Bank Excesses to Be Challenged in Foreign Tribunals

CWA President Chris Shelton commented on news reports that revealed that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will give big banks yet another way to challenge needed regulation of Wall Street:

"At this point, I'm not surprised that the TPP includes additional legal protections for big banks that will allow them to challenge or undermine financial rules adopted by the U.S. Congress.

While we haven't yet seen this 'secret' deal yet, because U.S. negotiators refuse to make it public, news reports are confirming that under the TPP, banks will be able to use the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process to challenge financial rules that they claim are 'arbitrary.' In fact, if the reports are accurate, the TPP will give banks a broader right to use the ISDS process than they have ever been given by any previous U.S. Free Trade Agreement, because it will allow them to file suits charging that they haven't been provided a loosely defined 'minimum standard of treatment.' As we've seen industry after industry challenge all sorts of public interest laws under this broken ISDS system, it makes no sense to make it easier for banks to launch ISDS challenges than it's ever been in any other FTA.

As Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others have pointed out, banks will likely use this language to raise challenges to common sense banking requirements. That means a panel of three lawyer-arbitrators will determine what regulations should govern the big banks, not U.S. lawmakers and regulators.

This is just one of many bad provisions in the TPP. Working families still are recovering from the Great Recession that caused millions to suffer from lost jobs and slashed wages. The bankers who caused this economic meltdown got bailouts and bonuses, yet they're being rewarded yet again with the ability to challenge the kind of common sense reforms of the financial industry that our nation needs. We need real financial reform, including a tax on speculative financial transactions and an end to banks being able to co-mingle depositor dollars and Wall Street money, not more 'Wall Street Gone Wild.'

CWA and our allies in our broad coalition of environmental, good government, faith, consumer, immigration and other groups are calling on Congress to reject this bad trade deal, and negotiate a trade agreement that works for working families and communities."