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posted on Jul, 3 2006 @ 06:47 PM

I don't know what made me remember this, but several years back, when I was in high school, I did a short paper on the MAI, or Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The links above describe the MAI, but basically it's kind of like an international NAFTA, plus it gives corporations ridiculous powers, like being able to sue governments.

The MAI means that local governments have to give foreign companies the right to invest in any sector of an economy, including environmentally sensitive areas. It gives foreign companies the right to sue governments if they are denied equal opportunity to exploit the country’s natural resources. For example, if a country allows domestic companies to mine or log, it has to let foreign mining and timber companies do the same. Thus, governments will not be able to ensure that any economic activity in the environment produces the maximum benefits for local residents, who have the most to lose from the overexploitation of their rights or natural resources.

Or how about this one? Can you say 'environmental exploitation'?

(same link as above quote) The MAI prevents governments from screening out companies with poor environmental records.

The MAI prohibits any special scrutiny of foreign investors. For example, some timber companies have bad records of "cut and run" logging that is illegal in some countries. Governments should be able to screen out these companies to avoid the destruction of their natural resources.

(again, same link) It would pressure countries to reduce environmental protections as they compete to attract capital in the global economy. Environmental issues will also be in the hands of irresponsible international trade bureaucracies and private sectors instead of accountable national governments.

One goal of the MAI is to allow companies to absolve themselves of any responsibility towards the environment, society, law, or individual citizens.

Secret negotiations took place from 1995 until 1997 when an OECD source leaked a copy of the draft agreement to a Canadian citizen group. The leak revealed that the MAI sought to establish a new body of universal investment laws that would guarantee corporations unconditional rights to buy, sell and do financial operations all over the world, without any regard for national laws and citizens’ rights. The draft gave corporations a right to sue governments if national health, labor or environment legislation threatened their interests.

Secret negotiations? Not usually a good thing. "Without any regard for national laws and citizens' rights"? Never a good thing. The ability to sue if government legislation theatens their interests? So, companies could sue if they didn't like the labor laws. Minimum wage? That hampers our ability to make profits! Sue the government. Safe working conditions? Too inconvenient, costs too much. Sue the government. Not allowed to dump that toxic waste into the river? Sue the government.

I didn't like the sound of this when I researched it about 8 years ago, and I like the sound of it even less now, knowing what I now do about the corruption and immoral practices of numerous corporations and the "NWO" types.

Anyhow, that's a bit of an introduction to the subject. Fortunately, it seems most countries, especially poorer ones, don't want to go along with this, so hopefully it will never be ratified. I would be interested in any comments or further information anyone might have, as this is pretty much the extent of what I know on the topic.

posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 10:48 AM
This is a good post! This is the first time I have ever heard of this MAI. Pretty scary if you ask me. Im sure there might be another post somewhere about this, but its probably pretty old and deeply buried.

It does rase disturbing points. It basically means that any cooperation can come into any country where the locals make use of the resources, and rape and exploit it with impunity! No wonder third world countries are getting environmentally screwed!

posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 03:15 PM
Well, the MAI is still in the discussion phase, and has been ever since I came across it back in high school, but big corporations are really pushing to get this thing going, for obvious reasons. If you think the third world is getting screwed now, imagine how bad it will be with this in place...


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