Will Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses in TPP undermine Vietnamese Sovereignty?

An article titled “The Devastating Impacts of the TPP Trade Deal on Vietnam” dtd. Nov 13, 2015 by Chuck Searcy on Globalresearch.ca (http://www.globalresearch.ca/te-devastating-impacts-of-the-tpp-trade-deal-on-vietnam/5487939) explains how Vietnam is putting itself in danger of lawsuits from corporations. As per the ISDS provisions, disagreements among parties and Vietnamese government will not be settled in Vietnamese court, but a panel of judges chosen by Vietnam and corporations. The author is concerned that the threat of legal suits could affect Vietnamese laws regarding environment, health, education, military etc. and the threat of ISDS may force Vietnam to open its defense, security and public interest market (where it currently has prohibitions in place) to foreign multinationals, thereby jeopardizing its sovereignty. Is the author presenting this as a regular while this would be an extreme case? And won’t an organization using ISDS against a government send wrong signal about the organization to other TPP partners? What other grievance settling measures can be used?

 

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