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Corporate interests

Behind every free trade and investment agreement lies a set of corporate interests. Just as they have greatly influenced the shape, scope and contents of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, so too are transnational corporations (TNCs), sectoral industry coalitions and lobby groups mobilizing around specific bilateral trade and investment negotiations, to push even further than they were able to get at the WTO.

“Bilateral and regional FTAs …are formalized manifestations of where our respective private sectors have taken us…it is really business and government moving in tandem,” explained Susan Schwab, former US Trade Representative in 2006.

TNCs, whether acting individually or as part of industry coalitions such as the US Council on International Business (USCIB), the Emergency Committee for International Trade, the Coalition of Service Industries (US), BusinessEurope, the European Services Forum (EU) or Nippon Keidanren (Japan), are organized, aggressive and influential in their demands for specific FTAs. The comprehensiveness of most free trade and investment agreements means that there are many cross-cutting issues as well as separate chapters and provisions in these agreements which serve to shape policy regimes in the interests of TNCs.

last update: May 2012
photo: Mehr Demokratie e.V.

Trade bill is a major concern for textiles
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Coalition of Service Industries written testimony on the free trade agreement between the United States and Korea
CSI is comprised of US service companies and trade associations seeking to achieve market access in all modes of supply in all negotiating forums.
Business Roundtable (US): Real liberalization in the US-Korea FTA - Moving beyond the traditional FTA
June 2006 US Business Roundtable White Paper on US-Korea FTA
International Intellectual Property Alliance summary of testimony on US-Malaysia FTA
Notice of intent to testify and summary of testimony from IIPA to Trade Policy Staff Committee, US Trade Representative’s Office on proposed free trade agreement with Malaysia
Thaksin regime’s business networks
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UNICE speech - EU-China Business Summit
Outline intervention by Michael Treschow, Vice-President, UNICE (Confederation of European Business)
UNICE - Trade and investment liberalization: An EU business perspective
Presentation at EU-Asia Business Forum, Helsinki, 10-11 September 2006
Wal-Mart, GE, and GM detail FTA best practices
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Eli Lilly’s CEO calls for Japan-US Economic Integration Agreement
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Competition provisions in Regional Trade Agreements
Papers from a Yeditepe University conference on competition policy and regional trade agreements.