logo logo

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

How Jack Straw lobbied Ukrainian PM and European Commission on behalf of sugar firm
According to The Telegraph, former UK foreign secretary Jack Straw lobbied the Ukrainian goverment - using the proposed EU FTA as a carrot - to get it to change a domestic law in favour of a UK company’s interests.
Goldman pushes China investment deal as Silicon Valley wary
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is exhorting the US to quickly complete a treaty with China to open the long-sheltered market of the world’s most populous nation to American banks and other firms.
Why are weapons-makers excited by TTIP?
The arms industry is hoping that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will provide it with greater opportunities.
TPP must be a done deal in 2015: US-Asean Business Council
Marc Mealy, who is vice president (policy) in the US-Asean Business Council, says the Trans Pacific Partnership can and must be a done deal in 2015.
S. Korea must concentrate all energy on TPP: traders association head
South Korea must concentrate all of its resources on taking part in the US-led Asia-Pacific mega free trade bloc, the head of the country’s biggest business lobby group says.
BusinessEurope: Trade roadmap for the European Commission
The European business lobby’s "trade agenda" for new European Commission
Coca-Cola CEO among execs urging investment treaty with China
It’s US firms that would stand to gain more under a treaty, US-China Business Council President John Frisbie has said.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A brief history of an agenda for corporate plunder
Ultimately, the TTIP could draw Europe even closer to the US and consolidate the power of Anglo-US financial-corporate interests centred in the City of London and on Wall Street.
War, neoliberal fundamentalism and the plundering of national economies
The real threats to ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘decency’ and ‘fairness’ do not lie in Syria or Iraq. The destruction of national sovereignty, democracy, freedom, decency, quality of life and livelihoods is being carried out by corporate vultures under the guise of the secular theology of neoliberalism, not least in practice via free trade and investor rights agreements.
S. Korea’s biz community sets up consultative group on China FTA
South Korea’s business community has set up a consultative group aimed at reflecting their interests in ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) talks with China.