DC trade justice activists crashed a corporate lovefest put on at the Heritage Foundation today. While Dr. Gary Hufbauer lauded the special corporate rights included in NAFTA, several “Boo’s” came from a loud speaker in the audience. Dr. Hufbauer and the panelists tried to ignore the sound… until they couldn’t. Minutes after Hufbauer attempted to debunk the the improbable consensus across the political spectrum – from GOP members of Congress and state attorneys general to small business organizations and hundreds of the nation’s leading legal and economics professors against Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – activists set off a loud Halloween chant and set the record straight:
“Trick or treat,
a corporate cheat,
having a pout,
Is on its way out!
The corporate fat cats were in for another tricky treat during Q&A, when a second speaker went off. Between evil cackles, a voice of reason spoke, “Corporate lobbyists desperately want to keep their special corporate powers in NAFTA! That’s no surprise! But they’re scared, and they should be!! Because working people are onto them and we are fighting back!” James Roberts, Heritage Foundation Research Fellow For Economic Freedom and Growth, appeared humiliated from the stage. James ran up to another Heritage Foundation staffer after the event, and told them that there were “multiple bags” blasting anti-ISDS propaganda in the audience.
The corporate lobby is on notice. They’re losing the battle over ISDS: The U.S. Trade Representative put forth a proposal to roll back these NAFTA special corporate rights. And whenever they try to get out the word in their favor, activists will be there. Business as usual will no longer go uninterrupted.
The consensus against ISDS is being heard everywhere: From Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, and now the Heritage foundation itself is hearing it within their own walls.