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
photo: Mehr Demokratie e.V.

USTR Susan Schwab and CEA President & CEO Gary Shapiro at International CES: Trade is vital to US economic growth and jobs
Free trade agreements are important for the US consumer electronics industry
Select few see benefits of free trade: report
The Canadian Business Council on National Issues, whose CEOs pushed for free trade with the United States two decades ago, and that remain members of the since-renamed Canadian Council of Chief Executives, have cut jobs since even as their revenues have soared
USA : Combating China more vital than Peru FTA - AMTAC
"The illegal currency subsidies given by China to its manufacturing exporters dwarf the $9 billion in trade covered by the proposed Peru FTA. Rather than focusing on real trade problems, the House instead passed an FTA with a country that only could afford to buy 0.28 percent of U.S. exports in 2006,” American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition Executive Director Auggie Tantillo said
Japan, US business leaders call for 2009 start of free-trade talks
Japanese and US business leaders said Monday their governments should launch negotiations in 2009 to conclude an all-inclusive economic partnership agreement between the world’s two largest economies.
Retail revolution on hold
Indian protests against home-grown conglomerate are a sobering lesson for prospective foreign investors such as Thai retailers
Brazil, US executives seek to make up lost ground on trade
After the failure of talks on the Free Trade Area of the Americas and slow progress in advancing the Doha round agenda of the World Trade Organization, executives from Brazil and the US have decided to take the matter of improving trade relations between their countries into their own hands.
Development challenges of competition policy in the Economic Partnership Agreements
A brief critique of the EU’s proposal on Competition Policy in the EPAs.
Pacific: Getting the private sector in
This is the first time that members of the major business sector and representatives of private sector organisations from all 14 Pacific Forum Islands Countries will be coming together with regional ministers and senior policy officials to discuss major strategic business issues that face the region.
NEMA applauds signing of US free trade agreements with Panama and South Korea
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) congratulates US trade negotiators on this week’s signing of two important bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), and calls upon Congress to ratify the two FTAs as soon as possible.
Globalization and democracy: Some basics
With “free trade” agreements, giant transnationals are elevated above the sovereign powers of nation states, with all statutes and regulations that restrict private capital in any way made unlawful.