bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org 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


US pork industry counting on bilateral FTAs
The US pork industry has been restricted from exporting pork to the EU, the seocnd largest consumer group after China, through various tariff and non-tariff trade barriers that it wants to see eliminated
Impunity Inc.
Through three case studies, "Impunity Inc." aims to provide inputs for reflection on the “super-rights” and “super-powers” of transnational corporations.
US businesses launch coalition for fair trade with India
A new coalition of United States business groups, called the Alliance for Fair Trade with India, launched today to take aim against what they say are discriminatory trade practices in India against US exports.
Japanese gov’t seeks industry lobbies’ opinions on TPP
The Japanese government on Monday sought opinions of industry lobbies and organizations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations the country will join from next month.
Verizon sees “trade” deal as the next “Share everything” plan
This week, a Verizon representative speaking on a pro-TISA panel expressed the company’s hope that the “trade” deal can be used to keep privacy policies in check.
How popular resistance can defeat corporate power
Our first campaign as PopularResistance.org will be to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Companies weigh in ahead of talks on free trade agreement
Lobbying by EU and US companies is accelerating as the two continents prepare to negotiate on an agreement that will form the world’s largest free trade union.
Chevron calls for strong investor rights chapter in US-EU trade deal
US energy giant Chevron is encouraging the United States to pursue a strong investment chapter and investor-state dispute settlement process in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.
Global traders have opportunity to impact outcome of EU-US FTA negotiations
United States and European Union companies involved in cross-continent trade in services, importing and exporting have less than 30 days to take advantage of an opportunity to interject their specific trade "wish lists" into the upcoming free trade talks.
EU trade guilds call for EU-India FTA
Fifteen European business organizations issued a joint statement Friday, calling for both the European Union and India to speed up free trade agreement talks towards an ambitious trade agreement.