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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Rules Committee Rejects Pocan Amendment to Protect U.S. Sovereignty

Jun 11, 2015
Press Release
Amendment Would Have Stopped Allowing Companies to Challenge U.S. Laws Outside U.S. Courts

Washington, D.C - U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement after the House Rules Committee rejected his amendment, which would have prevented "Fast Track" authority from being used to pass trade deals which include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS provisions give foreign corporations a special right to sue a government when a law they deem could affect their business, such as protecting the environment or public health, hurts a firm’s current or expected profits.

 “Across party lines, people have a problem with America giving up their sovereignty and I am disappointed the Rules Committee has rejected my amendment aimed at safeguarding our sovereignty and rule of law.

“ISDS provisions allow multinational corporations to put investor protections and corporate profits ahead of the health and safety of the American people. Multinational corporations have gone to great lengths to ensure special ISDS provisions are included in the TPP because these rules are weighted so favorably towards them no matter what consumer or environmental protection stands in their way. 

“Ultimately ISDS provisions are just another reason why giving unilateral ‘Fast Track’ authority, which would apply to any trade deal for the next 6 years, is such a bad idea. It’s time we give up the failed trade policies of the past and adopt a new 21st century trade framework which will grow American jobs and protect U.S. consumers.” 

United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced the same amendment in the Senate version of the “Fast Track” authority bill. In February, Rep. Pocan also introduced H.R. 967Protecting America’s Sovereignty Act, legislation to prohibit investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in foreign trade agreements.