The Country is Not for Sale: Economic Development & Trade Zones (ZEDEs) vs National Sovereignty

49m | May 12, 2023

EPISODE: The Country is Not for Sale-Economic Development & Employment Zones (ZEDEs) versus National Sovereignty

GUESTS: Beth Geglia, anthropology PhD, and Melinda St. Louis, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch


On May 3, Democratic U.S. lawmakers urged the U.S. Trade Representative and State Department to eliminate investor-state dispute settlement provisions from current and future trade deals and to intervene on behalf of Honduras against a U.S. company's nearly $11 billion claim against the country.

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Trade Representative Katherine Tai, 33 lawmakers said that investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) systems in trade deals constitute a "problematic corporate handout" that violates countries' sovereignty and democratic rights.

ISDS mechanisms enable multinational corporations to sue the governments of foreign trading partners for profits they claim have been forfeited as a result of domestic policies designed to protect workers, consumers, and ecosystems. Such lawsuits challenge meaningful labor, product safety, and environmental standards, and the mere threat of them can even preempt the enactment of robust regulations, placing ISDS at the heart of what critics have called neoliberal globalization's "race to the bottom."


Senator Warren, Representative Doggett Call for Elimination of Investor-State Dispute Settlement System, Action on Behalf of Honduran Government

Warren Leads Call to End Dispute System “Weaponized” by Corporations Amid Honduras Case

Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR)

Honduras Solidarity Network

Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)

 Latin America Working Group (LAWG)

Public Citizen/Global Trade Watch


WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean is a Popular Resistance broadcast in partnership with Black Alliance for Peace Haiti/Americas Team, CODEPINK, Common Frontiers, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Friends of Latin America, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, Massachusetts Peace Action and Task Force on the Americas.

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