USTR Says Dropping Investor Provision Dilutes EU Trade Pact

By Alex Lawson (October 31, 2014, 5:58 PM EDT) -- The top U.S. trade official on Thursday gave a firm endorsement for the inclusion of an increasingly controversial investment arbitration system in a trade agreement with the European Union, saying that eliminating the provision would weaken a pact that the partners see as a model for the rest of the globe.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said that he could not envision completing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks without including an investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, mechanism, which allows companies to arbitrate investment disputes directly against foreign governments.

"This is intended to be an agreement that's a model for...

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