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Investment Rules and Human Rights

The MAI also would apply the principle of "Most Favored Nation" (MFN) treatment to investment rules, requiring equal treatment among all foreign investor and target countries. This would prevent governments from distinguishing between foreign investors or foreign investment targets based on countries' human rights, labor or other criteria.

It has been said that if the MAI had been law in the 1980s, Nelson Mandela would still be in jail. This is the case because the MAI would require revocation of investment boycotts or restrictions except those defensible under a narrow "essential security" exception. A paper now being prepared at the Harvard Law School describes in detail how the MAI would contradict many existing human rights treaties and ravage the enforceability of those rights.

    » trade | issues | mai | human rights

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