The MAI can be a positive force for environmental and occupational health and safety. The United States has proposed a number of provisions to promote environmental protection and compliance with core labour standards. These provisions are intended to protect the ability of States to enact and implement laws and regulations to achieve these objectives. The MAI would not undermine a government`s power to regulate in general, including the protection of health, worker safety and the environment. We are also seeking specific language that would allow any Party, including the United States, to request consultations with any other MAI Party that is expected to lower core labour, environmental, health or safety standards to attract investment. Today, any nation that wants to respond to public demands to tackle widespread economic and social problems must do so in the context of massive international investment flows and increasingly uprooted companies and enterprises. Investment issues have attracted far less attention in the public, in the press and in politics than trade flows. any tax provision of a double taxation convention or any other international agreement or arrangement to which the Party is bound. Supporters of the MAI (such as the United States, Canada and several EU members) continue to promote similar investment provisions, such as the MAI, through regional trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties, bilateral free trade agreements and discussions within the World Trade Organization, which will be included in the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Before the end of 1998, the British Secretary of Commerce, Brian Wilson, began to announce that the investment negotiations could be transferred to the WTO. A Party shall not prejudice the operation, management, maintenance, use, enjoyment or sale of investments in its territory by investors of another Party by [inappropriate or discriminatory] [unreasonable and discriminatory] measures. The MAI would provide a comprehensive framework to combat foreign investment. It would allow countries to make derogations from certain MAI obligations (such as national treatment and most-favoured-nation treatment) in areas of particular political or economic sensitivity.
For example, the United States is working to ensure that U.S. obligations under the MAI do not go beyond those we already have in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the 31 bilateral investment treaties (IPTs) to which the United States is affiliated. In fact, many elements of the MAI are modelled on the provisions already contained in these elaborate agreements with the United States. . . .