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The MAI: A Charter for Corporations, a New Threat to the South

Since mid-1995, the trade ministries of the 'rich nations' club known as the OECD, have been negotiating an international treaty which will enormously strengthen the powers of foreign corporations and drastically curtail the right of host governments to regulate their operations. Although the treaty, called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)  is, at this stage, an OECD affair, once it is finalised and signed, it will be opened up for the countries of the South to add their signatures.

While some of the governments and NGOs in the South which viewed the MAI as another battering ram to open up their national economies to Northern corporations were the first to express concern at this treaty, the protests against it have now become worldwide. The realisation that it is a threat not only to the South but to communities and citizens everywhere has given rise to an international campaign against it. Click on the articles below for analyses of the issues involved.

 


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