Negotiated in secret for over two years, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) was a new international economic pact being negotiated at the OECD. Dubbed ‘NAFTA on steroids‘ by opponents, it’s purpose was to ease the movement of capital and production facilities, across international borders by restricting laws viewed as impediments to capital flow. Though based on the investment provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it significantly amplified these provisions and would have allowed foreign investors and corporations to directly sue governments.
Word of the negotiations was leaked in 1998. That October I interviewed Public Citizen‘s Global Trade Watch Deputy Director Margrete Strand Rangnes about the talks, what they meant and paths forward.