Selected Internet resources for information on the MAI

Complied and annotated by Derek Yap for the BCLA Information Policy Commitee

May 1998

MAI-not Project

http://mai.flora.org/

The MAI-not! Project mounted at Carlton University is one of the most important resources for information on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The site contains regular updates about the status of the MAI and the protest that is being mounted against it in Canada. Some features of the site include a MP survey, texts of the agreement from the OECD, links to organizations that are in opposition to the agreement, and links to an online library site. Outside of this main topic, the site also provides an excellent tutorial of advocacy towards government and politicians for a particular cause. A list of "pro" and "con" web sites is available at http://mai.flora.org/osites.htm.
 
 

Globalization and MAI Information Center

http://www.islandnet.com/~ncfs/maisite/
 
 

This site is tilted towards opposing the MAI, providing an overview of information available about the MAI, including letters, articles, and news releases supporting and opposing this agreement. Of interest is a complete address list of politicians in Canada and the United States. People who want access to primary documents can find a list of campaign letters and websites for and against the MAI, in which there are links to a fundraising letter to CEOs and to a letter calling for action by a trade union group.
 
 

Government departments and International agencies

OECD

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD is the source from which the main impetus for the development of the MAI has come.

http://www.oecd.org/daf/cmis/mai/maindex.htm

This is the official OECD site with new links to pages explaining the MAI in relation to labor regulations and environment, apparently in response to grassroots negative reaction to the agreement. There are also links to the actual text and a commentary that goes with it. Unfortunately, many texts on this site are readable only through Adobe Acrobat. In the Policy briefs section, there is a question and answer list, and there is a bibliography of further references and contacts available at  www.oecd.org/publications/Pol_brief/9702_pol.htm#11

Canada

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/english/trade/backgr-e.htm

This is the official website of the governmentís position on the MAI: why we need it, how itís good for us, and how it will not take away Canadian sovereignty and control in any way. This site allows for keyword searching of the documents on its site, and provides press releases and an answer sheet for questions being asked about the MAI.
 
 

Associations

Council of Canadians
http://www.canadians.org/

The Council of Canadians website is one unabashedly dedicated to fighting the MAI, with links to its campaign material and letters to government. Examples of media releases, joint NGO letters to the OECD, and a list of OECD countriesí reservations to the MAI is used to buttress their case. Following this is a link that leads people to various legal, environmental, and citizensí groups that are also against the MAI.
 
 

Appleton and Associates MAI page
http://www.appletonlaw.com/MAI/home.html

This is a website developed by an international law firm that delves into the legal language of the MAI. The firm translates it, using case law and precedent, to illustrate the ramifications of the MAI for governments, namely, that they would be directly responsible to investors through action in an international tribunal, with the MAI taking precedence over national laws, regulations, and policies.
 

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newst.html

This source provides four analyses of the impact the MAI may have on Canadian provincial and federal legislation, including an essay by Tony Clarke.

All of these analyses focus on the MAI as a codification of investor and multinational corporate rights superseding the rights of government to govern their countries.
 
 

Canadian Labour Congress
http://www.clc-ctc.ca/eng-index.html

This website is a collection of briefs and summaries, and includes a downloadable poster. The documents on this site describe the MAI as a threat to environmental and labor legislation in Canada, and encourages visitors to explore the OECD site to look at the MAI and all of the exemptions pending against it.
 
 

Online Library

"MAI? No thanks...!" On-Line Library

http://mai.flora.org/library/

http://www.geocities.com/athens/3565/

This is a website maintained by Hendrik Zimmerman which includes some texts of the MAI, many articles indexed by author and keyword, and a list archive. Subscription information to the mailing list is included. From here, there is a links page that directs people to organizations that oppose and support the MAI, and following there are links to websites that cover economics issues.

Videos

CBC
http://www.tv.cbc.ca/national/pgminfo/freetrade/index.html

The CBC has developed an excellent site that has put material on the US-Canada FTA, NAFTA, and MAI all in one place and includes video clips of John Turner and Brian Mulroney Ė in debate, and in reflection ten years later. There are links here to a discussion forum, the text of the MAI, and to various organizations, from the OECD to the Ralph Naderís Global Trade Watch that have information on or about the MAI. Full-text transcripts of The National that have covered the MAI are also accessible through an Excite search engine here at this site.
 

The MAI-not! Project Kit

http://mai.flora.org/mai-info/

This is an online kit that includes an overview of the agreement, some background and analysis articles, tips on creating and sending information and letters to politicians in North America, and quotes, reference, and a flyer that can be downloaded and printed for use.
 
 

Annotated Web Bibliography

MAI Websites Worldwide

http://news.flora.org/flora.mai-not/3264

"An Annotated listing:Prepared by Janet M. Eaton [jeaton@fox.nstn.ca] For the Nova Scotia Network for Creative Change Website and for the general use of Citizens and Groups everywhere."

This is a large collection of websites prepared by citizensí, cultural, labour, environmental, and governmental groups, most of which oppose the MAI. This is a great resource for anyone who wants to strengthen their arsenal of information to oppose any or all aspects of the MAI.
 
 

Conclusion

The Multilateral Agreement on Investment is a topic that has only fairly recently received any coverage; as a result, the Internet and current affairs resources are the most important ones for the moment. More detailed analyses in articles and books are now starting to appear and it is predicted many more will come out in the near future.
 
 

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