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The irony is that US courts often stand accused to favouring US corporations and dealing harshly with foreign own firms precisely because they are foreign owned. Trump's recent unevidenced assertions that Chinese firms must divest their US asset at knock down prices being another case in point. You can imagine Trump's outrage if a European country or court where to order (say) Facebook to sell off all their EU assets at knockdown prices to a European or Chinese competitor.

He was even threatening sanctions against France because it planned to introduce an across the board digital sales tax because it would disproportionately impact dominant US digital giants like Amazon even though it was only levelling the playing field between on-line and high street retailers who have to pay rates etc.

So I understand a certain logic to trying to ensure a level playing field for corporations of various nationalities in an open market. The alternate view is that if you want to sell into a market you must play by its rules and adjust your investment strategy to accordingly to take the risk of hostile court decisions into account.

But if you want to have supranational courts - indeed global courts - to regulate global corporations you have to be very clear as to what laws will be applied and how impartiality will be assured. You can't have one law and judicial process for global corporations and another for everyone else. Current political trends are all against globalism in any case and it is a valid political choice for a nation to decide what the rules should apply on its territory, even if that leads to reduced competition and productivity in some cases.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 18th, 2020 at 12:18:49 PM EST
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