Letter: How business rules the world

The usually dead right Neal Ascherson is dead wrong when he says that "Big business doesn't want to rule the world" (3 August). He obviously isn't watching the behind-closed-doors negotiations at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris of the 29 industrial nations concocting the Multilateral Agreement on Investment.

Among other things, the MAI will restrict what governments can do to regulate international investment and corporate behaviour. Investors will have complete freedom to move capital in and out of countries without being accountable to employees or communities. The MAI has no requirement that investors abide by international labour standards, human rights practices or environmental regulations. It prohibits "performance standards" for investors and marketing restrictions on dangerous products. And if an investor thinks it is being discriminated against by a signatory government, it can take that government to arbitration from which there is no appeal.

This is a definition of democracy being turned over to corporate tyranny and reveals multinationals in their rapacious, imperialistic essence.

Robert B Dennis

Dallas, Texas