There has been concern that the new agreement could mean multinationals could block EU or national legislation which might challenge investment arrangements. In early March, De Gucht will publish a proposed EU text for the investment part of the talks. It will include sections on investment protection and on investor-to-state dispute settlement, according to the Commission. This draft text will then be open to public comment for three months. Karel De Gucht, European commissioner for trade, announced today (21 January) that EU negotiators will suspend one part of ongoing trade talks with the United States – a section dealing with investment rules – while the Commission conducts a three month long public consultation. “Some existing arrangements have caused problems in practice, allowing companies to exploit loopholes where the legal text has been vague,” said De Gucht. “I know some people in Europe have genuine concerns about this part of the EU-US deal. Now I want them to have their say.” Concerns have been raised by some governments and NGOs about a provision allowing investors to bring arbitration claims against a government. These rules are currently governed by a series of bilateral agreements between European countries and the United States.