A bill to enable expedited consideration of President Obama’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will be delayed until April because of opposition from liberal Democrats and a few tea party Republicans.

The latest rallying cry for TPP foes is that it would allegedly threaten environmental and labor regulations, as well as U.S. sovereignty, for the benefit, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., noted recently, of “the biggest multinational corporations in the world.”

The supposed menace is the TPP’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism. It would permit companies to challenge unfair treatment by TPP governments in binding arbitration rather than an ordinary court.

The settlement provision would encourage the free flow of capital by protecting foreign investors from uncompensated abuses in countries where they are, as outsiders, disfavored in court – or in countries that may lack well-developed court systems at all.

Contrary to predictions that these processes are stacked in favor of multinationals, the U.N. reports that governments won 37 percent of cases and business only 25 percent; 28 percent were settled before the arbiters ruled.

Critics trumpet horror stories, but upon closer inspection, the horror stories generally turn out not to be so horrible. Take the oft-made accusation, repeated by Warren and others, that a French firm used the settlement provision to sue Egypt “because Egypt raised its minimum wage.”

Actually, Veolia of France invoked the provision to enforce a contract with the government of Alexandria, Egypt, that it says required compensation if costs rose. (The waste management company maintains that the wage increases triggered this provision.) Incidentally, Veolia was working with Alexandria on a project to reduce greenhouse gases. The case – which would result, at most, in a monetary award to Veolia, not the overthrow of the minimum wage – remains in litigation.

The TPP would not only increase economic activity, but also enhance geopolitical ties between the United States and its East Asian allies. No amount of alarmism should distract Congress from these benefits.