Regional investment treaties

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The Scorecard of the USMCA Protocol of Amendment

    The U.S. House of Representatives approved December 19 the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by an overwhelming margin of 385-41. The Senate is expected to do the same in mid-January. As everyone knows by now, USMCA is a revision and replacement for the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a regional trade agreement that has generated over $1.3 billion in annual goods and services trade among the three nations. USMCA mostly follows NAFTA but makes significant changes or additions inter aliain automotive rules of origin, investor-state dispute settlement, intellectual property protection, digital trade, “sunset” provisions and protection of labor rights and the environment. Whether USMCA overall is better or worse overall than the original NAFTA will not be fully clear until USMCA has been in force for some time, and different stakeholders (e.g., automotive producers versus labor unions, the United States v. Mexico) may vary in their assessments. What is perhaps most significant for the three NAFTA Parties and their stakeholders is that the USMCA assures that duty-free, quota-free…

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Remaking the World towards ‘Fair and Reciprocal Trade’? The Case for (More) Interdisciplinarity in International Economic Law

Geopolitical changes were on full display last week at multiple economic summits in Asia, where red carpet pageantry converged with the dramatic publicity of States brokering new deals at the regional meetings for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Viet Nam, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Heads of State Summit and the 12th…

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The Human Costs of Exiting Trade Agreements: The Right to Development in an Era of Policy Uncertainty

October 2017 has been a cliffhanger month for global policy uncertainty, especially highlighted by the mirroring acts of brinksmanship during intense trade negotiations on both sides of the Atlantic.  With the looming 29 March 2019 Brexit deadline, UK Prime Minister Theresa May surprised Brexit hardliners when she announced on 23 October that there will be no…

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The MERCOSUR Protocol on Investment Cooperation and Facilitation: regionalizing an innovative approach to investment agreements

The States Parties of the MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) signed in April 2017 the Protocol on Investment Cooperation and Facilitation (“MERCOSUR Protocol”). As discussed in this post, the Protocol draws significantly on the Brazilian model investment agreement (the Agreement on Cooperation and Facilitation of Investments – ACFI), which stands out for departing…

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