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Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Apr 2020

Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Comments to USTR Re: U.S.-Kenya Trade Agreement (April 28, 2020): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its approach to a U.S.-Kenya Trade Agreement, submitted Comments elaborating on our main points that (1) investor-state dispute settlement should not be included in any U.S.-Kenya agreement and (2) principles that should guide an investment chapter or investment provisions in any such agreement should (a) strategically support cross-border investment that produces positive development outcomes for the U.S. and Kenya, (b) facilitate and support good governance of investment ...


To Ab Or Not To Ab?: Dispute Settlement In Wto Reform, Bernard M. Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2020

To Ab Or Not To Ab?: Dispute Settlement In Wto Reform, Bernard M. Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Recent debates on the operation of the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism have focused primarily on the Appellate Body (AB). We argue that this neglects the first-order issue confronting the rules-based trading system: sustaining the principle of de-politicized conflict resolution that is reflected in the negative consensus rule for adoption of dispute settlement findings. Improving the quality of the work of panels by appointing a roster of full-time professional adjudicators, complemented by reforms to WTO working practices that reduce incentives to resort to formal dispute settlement, can resolve the main issues that led to the AB crisis. Effective, coherent, and ...


The Paradox Of Contracting In Markets, Robert E. Scott Jan 2020

The Paradox Of Contracting In Markets, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Traditional economic analysis distinguishes economic organization along three dimensions: firm, contract, and market. This categorization is misleading in any number of respects, but none more so than the assumption that contract and market are separate modes of exchange. In fact, other than barter, which is almost unknown in contemporary commercial transactions, every market transaction is implemented by contract. Thus, in markets the two modes of exchange are inextricably combined. Moreover, the vast majority of contract activity occurs in some form of market, so it does not require much loss of generalization to say that not only are contracts in all ...


Stakeholder Preferences And Priorities For The Next Wto Director General, Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Douglas Nelson, Robert Wolfe Jan 2020

Stakeholder Preferences And Priorities For The Next Wto Director General, Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Douglas Nelson, Robert Wolfe

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO is looking for a new Director-General (DG). What does the trade community think is needed? This paper reports on the results of an expert survey undertaken as part of a research project on global trade governance at the European University Institute to solicit views on what WTO members and the international trade community consider the most important attributes of candidates for the position, as well as views on the substantive policy and institutional reform priorities confronting the WTO – and thus the new DG. The results suggest strong support for someone with managerial and political experience, and a professional ...


Draft Text Providing For Transparency And Prohibiting Certain Forms Of Third-Party Funding In Investor–State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lorenzo Cotula, Jane Kelsey Jul 2019

Draft Text Providing For Transparency And Prohibiting Certain Forms Of Third-Party Funding In Investor–State Dispute Settlement, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lorenzo Cotula, Jane Kelsey

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Third-Party Rights In Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Options For Reform, Jesse Coleman, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger Jul 2019

Third-Party Rights In Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Options For Reform, Jesse Coleman, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Draft Treaty Language: Withdrawal Of Consent To Arbitrate And Termination Of International Investment Agreements, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson Jul 2019

Draft Treaty Language: Withdrawal Of Consent To Arbitrate And Termination Of International Investment Agreements, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently working on how to reform international investment treaties, focusing in particular on those treaties’ provisions enabling investors to sue governments in international arbitration. As an observer organization in this process, CCSI has emphasized that in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform, it is important to first consider what it is that investment treaties aim to achieve, and only then to consider what form(s) of dispute settlement will best advance those objectives. This means not only looking at reform of the existing ISDS mechanism, but also alternatives ...


Trade Openness And Antitrust Law, Anu Bradford, Adam S. Chilton Jan 2019

Trade Openness And Antitrust Law, Anu Bradford, Adam S. Chilton

Faculty Scholarship

Openness to international trade and adoption of antitrust laws can both curb anti-competitive behavior. But scholars have long debated the relationship between the two. Some argue that greater trade openness makes antitrust unnecessary, while others contend that antitrust laws are still needed to realize the benefits of trade liberalization. Data limitations have made this debate largely theoretical to date. We study the relationship between trade and antitrust empirically using new data on antitrust laws and enforcement activities. We find that trade openness and stringency of antitrust laws are positively correlated from 1950 to 2010 overall, but the positive correlation disappears ...


Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2017

Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Comments to USTR Re: Review of US Trade and Investment Agreements (July 17, 2017): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its performance review of US trade and investment agreements, submitted Comments that focused on the impact that investment protection provisions, enforceable through investor-state dispute settlement, have on rights-compliant, inclusive sustainable development within the United States and abroad.


Submission On The Draft General Comment On “State Obligations Under The Icescr In The Context Of Business Activities”, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jan 2017

Submission On The Draft General Comment On “State Obligations Under The Icescr In The Context Of Business Activities”, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In January 2017 CCSI made a submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, regarding its draft General Comment on “State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of Business Activities.” CCSI’s submission focused on: (1) host and home states’ obligations as they relate to international investment agreements (IIAs); (2) extraterritorial obligations in the context of outward investment; and (3) state obligations related to corruption issues.

In the submission, CCSI emphasized that states must ensure that existing treaties do not generate conflicts between obligations owed under IIAs and the Covenant ...


Space For Local Content Policies And Strategies, Lise Johnson Jul 2016

Space For Local Content Policies And Strategies, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper explores both the role that local content measures can play in advancing sustainable development, and the impact that trade and investment treaties concluded over the past 20 years have had and will continue to have on the ability of governments to employ those tools. Certain local content measures had been restricted under the WTO due to wide agreement by negotiating parties that their costs outweigh their benefits. But the WTO also left a number of local content measures in governments’ policy toolboxes. As is discussed in this paper, however, that is changing, with the range of permissible actions ...


The Tpp’S Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, A Flawed System, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs Nov 2015

The Tpp’S Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, A Flawed System, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

During the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, many stakeholders raised strong concerns about the Investment Chapter of the TPP, and in particular, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS). The US Trade Representative (USTR) and other representatives of the negotiating partners assured the stakeholders that the TPP’s investment chapter would respond to the legitimate concerns about expansive investor protections and ISDS. The actual text, however, when made public, showed the opposite: a further evisceration of the role of domestic policy, institutions, and constituents. In their current form, the TPP’s substantive investment protections and ISDS pose significant potential ...


From Sunshine To A Common Agent: The Evolving Understanding Of Transparency In The Wto, Petros C. Mavroidis, Robert Wolfe Jan 2015

From Sunshine To A Common Agent: The Evolving Understanding Of Transparency In The Wto, Petros C. Mavroidis, Robert Wolfe

Faculty Scholarship

Transparency obligations have undergone substantial transformations since the inception of the GATT in 1947. The paper begins by tracing the evolution of transparency principles during the WTO era. From an obligation to publish general laws affecting trade, the system now includes peer review by governments (monitoring and surveillance), and efforts to inform the public. The system is remarkable for what has been accomplished, but much remains to be done. Originally designed for a handful of developed countries, the system now provides an expanded knowledge base that benefits states, economic actors and citizens with inadequate resources to acquire information on their ...


The Anxiety Of Influence: The Evolving Regulation Of Lobbying, Richard Briffault Jan 2014

The Anxiety Of Influence: The Evolving Regulation Of Lobbying, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Lobbying has long been a source of anxiety. As early as the mid-nineteenth century courts expressed concern about the “designing and corrupt men” who sought to wield “secret influence.” Lobbying is a multi-billion dollar business today, but the association of “lobbying” with improper influence is so strong that the American League of Lobbyists – the lobbyists’ trade association – recently renamed itself to drop the word “lobbyist.” Yet, courts have also long recognized that people have a legitimate interest in being able to influence government action, and that they may need to be able to hire agents to help them, and since ...


Intra-African Investment – A Pressing Issue, Lise Johnson, Shawn Pelsinger Nov 2012

Intra-African Investment – A Pressing Issue, Lise Johnson, Shawn Pelsinger

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Intra-African investment is a critical source of growth for the continent, but is often overlooked. Africa Investor, together with the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, reveals intra-African foreign direct investment is a rapidly growing phenomenon.


The Permissible Reach Of National Environmental Policies, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2008

The Permissible Reach Of National Environmental Policies, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Trading nations exchange tariff concessions in the context of trade liberalizing rounds. Tariffs, nonetheless, are not the only instrument affecting the value of a concession. Domestic instruments affect it as well, but public order is not negotiable, and, consequently, is not scheduled. Public order is unilaterally defined, but must respect the default rules concerning allocation of jurisdiction which are common to all WTO Members and bind them by virtue of their appurtenance to the international community. In this paper, we focus on the interaction between trade and environment. The purpose of this study is to highlight how these rules and ...


International Antitrust Negotiations And The False Hope Of The Wto, Anu Bradford Jan 2007

International Antitrust Negotiations And The False Hope Of The Wto, Anu Bradford

Faculty Scholarship

Multinational corporations (“MNCs”) operate today in an increasingly open global trade environment. While tariff barriers have collapsed dramatically, several states and numerous scholars have raised concerns that the benefits of trade liberalization are undermined by various non-tariff barriers (“NTBs”) to trade, including the anticompetitive business practices of private enterprise. As a result, demands to link trade and antitrust policies more closely by extending the coverage of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) to incorporate antitrust law have gathered momentum over the last decade.


Trade, Law And Product Complexity, Katharina Pistor, Dan Berkowitz, Johannes Moenius Jan 2006

Trade, Law And Product Complexity, Katharina Pistor, Dan Berkowitz, Johannes Moenius

Faculty Scholarship

How does the quality of national institutions that enforce the rule of law influence international trade? Anderson and Marcouiller argue that bad institutions located in the importer’s country deter international trade because they enable economic predators to steal and extort rents at the importer’s border. We complement this research and show how good institutions located in the exporter’s country enhance international trade, in particular, trade in complex products whose characteristics are difficult to fully specify in a contract. We argue that both exporter and importer institutions affect international as well as domestic transaction costs in complex and ...


Trade, Law, And Product Complexity, Daniel Berkowitz, Johannes Moenius, Katharina Pistor Jan 2002

Trade, Law, And Product Complexity, Daniel Berkowitz, Johannes Moenius, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

How does the quality of national institutions that enforce the rule of law influence international trade? Anderson and Marcouiller (2001) argue that bad institutions located in the importer's country deter international trade because they enable economic predators to steal and extort rents at the importer's border. We complement this research and show how good institutions located in the exporter's country enhance international trade, in particular, trade in complex products whose characteristics are difficult to fully specify in a contract. We argue that both exporter and importer institutions impact international as well as domestic transaction costs in complex ...


Private Ownership And Corporate Performance: Some Lessons From Transition Economies, Roman Frydman, Cheryl W. Gray, Marek P. Hessel, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 1997

Private Ownership And Corporate Performance: Some Lessons From Transition Economies, Roman Frydman, Cheryl W. Gray, Marek P. Hessel, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

Data on mid-sized firms in three transition economies provide strong evidence that private ownership – for worker ownership – improves corporate performance. And the privatized firms' superior ability to generate revenues allows those firms to sustain or expand employment.

Using a large sample of data on mid-sized firms in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, Frydman, Gray, Hessel, and Rapacynski compare the performance of privatized and state firms in the environment of the postcommunist transition.

They find strong evidence that private ownership – for worker ownership – improves corporate performance. They find no evidence of the privatization shock that was supposed to afflict the ...