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7 - International Investment Agreements

from Part III - Legal Frameworks, Rules and Conflicts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2023

Bryan Mercurio
Affiliation:
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
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Summary

Having clarified how capital movements are regulated at the multilateral level and explained how the multilateral framework translates to the bilateral or regional levels through FTAs, we now turn to the third level of regulation made available in an international law context – international investment agreements (IIAs). IIAs are critical to capital movements and capital flows in that they create a specific legal framework with substantive provisions aimed at protecting and promoting cross-border investors and investment. Like the previous chapter, this chapter refers extensively to the four representative comprehensive treaties – CPTPP, USMCA, RCEP and CETA. Where applicable, reference is made to other agreements, and in particular agreements negotiated by developing countries. The main conclusion of the chapter is that modern IIAs contain a wide range of safeguards and limitations which effectively allow host governments to put CFMs into place in circumstances of financial instability and financial duress. Moreover, the chapter also details how arbitral tribunals have narrowly interpreted state obligations and given substantial deference to host states when applying exceptions. That being said, treaties are drafted differently and the language, terms and choices made in drafting a treaty can significantly affect obligations and outcomes.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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