Comments on the U.S. Model Bilateral Investment Treaty

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on the U.S. model bilateral investment treaty. As the Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, I have published several relevant reports, drawing on interviews with policymakers and legal experts, as well as individuals directly affected by investor-state cases in the United States and several other countries.1 My overall view is that significant reforms are needed to correct the current imbalance between the broad public interest and the interests of private foreign investors.

Through my participation in the Investment Subcommittee of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, I am collaborating with others to develop proposals for changes in many areas of the model treaty. These comments focus on one particular area — the provisions that restrict the use of capital controls. Particularly in light of the current global financial crisis, these provisions deserve much greater attention.

Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy project at the Institute for Policy Studies.