Report of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy Regarding the Model Bilateral Investment Treaty

In June 2009, the State Department and Office of the United States Trade Representative asked the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy to review the Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), the template document that the U.S. uses as a starting point when contemplating the negotiation of a new BIT. (BITs include rules similar to those in the investment chapters of U.S. trade agreements). IPS Global Economy Project Director Sarah Anderson participated in this subcommittee, which included representation from business, academia, labor, environmental groups and the legal profession.

Acknowledging the absence of significant consensus within this diverse group, the Subcommittee made the decision to both make recommendations and also expound on the various viewpoints. In addition to the Report on behalf of the whole, the particular viewpoints of several members of the Subcommittee are annexed to this report to provide a platform for the interests and suggestions that these individuals wished to bring to the attention of the administration.

IPS’s Anderson and eight other Subcommittee members produced a joint annex with recommendations for significant reforms aimed at:

  • making dispute settlement consistent with the public interest;
  • ensuring that foreign investors do not have greater rights than u.s. investors;
  • protecting health, safety, and the environment and promoting good jobs;
  • preventing and mitigating financial crisis; and
  • creating a level playing field between state-owned and private enterprises