bilateral investment treaty

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pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

After 1990 or so, many developing nations signed “deep” agreements with advanced-technology nations—especially the United States, the European Union, and Japan. These new-style agreements are not deep in the “profound” sense of the word. They are deep in the sense that they affect matters deep inside national borders; they go way beyond tariff cutting. FIGURE 31: The explosion in Bilateral Investment Treaties from 1990. At about the time that developing nations started lowering their tariffs unilaterally, they also started signing “bilateral investment treaties.” These might be thought of as lopsided since they are basically a way of ensuring the property rights of foreign investors. Developing nations, however, came to see them as win-win. The investment-receiving nations—mostly developing nations—wanted to attract the jobs and factories that were being offshored as part of globalization’s second unbundling.

For almost all developing nations, the balancing of these pros and cons produced regulation of FDI. Often the rules were explicitly anti-FDI. Mexico, for example, had a whole raft of regulations aimed at thwarting efforts of U.S. companies to buy Mexican companies or set up companies in Mexico that would compete with native firms. This attitude changed radically in the late 1980s. The evidence comes in the form of international agreements known as bilateral investment treaties (BITs). These are, in essence, concessions to rich-nation firms seeking to invest in the developing nation that signs the BIT. The concessions come in the form of disciplines that govern interactions between private foreign investors and host governments. For the most part, the provisions in these agreements constrain the developing nation’s sovereignty. For example, most BITs limit the developing nation’s ability to impose controls on capital flows so investing firms can get money in or out of the nation freely.

With these points in mind, it is easy to understand the radical change in the attitudes of developing nations toward trade liberalization and pro-investment, pro-services, pro-intellectual property rights (IPR) reforms. It is also easy to understand why the policy changes were synchronous with the changes in manufacturing and trade. The second unbundling drove all of them. More specifically, bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and deep bilateral regional trade agreements (RTAs) were signed with advanced-technology nations to provide the assurances. Interestingly, many developing nations embraced these disciplines but few saw a takeoff in their global value chain participation. This is a classic outcome of misthinking globalization—in particular it is misthinking the role of distance when it comes to face-to-face costs (that is, today’s binding constraint).


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Global Investment, American Rules “Although trade and investment issues converged in the WTO, the complexities of international rule-making in relation to property rights limited the possibility of reaching investment agreements through multilateral trade negotiations, even though it was clear to all involved that foreign investor rights to securing “market presence—a firm foothold within states—is a constituent element of real freedom of trade.”32 The development of the rule of law in relation to investor rights instead proceeded through Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Although these were more limited, they did cumulatively establish a new international legal framework. Especially important in this respect was the initiation by the US in 1977 of a bilateral investment treaty program, the central goal of which was firmly to establish in international law “the principle that the expropriation of foreign investment was unlawful unless accompanied by prompt, adequate and effective compensation.”33 This program was carefully designed to establish codified state commitments to specific standards of investment protection, and binding “depoliticized” quasi-juridical dispute-resolution procedures.

Not surprisingly, serious assessments of the World Bank’s projects of legal reform in several countries showed a high rate of failure. See Kapur and Webb, Governance-Related Conditionalities, p. 11. 84 Quoted in James, “From Grandmotherliness to Governance,” p. 46. 85 UNCTAD, Bilateral Investment Treaties 1959–1999, Geneva: United Nations, 2000, Figure 1; and UNCTAD Press Release, “Foreign Direct Investment on the Rise,” February 9, 1998. A complete BIT database is available at icsid.worldbank.org. See also the useful overview by Mary Hallward-Driemeier, “Do Bilateral Investment Treaties Attract FDI?” World Bank, Working Paper 3121, August 2003; and Simone Ptillo and Muao F. Guillen, “Globalization Pressures and the State: The Worldwide Spread of Central Bank Independence,” American Journal of Sociology 110: 6 (May 2005), pp. 1,770–1. 86 Lawrence Summers, “Go with the Flow,” Financial Times, March 11, 1998. 10.

Consolidating Capitalism and Containing Crises The extension of capitalism as a global project through the final quarter of the twentieth century was intimately related to the development of the new mechanisms of international coordination sponsored by the renewed American empire. As Chapter 9 shows, the practice of neoliberalism reinforced the material and ideological conditions for international legal rules guaranteeing free trade and for the national treatment for foreign capital in each social formation. This was exemplified by NAFTA, European Economic and Monetary Union, and the WTO, as well as by the bilateral investment treaties promoted by the US Trade Representative. In addition to the G7’s role in forging a consensus first among finance ministries and then among heads of state, the Bank for International Settlements re-emerged as the major coordinating agency for central bankers, while the IMF became the vehicle for imposing neoliberal “structural adjustments” on Third World economies. None of this could, in fact, go very far, or be very stable, without a much deeper process of capitalist state-building, or what the World Bank called developing “effective states.”47 Moreover, far from neoliberal legal rules finally creating a crisis-free world order, as the proponents of free trade promised, periodic interruptions in accumulation now more than ever took place on a global plane.


pages: 316 words: 117,228

The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Wolfgang Streeck

However, the convention still counts 154 states as its members.63 The third piece of the puzzle is the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.64 It incorporates the ground rules of international law, building on centuries of international practice, and stipulates what an international convention or treaty is, how it is adopted, when it enters into force, and what rights and obligations states assume once they have ratified such an instrument.65 The provision of greatest interest for investors that find themselves engulfed in disputes with sovereign states is Article 27; it holds that a state cannot invoke its own “internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.” In plain English, the rights that arbitral tribunals fashion from the thin language of bilateral investment treaties supersede domestic law, including a country’s constitution. Again, it seems puzzling that sovereign states would sign up for this, but until the introduction of ISDS in bilateral investment treaties, international law was enforced by international courts or by arbitration between two sovereign states; disputes at this level are rare, as most conflicts are resolved through diplomacy, but private parties have proven much less constrained. Fast forward 40 years, with more than three thousand bilateral investment treaties in place and more than eight hundred stateinvestor disputes brought, and we can see how the puzzle comes together into a powerful picture.

States have harmonized some aspects of intellectual property rights in international treaty law, TRIPS for example, but many details still remain in the hands of individual sovereign states. Despite their resistance to divest control over property rights, states ended up giving away more than they may have intended. They have done so not through legal harmonization of substantive law or even of conflict-of-law rules, but by signing on to regional or bilateral investment treaties. These treaties rarely talk about property rights and instead focus on the investments made by foreign investors and their protection in the host state. Investments can take any form, from entering into contracts, licenses, concessions, all the way to ownership of shares or real property. The Trojan horse in these treaties is a dispute settlement mechanism that goes by the acronym ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement).

If a foreign investor believes that his “investments” have been infringed by a host state, it can lodge a complaint with an arbitral tribunal and seek compensation for damages. Unlike victims of human rights violations, 140 c h a P te r 6 investors do not have to seek remedies in a domestic court first; they can go straight to a tribunal outside the territory of the host state they are suing.21 Similar enforcement mechanisms by private parties against host states have been built into more than three thousand bilateral investment treaties (BITs). More than eight hundred cases alleging infringements of investments have been filed over the past three decades, with a total of $522 million in damages paid out, or about 40 percent of the sums demanded.22 Investors don’t always win; states do so in at least one-third of the cases, with the remaining cases being either settled (typically without disclosure about the terms of the settlements) or decided in favor of the investor.


Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mercator projection, Mont Pelerin Society, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Pearl River Delta, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, quantitative easing, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, statistical model, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

The Bretton Woods system devised in 1944 offered scarce hope to neoliberals that it would function as a guardian of the world economy. The United Nations’ solution to the end of empire—­granting votes to the proliferating nations of the non-­European world—­t hreatened the balance between dominium and imperium. Working again with the ICC, neoliberals helped craft a universal investment code and bilateral investment treaties that they hoped would safeguard capital in “a world of rights” (Chapter 4). The need to defend the world economy led some neoliberals to seemingly illiberal bedfellows. The case of Augusto Pinochet’s Chile is notorious; the neoliberal relationship to apartheid South Africa is less well studied. ­Here we encounter a split in the Geneva School. Almost all of the neoliberals discussed h ­ ere rejected race as a category of analy­sis, especially ­a fter 1945, but Wilhelm Röpke is con­spic­u­ous for his belief that defending the world economy meant defending Western Christian—­a nd Caucasian—­princi­ples against what fellow neoliberal William H.

He suggested that bilateral treaties might be used instead.114 From the beginning the ICC had indicated that a universal code was preferable, but their document would also work as the basis for bilateral relationships.115 In fact, the Montreux Congress had also produced a Model Bilateral Agreement drawing on interwar templates.116 Heilperin himself announced the failure of the “ ‘universalist approach’ to the prob­ lems of restoring the world economy to its former health.”117 When a second edition of his 1947 book The Trade of Nations came out in 1952, he stated that his opinion had moved in the intervening years to the quality of the bilateral treaty. State-­to-­state treaties ­were indeed much more the norm, including the Freedom of Commerce and Navigation treaties that the U.S. used up u ­ ntil the 1980s.118 The Bilateral Investment Treaty ended up offering the path that investor rights took from utopia to real­ity. ­Here, too, t­ here was an MPS story. In 1959 the New York Times reported that Pakistan had “embarked upon a radical program of economic rehabilitation charted by the men ­behind West Germany’s remarkable postwar recovery.” Ludwig Erhard, economics minister for West Germany and MPS member, visited Pakistan in late 1958, and his policy advice was ­adopted “in toto” by General A W o r l d of Rights 143 Mohammad Ayub Khan a­ fter his seizure of power in a coup.

The advice was to halt the country’s industrialization campaign and to focus on agriculture to start an “all out export drive” on food crops.119 In 1959 Egon Sohmen, another MPS member, referred in the leading American economics journal to Pakistan’s “thoroughgoing reappraisal of its development planning along neoliberal lines.”120 The strategy was consistent with the development discourse in the MPS, which criticized a potential “overindustrialization” of the periphery and encouraged the Global South to keep its place in the international division of l­abor through agricultural production.121 Part of Pakistan’s reform was the signing of what became the template for all f­uture bilateral investment treaties. Signed by the West German and Pakistani governments in November 1959, Erhard submitted the “Treaty for the Promotion and Protection of Investments” to the Bundestag in 1961.122 The treaty took language straight from the ICC Code and the Abs-­Shawcross Draft, including the provision on compensation in the alien’s home currency and the expanded definition of “nationals” to include “any other com­pany or association, with or without ­legal personality.”123 Where the universal approach had failed, the par­tic­u­lar approach succeeded, bringing the seemingly radical conditions of international investor protection into binding law. ) ) ) Hayek began one of his books by comparing the law to a knife.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The Uruguay Round of trade negotiations that began in 1986 extended the scope of trade talks beyond tariff cutting to non-tariff barriers such as product health and safety rules, liberalisation of services and protection of intellectual property. These accords came into force in 1995 alongside the creation of the WTO. Although there has been no comprehensive multilateral agreement since then – the Doha Round launched in 2001 having run into the sand – there have been more than ten regional deals a year, on average, over that time.35 But trade deals are far outnumbered by bilateral investment treaties (BITs), part of a murky legalistic system creating a straitjacket favouring commercial interests. Some countries have hundreds of BITs. By the end of 2015, the USA had concluded twenty bilateral free trade agreements, nearly fifty BITs and sixty-five other investment accords with individual countries or groups of countries, and was hoping to conclude BITs with India and China. It was in negotiation with the EU on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and had just finalised lengthy negotiations on the mammoth Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a far-reaching and controversial accord with Canada and ten Asian and Latin American countries accounting for 40 per cent of world output and a third of world trade.

The crisis resulted from the government’s adoption in 1991 of a liberalisation programme recommended by the IMF and World Bank; this involved substantial privatisations, which included guarantees and benefits for licensee foreign companies. When the economy crashed, the governments that followed (there were five presidents in ten days) introduced emergency measures, again under advice from the international financial agencies. These measures led to a spate of demands by foreign companies for compensation, based on the numerous bilateral investment treaties Argentina had been induced to sign in the 1990s. Between 2001 and 2012, fifty cases were brought for claims totalling $80 billion, 13 per cent of Argentina’s GDP.49 Of the twenty-seven cases stemming from the emergency measures, 30 per cent were settled out of court, 44 per cent resulted in a condemnatory award in favour of the corporation, and just 15 per cent ended up in complete favour of Argentina.

INDEX A Mechanical Age 1 Abbott, Arnold 1 AET (Academy Enterprise Trust) 1 agnotology 1 Airbnb 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Alaska Permanent Fund 1 Allergan 1 allotments 1 Alperovitz, Gar 1 Altman, Sam 1 Amazon 1, 2, 3, 4 American Medical Association 1, 2 Amey 1 AMT (Amazon Mechanical Turk) 1, 2 Apple 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Arab Spring 1, 2 ASBOs (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) 1 ASMS (Association of Salaried Medical Specialists) 1 Astor, Lord 1 Atkinson, Tony 1, 2, 3 Atlas Network 1 Auboin, Roger 1 austerity 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 automation 1, 2 Axelrod, David 1 Bahramipour, Bob 1 ‘bailouts’ 1, 2 Baker, Howard 1 Baker, Philip 1 Ballmer, Steve 1 Banco Espírito Santo 1 Bank of America 1, 2 Bank of England 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Bank of Japan 1 banking systems and austerity 1 ‘bailouts’ 1, 2 and British Disease 1 and debt 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and democracy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and ‘helicopter money’ 1 independence of central banks 1, 2 quantitative easing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and rise of rentiers 1 trade and investment treaties 1 Barclay, David 1 Barclay, Frederick 1 basic income systems 1 Bayh–Dole Act (1980) 1 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) 1, 2 Benyon, Richard 1 BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) 1 Bernanke, Ben 1 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) 1, 2 Berners-Lee, Tim 1, 2 Bernstein, Michael 1 Beveridge, William 1 BIEN (Basic Income European (later ‘Earth’) Network) 1 Bieńkowska, Elżbieta 1 Biewald, Lukas 1 Big Bang (1986) 1 Bilderberg Group 1 Billionaires Report (2015) 1 BIS (Bank for International Settlements) 1 BITs (bilateral investment treaties) 1 BlaBlaCar 1 BlackRock 1 Blair, Cherie 1 Blair, Tony 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 BNP Paribas 1 Born This Way foundation 1 Boston Tea Party 1 Bourdieu, Pierre 1 branding 1 Bretton Woods system 1, 2, 3 ‘Brexit’ debate/campaign 1, 2 Bridgepoint Capital 1, 2 British Disease 1, 2 British Rail 1 Broadbent, Ben 1 Brown, Gordon 1, 2, 3, 4 Brzezinski, Zbigniew 1 Buffett, Warren 1, 2 ‘build-to-rent’ projects 1 Burke, Edmund 1 Burns, Arthur 1 bus services 1 Bush, George H.


pages: 356 words: 103,944

The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy by Dani Rodrik

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, George Akerlof, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, night-watchman state, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, savings glut, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey

As I will argue later, international rules can and should require certain procedural safeguards for domestic regulatory proceedings (such as transparency, broad representation, and scientific input) in accord with democratic practices. The trouble occurs when international tribunals contradict domestic proceedings on substantive matters (in the beef case, how to trade off economic benefits against uncertain health risks). In this instance, trade rules clearly trumped democratic decision making within the European Union. “Regulatory takings.” There are thousands of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and hundreds of bilateral or regional trade agreements (RTAs) currently in force. Governments use them to promote trade and investment links in ways that go beyond what the WTO and other multilateral arrangements permit. A key objective is to provide a higher level of security to foreign investors by undertaking stronger external commitments. BITs and RTAs usually allow foreign investors to sue host governments in an international tribunal for damages when new domestic regulations have adverse effects on the investors’ profits.

The same year, a U.S. chemical company challenged a Canadian ban on a gasoline additive and received $13 million in a settlement.13 Perhaps the most worrying case to date involves a suit brought against the South African government in 2007 by three Italian mining companies. The companies charge that South Africa’s affirmative action program, called Black Economic Empowerment, violates the rights provided to them under existing bilateral investment treaties. The program aims to reverse South Africa’s long history of racial discrimination and is an integral element in the country’s democratic transition. It requires that mining companies alter their employment practices and sell a minority share to black partners. The Italian companies have asked for $350 million in return for what they assert is an expropriation of their South African operations.14 If they win, they will have achieved an outcome beyond the reach of any domestic investor.


pages: 501 words: 134,867

A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice by Tony Weis, Joshua Kahn Russell

addicted to oil, Bakken shale, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial exploitation, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, global village, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, LNG terminal, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, race to the bottom, smart grid, special economic zone, WikiLeaks, working poor

A campaign suggesting that Stephen Harper is suddenly “selling Canada” to China hides this history. The links between modern free trade agreements, North American fossil fuel export pipelines, and the history of colonization must be made visible. Some of this analysis can be found in a publication entitled Colonization Redux: New Agreements, Old Games, which argues that “while some may see the bewildering proliferation of bilateral FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) and BITs (Bilateral Investment Treaties) throughout the world as a relatively new phenomenon,” in fact this mania “has deep roots,” which “lie in a long history of colonial exploitation, capitalism and imperialism. The classic colonial state was structured for the exploitation and extraction of resources.”11 An Alternative Approach Considering the limitations of previous campaigns against the FIPA with China can help us to achieve more effective analysis and resistance in the future.

See Enbridge Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, 116 Alberta Enterprise Group, 40 Alberta Federation of Labour, 14, 86 “Alberta is Energy” campaign, 37–38 Alberta Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO), 46–47 Alberta Taciuk Process (ATP), 108 Albright, Adam, 53 Alfred, Taiaiake, 259 Algeria, oil imports from, 31 Aliceville (Alabama), 182 alienation, 255, 299 Altvater, Elmar, 24, 25, 35 Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), 220 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), 218–21; Center for Green Jobs, 219; Energy Task Force, 218 American Petroleum Institute, 60, 221 Americans for Prosperity, 282 ammonia, 182 Amos, Chief Henry (Gupsalupus), 155–56 Anishinaabe people, 17, 231, 253; worldview of, 237–38 Anonymous Collective, 164 anti-apartheid campaign, 290–91 anti-Asian attitudes, 92–93, 98 anti-capitalism, 69, 75, 263, 273, 311 anti-Chinese racism, 96, 98 anti-colonialism, 75, 244, 246, 259, 260–63, 265, 269, 275, 352n9 Anticosti Island, 82 anti-environmental lobbying, 282, 351n8 anti–fossil fuel campaigns, 309 anti-globalization, 96, 169 anti-nuclear movement, 81, 169, 319 anti-oppression, 244, 246, 263, 343n6 anti-pollution rules, 318 anti-racism, 244, 246, 261, 265 anti-sexism, 261 anti–shale gas movement, 82 anti-systemic escalation, 294–95 anti–wind turbine campaigns, 69 Apollo Alliance, 243, 245 Arctic, exploration and drilling in, 29, 31, 308, 315 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 242 Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 280 Assembly of First Nations, 69 asthma, 116 asymmetry, grappling with, 287–89 Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), 12, 18, 208–9, 211, 254, 271, 275 Athabasca River Basin, 5, 8–10, 15, 17, 32, 230; First Nations of, 12, 13, 16, 237 Attawapiskat, diamond mining in, 125 Australia, oil shale exploration and experimentation in, 100 Avatar, 249–50, 323n14 Baird, John, 62 Baker Estates (Michigan), 198, 200–201 Barlow, Maude, 94, 170, 323n14 Bass, Rick, 283 Bateman, Kenneth, 149 Bay of Fundy, toxic threats to, 78 Bayou Corner (Louisiana), sinkhole in, 182 Beaver Lake Cree, 18, 119–24, 271, 274 Bentley, Robert, 183 benzene, 10, 135, 182, 197, 202 Bernard, Elaine, 97 Berry, Thomas, 239 Berry, Wendell, 170 Bhutan: Gross National Happiness Index, 238 Big Greens, 168 Big Oil, 49, 53, 70, 72, 119, 123, 126, 240, 242–47 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), 97 bioaccumulation, 9 Bishop, Mike, 192 bitumen, 4–7, 9, 15–17, 20, 46, 77, 117, 119, 152, 162, 167, 179, 206, 247, 253–54, 269–70, 281, 287, 291–93, 305, 310, 312, 314; in Chemical Valley, 135–37, 139–40; cleanup of, 198; diluted (“dilbit”), 137, 146, 183, 195–99, 202, 205, 232, 236, 254, 302; environmental and health risks of mining, transporting, and refining of, 10–12; extraction of, 8–9, 51–52, 95, 100–103, 120, 129, 142; and Gulf Coast, 182–83; in Kalamazoo, 195–206; in Madagascar, 104–5; as nationalized resource in Venezuela, 102; and Northern Gateway project, 146–47, 149–50, 152; refining of, 8, 79; toxic, 78; in Trinidad and Tobago, 103; as “ultra-heavy” oil, 101 Bitumen—Adding Value conference, 134–35, 143 Bitumen: Canada’s National Disaster demonstration, 135 Blackheath Camp for Climate Action, 208 Blaney, Ta’Kaiya, 164 Bloch, Ernst: The Principle of Hope, 320 blockades, 80, 114, 143–44, 157–58, 189, 288, 293; as direct action, 343n2 (ch.17).


pages: 233 words: 64,702

China's Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business by Edward Tse

3D printing, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, bilateral investment treaty, business process, capital controls, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, experimental economics, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Lyft, money market fund, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, reshoring, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, wealth creators, working-age population

This is a world that will be even more interconnected than it is now—and its entrepreneurs will want it that way. To avoid any serious backlash, greater policy cooperation will be needed between China and the United States, and possibly, though to a lesser extent, Europe. For China, the big question will be whether to open its investment doors further. Currently, China and the United States are in the early stages of negotiating a bilateral investment treaty that could have as great an impact on investment as China’s World Trade Organization entry. Making this transition will be a challenge. China has long resisted attempts by outside companies or countries to control fully the way they operate within its markets. For example, the Chinese government still wants to retain its “negative” investment list, a list of sectors and industries from which it bars or strictly restricts overseas investment such as finance, Internet, and telecom services.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, UNCLOS, working poor

In addition, several European think tanks reported that China was engaged in hacking and other cyber-activities to influence politics in Europe. The European Commission paper reserved its toughest criticism for China’s attitude toward Europe on trade and investment. The Commission demanded that China “deliver” on its past commitments to curtail industrial subsidies as prescribed by the World Trade Organization and to complete a bilateral investment treaty with the European Union by 2020. The negotiations had dragged on for seven years, and the EU was concerned that China was trying to delay any deal as long as possible. Finally, the Commission urged member governments to follow a ten-point plan that would coordinate policies within the European Union “in order to exert more leverage in pursuit of its objectives.” Only by taking a unified approach, it concluded, could European governments hope to achieve reciprocal access to the Chinese market and persuade Beijing to remove huge subsidies for local companies and cumbersome restrictions on foreign firms.


Culture Shock! Costa Rica 30th Anniversary Edition by Claire Wallerstein

anti-communist, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, card file, fixed income, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, out of africa, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl

Despite local opposition, Costa Rica has worked (through the urgent need to tackle its massive internal debt) to open up its traditionally protectionist economy to foreign investment and competition. It is a signatory to many regional and international trade agreements, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Association of Caribbean States. It has been granted preferential conditions in the USA and Europe, and has signed bilateral trade agreements with several countries in the region. It also has bilateral investment treaties with many countries (mostly European). The ratification of CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Association) in 2007 has prompted the liberalisation of Costa Rica’s agriculture and other export sectors, services, intellectual property, labour laws and areas involving natural resources. Resistance to the free trade deal with the United States was high in Costa Rica, as in many other countries in the region.


pages: 334 words: 82,041

How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature by George Monbiot

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, dematerialisation, demographic transition, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, land reform, land value tax, market fundamentalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, peak oil, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, urban sprawl, wealth creators, World Values Survey

Bombing’, haaretz.com. 17Paul Sperry, 15 December 2013, ‘Inside the Saudi 9/11 Coverup’, nypost.com. 18Guardian, ‘The BAE Files (series)’, theguardian.com. 19David Leigh and Rob Evans, 5 February 2010, ‘BAE and the Saudis: How Secret Cash Payments Oiled £43bn Arms Deal’, theguardian.com. 20Andrew Bousfield and Richard Brooks, 19 September 2014, ‘Shady Arabia and the Desert Fix’, Private Eye. 44. A Global Ban on Leftwing Politics 1David Cameron, 23 January 2013, ‘EU speech at Bloomberg’, gov.uk. 2George Monbiot, 14 October 2013, ‘From Obamacare to Trade, Superversion Not Subversion Is the New and Very Real Threat to the State’, theguardian.com. 3McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, ‘Philip Morris Asia Challenge under Australia–Hong Kong Bilateral Investment Treaty’, mccabecentre.org. 4Corporate Europe Observatory, 3 June 2013, ‘A Transatlantic Corporate Bill of Rights’, corporateeurope.org. 5Thomas McDonagh, 2013, Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar, The Democracy Center, democracyctr.org. 6Glyn Moody, 23 July 2013, ‘Eli Lilly Raises Stakes: Says Canada Now Owes It $500 Million for Not Granting a Patent It Wanted’, techidirt.com. 7McDonagh, Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar; Public Citizen, March 2013, ‘U.S.


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Attempts to attract global capital can result in national tax authorities indulging in a corporation tax ‘race to the bottom’: indeed, corporate tax rates have plunged since the early 1980s.6 Accepting the strictures of the World Trade Organization may only preserve a decidedly skewed playing field, preventing today’s poor countries from using techniques employed by others in the past to foster economic progress. Without the use of protectionist measures to nurture infant industries, for example, it is unlikely that the nineteenth-century US economy or the East Asian economies of the late twentieth century would have made significant gains. Signing up to bilateral investment treaties might seem like a good way of attracting much-needed foreign investment into a country; but in the event that something goes wrong, whom does the treaty protect and who is left to pay the bill? UNSTABLE BORDERS All these are common criticisms of globalization in a world of nation states. Indeed, Dani Rodrik has suggested that they represent facets of what is ultimately a globalization ‘trilemma’.


pages: 334 words: 98,950

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

Through the World Trade Organisation, they have introduced the TRIMS (Trade-related Investment Measures) Agreement, which bans things like local content requirements, export requirements or foreign exchange balancing requirements. They have been pushing for further liberalization through the current GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) negotiations and a proposed investment agreement at the World Trade Organisation. Bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between rich and poor countries also restrict the ability of developing countries to regulate FDI.53 Forget history, say the Bad Samaritans in defending such actions. Even if it did have some merits in the past, they argue, regulation of foreign investment has become unnecessary and futile, thanks to globalization, which has created a new ‘borderless world’. They argue that the ‘death of distance’ due to developments in communications and transportation technologies has made firms more and more mobile and thus stateless – they are not attached to their home countries any more.


pages: 347 words: 99,317

Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and the Threat to Global Prosperity by Ha-Joon Chang

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

Through the World Trade Organisation, they have introduced the TRIMS (Trade-related Investment Measures) Agreement, which bans things like local content requirements, export requirements or foreign exchange balancing requirements. They have been pushing for further liberalization through the current GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) negotiations and a proposed investment agreement at the World Trade Organisation. Bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between rich and poor countries also restrict the ability of developing countries to regulate FDI.53 Forget history, say the Bad Samaritans in defending such actions. Even if it did have some merits in the past, they argue, regulation of foreign investment has become unnecessary and futile, thanks to globalization, which has created a new ‘borderless world’. They argue that the ‘death of distance’ due to developments in communications and transportation technologies has made firms more and more mobile and thus stateless – they are not attached to their home countries any more.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

Countries have also demanded that TNC subsidiaries buy certain proportions of inputs locally (known as the local contents requirement).19 Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China have been particularly successful with these regulatory measures – they allowed, or even welcomed in some sectors, FDI but put in all those measures to ensure that the benefits were maximized while the costs were minimized. However, using the WTO agreement (known as the TRIMS agreement, or the Trade-related Investment Measures agreement), bilateral free-trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs), the rich countries (including Japan, which used to regulate FDI most severely in the world) have made a number of these regulations, such as the local contents requirement, ‘illegal’.20 The success with all those regulations in countries such as Japan and China does not mean that ‘stick’ is the only way to manage FDI. Some other countries, such as Singapore and Ireland, have used ‘carrot’ in order to attract FDI into areas that they think are important for their national economic development.21 Their ‘carrots’ included subsidies for TNCs making investment in ‘priority’ sectors, provision of custom-made infrastructure and production of engineers and skilled workers needed in particular industries.


pages: 408 words: 108,985

Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, deindustrialization, discovery of DNA, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, mini-job, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open economy, patent troll, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, zero-sum game

. ** As we noted in Chapter 6, though we often think of these as “offshore financial centers,” some jurisdictions in the United States (Nevada, Delaware) and the City of London have also profited from these nefarious activities. †† According to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, around 60 percent of completed ISDS cases favored investors while only 40 percent favored governments. ‡‡ While similar provisions existed in some 1,400 bilateral investment treaties, the new agreements mark the first time these provisions fall under an EU-level trade deal with application to all economic sectors. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, which was signed in 2017, embraces ISDS, but with judges chosen from a permanent 15-member tribunal. It has made other improvements, for instance in adopting UNCITRAL (UN Commission on International Trade Law) rules on transparency, but in other ways, the standard criticisms of investment agreements still apply.


Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, means of production, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, purchasing power parity, remote working, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

Capital-exporting nations either conquered other countries or made sure that they controlled the economic policy of quasi-colonies so that places like China, Egypt, Tunisia, and Venezuela had no choice but to protect the property rights of foreigners.11 The same role that colonialism played then, more brutally, is played today by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, hundreds of bilateral investment treaties, and other global governance bodies: they are the guardians against nationalization and the abuse of foreign property. In that respect, globalization has created its own governance structure. Global value chains have redefined economic development. It was argued in the past that the participation of developing countries in the international division of labor was inimical to their development in at least three ways and would lead to the “development of underdevelopment,” as André Gunder Frank termed it in an influential article published in 1966.


pages: 474 words: 120,801

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

It was a state-led, socialist dream, and the kind of investment now flourishing is quite different from what it imagined. Nevertheless, South-South investment is today one of the shaping trends of global business.52 United Nations data show that outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from developing and transition economies began to outpace OFDI from rich countries in 2003. Twenty of the fifty-four bilateral investment treaties signed in 2010 were between developing countries, and they increased further in importance, both as recipients of FDI and as outward investors. Foreign direct investment outflows from developing countries reached an unprecedented 29 percent of total direct investment flows in 2010, and this strong growth continued in 2011 and 2012 despite global economic woes.53 The number of developing-country firms in the league tables of the world’s largest companies is continually growing.


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

After a Bolivian army captain was televised shooting his rifle at a crowd of chanting demonstrators, wounding several and killing a seventeen-year-old boy, crowds erupted in anger. Aguas del Tunari officials were forced to flee Cochabamba. Banzer used this as a pretext to declare that the company had “abandoned” its lease and revoke its $200 million contract. Bechtel responded by filing a $25 million lawsuit with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an appellate arm of the World Bank, for “lost profits under a bilateral investment treaty.” In 2003, Banzer and other politicians who had brokered the deal resigned or were thrown out of office. In 2006, a settlement was reached between the new government of President Evo Morales (who as a congressman had supported the protesters) and Aguas del Tunari: both sides agreed to drop claims against the other. Responsibility for the city’s water returned to the state utility, SEMAPA, which returned water rates to their pre-2000 levels.


The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhy

affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine, Stanislav Petrov, Transnistria

Thus, unless you can take these positive steps very soon, I will freeze many elements of our economic relationship including Export-Import credit guarantees; Commodity Credit Corporation credit guarantees; support for “Special Associate Status” for the Soviet Union in the International Monetary Fund and World Bank; and most of our technical assistance programs. Further, I would not submit the Bilateral Investment Treaty or Tax Treaty to the United States Senate for consent to ratification when and if they are completed. One paragraph of the letter presented the history of US economic assistance to the Soviet Union through the prism of Soviet treatment of the Baltics. “I honored your personal request and signed the Trade Agreement in spite of the economic blockade that the Soviet Union had imposed on Lithuania,” wrote Bush.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

More investment disputes are being filed than ever before, with a great many initiated by fossil fuel companies—as of 2013, a full sixty out of 169 pending cases at the World Bank’s dispute settlement tribunal had to do with the oil and gas or mining sectors, compared to a mere seven extraction cases throughout the entire 1980s and 1990s. According to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, of the more than $3 billion in compensation already awarded under U.S. free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties, more than 85 percent “pertains to challenges against natural resource, energy, and environmental policies.”49 None of this should be surprising. Of course the richest and most powerful companies in the world will exploit the law to try to stamp out real and perceived threats and to lock in their ability to dig and drill wherever they wish in the world. And it certainly doesn’t help that many of our governments seem determined to hand out even more lethal legal weapons in the form of new and expanded trade deals, which companies, in turn, will use against governments’ own domestic laws.