bilateral investment treaty

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pages: 606 words: 87,358

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

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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, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

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.

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.

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

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, 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, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, 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, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, 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

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.

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.

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.

 

pages: 356 words: 103,944

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

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, 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, 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, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, 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, 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

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.

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

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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, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, 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, working poor

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: 334 words: 98,950

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

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, 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, labour mobility, land reform, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, 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’.

 

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

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

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.

 

pages: 385 words: 111,807

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

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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, 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, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, 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, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, 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, 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.

 

pages: 347 words: 99,317

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

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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, 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, labour mobility, land reform, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, 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’.

 

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

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additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, 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, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, 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, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, 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

It was a stateled, 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: 829 words: 229,566

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

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1960s counterculture, 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, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, 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, Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, 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, 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.

 

pages: 692 words: 167,950

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

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, Chance favours the prepared mind, clean water, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, 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

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.