Trade Liberalisation and International Co-operation

Trade Liberalisation and International Co-operation

A Legal Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Edited by Tania Voon

This book provides a detailed analysis of major legal and public policy issues arising from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – a treaty that will dramatically change the landscape of international trade, with effects that will be felt on a global scale.

Chapter 9: Investor-state dispute settlement under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Leon E. Trakman

Subjects: law - academic, competition and antitrust law, international economic law, trade law, law and economics, public international law


The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is one of the most significant multilateral treaties to have been contemplated within the Asia Pacific region. Gantz observes that, ë[s]hould Canada, Mexico and ultimately Japan be brought into the negotiations, the TPP would likely surpass that of any other regional trade agreement other than the European Union in total trade value.í All three countries have since joined, affirming the economic importance of the impending treaty. The potential growth of the TPP as a multilateral investment agreement is significant, both in the prospective size of its membership and its economic scope as a free trade and investment regime. TPP enthusiasts are likely to envisage it as the continuation of an evolving multilateral investment process, to replace in part the multilateral investment agreement that failed at the end of the 1990s and as a template for other regions to replicate. However, such optimism is arguably premature, going beyond the issue of the desirability and viability of a new multilateral investment agreement. What is relevant is that global foreign direct investment has grown geometrically since 1970, exceeding US$1.5 trillion in 2012. Against this background, however one measures its economic significance, the impending TPP has the potential to have an enormous impact on global investment. Nevertheless, there are many controversial aspects in the unfolding TPP negotiations. The first aspect relates to Australiaís participation in the negotiations on the TPPís investment chapter, with its position being that it will not accept arbitration mechanisms for investorñstate dispute settlement.

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