Edited by Ljiljana Biukovic and Pitman B. Potter
Chapter 3: Transparency evolution: more than the right to know
Many international trade and investment agreements address human rights by creating their own rules of governance or by referring to rules of international human rights treaties. The transparency rules of those agreements are often cited as evidence of the possible incorporation of human rights provisions into the international trade regime. This chapter focuses on the economic cooperation between two developing countries, China and Peru, and examines how their domestic transparency rules and related domestic laws evolved in the context of the implementation and enforcement of international transparency laws. It reflects on how institutions operating at various levels of governance facilitated two investments by Chinese companies in Peru’s extractive industry projects, and how they responded to public requests for greater transparency in the activities of governments and investors and for broader participation of private actors in decisions regarding the socio-economic impact of investments on local communities. This chapter further considers the proliferation of transparency rules in international law by applying the discourse of multilayered governance and demonstrates that the advancement of transparency rules in the trade regime produces spillover effects beyond trade policy towards fundamental human rights. It argues that the proliferation of international transparency rules found in international trade and investment agreements provides an opportunity for domestic good governance reforms. It shows the necessity for states to establish processes and institutions capable of coordinating interaction between international trade rules and domestic policies to allow individuals and communities not only to access information about government and business trade activities but also to allow them to participate in creating these policies and actions.
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