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International economic relations are governed by two bodies of international law. Trade in goods and services is the domain of international trade law, embodied in the WTO agreements. Foreign investment is governed by international investment law, consisting of a vast network of investment agreements, including bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and preferential trade agreements (PTAs). These two different fields of international law share a large area of overlap: foreign investment in services, around 55% of all global direct investment, is covered by both investment agreements and the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Since the rights and obligations featured in the two frameworks are not always compatible, this legal overlap reduces transparency and undermines governments’ regulatory capacity in an unanticipated manner. This is the first book to tackle investment law and trade law jointly, and to compare the principles, rules, and dispute-settlement mechanisms of investment agreements with the multilateral framework of the WTO/GATS.
The in-depth analysis, supported by an extensive review of existent jurisprudence, provides a thorough explanation of treaty standards like most favoured nation, national treatment, fair and equitable treatment, domestic regulation, and transparency, as well as procedural rules on access to the dispute-settlement mechanisms and enforcement procedures.
Policymakers will find relevant insights in this work, as it provides a thorough review of legal matters that limit policy decisions and bring about possible contradictions between the two bodies of international economic law. Legal practitioners will benefit from the book’s clear guidelines on the pros and cons of the trade and investment legal frameworks, and under what conditions each system is best suited to protect foreign investment in services.