Sunday, May 6, 2018

ISDS and Carribean islands - a good result so far

For those who follow international investment disputes and love the Carribean, this blogpost in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog gives an account if ISDS disputes pertaining to the Carribean islands.

Interesting to note that out of the 17 disputes covering the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Jamaica, the 5 which were settled were in favour of the State. 

An alternative approach to viewing investor state relations - the Brazilian approach

My friend Felipe Hees piece on the Brazilian approach to the vexed question of investor state dispute settlement makes interesting reading. In this South Centre brief, he explains what prompted the approach and how different it is from the traditional model of Bilateral Investment Treaties - an approach that focuses on preventing disputes rather than offering a platform for private investors to sue governments.

I had written about this issue in this piece where the models of investment norm setting were seen through the prism of the tussle for policy space by governments.

India has its own model bilateral investment treaty.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Currency manipulation anyone?

For those interested and following issues of currency manipulation, possible international norms on currency undervaluation, this report by the US Treasury titled 'Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States' in April 2018 provides an insight into what is being looked at.

No currency manipulators were announced in this report though.

For a more detailed study on this issue, I had a done a piece ages ago titled 'To Manipulate or Not - Currency Misalignment, trade law and the search for solutions'.



Friday, March 2, 2018

Crisis in the crown jewel

The WTO's dispute settlement mechanism is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of the WTO.However, of late, it has faced some challenges.

For those following the developments at the dispute settlement mechanism at the WTO, two recent pieces may be of interest - 


First, this detailed analysis of what needs to be done to set the system right is available in a March 2018 Peterson Institute for International Economics Policy Brief which argues that the impasse is too serious to ignore.


Second, this piece by Terence P. Stewart, sets out the rationale for some of the 'concerns' on the functioning of the dispute settlement system.


There indeed is a thin line, at times, between interpretation of existing rights and obligations as against creating new rights and obligations. How this is perceived and tackled differs depending on one's views the role of the judicial authority to be. 


There are no easy answers to this crisis.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

CPTPP and information overload

The TPP has given way to the CPTPP. A lot has been written about these agreements. The new text is out. 

This recent blogpost took me to the New Zealand website on CPTPP.

What is interesting is the information overload - the extent of information on the agreement, it's impact on domestic policies and what is in it for the country. There is a 'national interests' analysis including a Maori interest analysis too. The information is a good lesson in laying out the various aspects of a trade agreement transparently!

The agreement itself runs into pages but what would engage researchers in the coming days is the differences with the original TPP text - a number of original provisions have been suspended. An analysis of suspended provisions that impact New Zealand is laid out here. Exceptions prove the rule?



Sunday, February 18, 2018

ISDS and State to State dispute settlement

Investor State Dispute Settlement has been in the news for many reasons. It has received attention not only in the developing world but also the developed world, of late.

This recent piece on State to State dispute settlement as an alternative to ISDS in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog is an interesting read.

Can State to State dispute settlement, a la WTO dispute settlement, be the real answer?

We are back!

It has been a long hiatus from blogging - for various obvious reasons.

But, treadthemiddlepath is back and will be more regular now.