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The New Gold Standard? Empirically Situating the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Investment Treaty Universe

The New Gold Standard? Empirically Situating the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Investment... The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been labeled a ‘new, high-standard trade agreement’. But just how ‘new’ and ‘high’ are the standards it sets? To answer that question we combine traditional legal analysis with computational text comparisons situating the TPP in the universe of international investment agreements (IIAs). We find that the TPP investment chapter offers few truly novel features — 81% of its text is taken from prior American treaties. Compared to the majority of IIAs, however, the TPP goes beyond existing practice: it sets high levels of investment protection, explicitly safeguards host state sovereignty and establishes a sophisticated investment arbitration architecture. Nevertheless, the TPP is unlikely to revolutionize the IIA universe. Its innovations are open to circumvention given that older treaties remain in force parallel to the TPP. Moreover, as disagreement persists with Europe and BRICS countries, the TPP is unlikely to serve as a template for future multilateralization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World Investment and Trade Brill

The New Gold Standard? Empirically Situating the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Investment Treaty Universe

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1660-7112
eISSN
2211-9000
DOI
10.1163/22119000-01703001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been labeled a ‘new, high-standard trade agreement’. But just how ‘new’ and ‘high’ are the standards it sets? To answer that question we combine traditional legal analysis with computational text comparisons situating the TPP in the universe of international investment agreements (IIAs). We find that the TPP investment chapter offers few truly novel features — 81% of its text is taken from prior American treaties. Compared to the majority of IIAs, however, the TPP goes beyond existing practice: it sets high levels of investment protection, explicitly safeguards host state sovereignty and establishes a sophisticated investment arbitration architecture. Nevertheless, the TPP is unlikely to revolutionize the IIA universe. Its innovations are open to circumvention given that older treaties remain in force parallel to the TPP. Moreover, as disagreement persists with Europe and BRICS countries, the TPP is unlikely to serve as a template for future multilateralization.

Journal

Journal of World Investment and TradeBrill

Published: Jun 2, 2016

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