In April of this year the US State Department released a new version of its model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). This text, like the various models the US has used over roughly the past 3 decades, represents the US’s basic policy position when it starts negotiations on investment treaties with other countries, and is therefore an important benchmark for the outcome US investors might hope for as a result of ongoing and potential future talks with countries such as China, Russia, and India. Overall, this new model text follows the approach taken by the US in its investment treaties over at least the past decade, indicating the US’s continued satisfaction with both its undefeated record as a respondent state in investor-state arbitrations, and the protection its investment treaties have given to US investors abroad. The rather few changes that have been made appear to reflect efforts to address concerns triggered by relatively recent developments such as the growth of investment into and from China and the global financial crisis, as well as more persistent issues regarding whether and how to reconcile investment treaties with national and international policies on environmental and labor standards.
The 2012 US Model BIT and What the Changes (or Lack Thereof) Suggest About Future Investment Treaties,
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Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sustainable_investment_staffpubs/160