Is The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Investment Chapter The New 'Gold Standard'?

IILJ Working Paper 2016/3 (MegaReg Series)

49 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2016 Last revised: 17 Jan 2017

See all articles by José E. Alvarez

José E. Alvarez

New York University School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2016


The TPP’s investment chapter pursues a reform path within the existing international investment regime that many other states, including the US, support. But the fact that mega-regionals like the TPP may advance the economic and security interests of hegemons does not mean that, on balance, they may not also advance the interests of even small states like New Zealand. Most treaties — and indeed perhaps most of customary international law — have been the product of exercises of asymmetric power games. The TPP is made up of package deals of no less consequence than in the Law of the Sea Convention or on-going efforts to control climate change. It incorporates tradeoffs between regulatory discretion and the benefits anticipated for trade in goods and global value chains. These tradeoffs merit sober reflection.

Keywords: trans-pacific partnership, TPP, international investment law, investor-state dispute settlement

Suggested Citation

Alvarez, José Enrique, Is The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Investment Chapter The New 'Gold Standard'? (March 1, 2016). IILJ Working Paper 2016/3 (MegaReg Series). Available at SSRN: or

José Enrique Alvarez (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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