The New Gold Standard? Empirically Situating the TPP in the Investment Treaty Universe

Journal of World Investment & Trade, Vol. 17, pp. 339-373

32 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2016  

Wolfgang Alschner

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Dmitriy Skougarevskiy

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Department of Economics; European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP)

Date Written: November 20, 2015

Abstract

The Transpacific Partnership (TPP) has been labelled 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 — 82% 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 as older treaties, such as NAFTA, remain in force parallel to the TPP. Moreover, as disagreement persists with Europe and BRICS countries, the TPP is unlikely to serve as template for future multilateralization.

Keywords: Transpacific Partnership, TPP, investment, text as data

Suggested Citation

Alschner, Wolfgang and Skougarevskiy, Dmitriy, The New Gold Standard? Empirically Situating the TPP in the Investment Treaty Universe (November 20, 2015). Journal of World Investment & Trade, Vol. 17, pp. 339-373 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2823476 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2823476

Wolfgang Alschner (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

Dmitriy Skougarevskiy

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Department of Economics ( email )

Geneva Avenue de la Paix 11A
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://graduateinstitute.ch/economics

European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) ( email )

3 Gagarinskaya Street
St. Petersburg, 191187
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://eu.spb.ru

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