U.S. International Investment Agreements

55 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2017 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017

Date Written: Janaury 2009


These are Chapters One and Three of U.S. International Investment Agreements, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. The book presents a comprehensive analysis of the first 30 years of the current U.S. investment treaty program, including both bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) with investment chapters. It traces the evolution of each provision in the U.S. model BITs, explains the policies underlying those provisions, describes modifications to the provisions in the signed BITs and FTAs, and synthesizes the international arbitral awards interpreting the provisions. Appendices contain the text of each of the U.S. model BITs used as a basis for successful negotiations. The book covers the period from 1977, when the Carter administration approved the inauguration of a U.S. BIT program, to 2007.

Chapter One is the Introduction to the book. It provides a brief overview of the U.S. BIT program and explains in much greater detail than this abstract the structure and content of the book.

Chapter Three traces the evolution of the U.S. model BIT negotiating text. It explains the process by which the United States developed its model BIT, describes briefly the 1983 U.S. model BIT, and then identifies the significant changes made to that model in subsequent models that were adopted in 1984, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 2004. A final section describes U.S. BIT negotiating policy. A detailed description of each of the changes to the U.S. model BIT may be found in the other chapters of the book.

U.S. International Investment Agreements is part of a trilogy of books on international investment agreements. The First Bilateral Investment Treaties: U.S. Postwar Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation Treaties, published by Oxford University Press in 2017, traces the history of the U.S. postwar friendship, commerce and navigation (FCN) treaty program, including the process by which a treaty series initiated in 1776 to address trade and maritime relations was reconceptualized in the late 1940s as a program of investment treaties. It also describes the origins and meaning of the investment provisions that appear in these treaties, provisions that are the precursors to the provisions that appear in contemporary bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) with investment provisions. Chapters One (“Introduction”) and Five (“The FCN Treaties Become Investment Treaties”) of that book have been posted separately. Bilateral Investment Treaties: History, Policy, and Interpretation, published by Oxford University Press in 2010, provides a general theory of international investment law, arguing that investment treaties are based on six core principles (nondiscrimination, security, reasonableness, due process, transparency and access), and analyzes the key provisions of BITs, explaining the structure and policy of each provision, tracing its origins and development, and synthesizing the arbitral awards interpreting it. It covers the period from 1959, when Germany concluded its first bilateral investment treaty with Pakistan, through 2009, and thus provides a summary of the first 50 years of BIT programs worldwide. Chapters Seven (“Nondiscrimination”) and Nine (“Access”) of that book have been posted separately.

Keywords: bilateral investment treaty, model BIT, foreign investment policy, fair and equitable treatment, expropriation, nondiscrimination, investor-state arbitration

JEL Classification: K33, P33, P45

Suggested Citation

Vandevelde, Kenneth J., U.S. International Investment Agreements (Janaury 2009). Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 3022255, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022255

Kenneth J. Vandevelde (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

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619-961-4348 (Phone)

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