China–United States BIT: ISDS to be included; ongoing negotiations on negative lists

Since 2008, China and the United States have undergone 24 negotiation rounds for a bilateral investment treaty (BIT). On March 3, 2016, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman noted that the “high standard” BIT being negotiated is “in many respects similar to the investment chapter of TPP.”

Echoing Froman’s statement, on March 23, Chen Deming—China’s former Minister of Commerce—announced that the two countries have resolved some key roadblocks in the negotiations and agreed to rely on international arbitration to resolve investor–state disputes. However, Chen also acknowledged that some major conflicts remain, mainly over the negative list on market access.

Both parties hope to conclude negotiations before the end of President Obama’s term, and preferably in August or September, before the U.S. presidential election enters into a critical stage.

Notes: The editorial team acknowledges, with many thanks, the contribution by Joe Zhang.

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