On November 20, 2018, the European Parliament, Council and Commission reached political agreement on an EU framework for screening FDI, and on December 11, 2018, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament endorsed the political agreement.
After sixth ratification, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to enter into force on December 30, 2018
On October 31, 2018, Australia became the sixth state to formally ratify the CPTPP, along with Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.
European Union signs trade and investment agreements with Singapore; EU–Japan EPA to enter into force on February 2019
On October 19, 2018, Singapore and the European Union signed political and trade agreements as well as the EU–Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).
UNCITRAL Working Group III decides that multilateral reform of ISDS desirable; governments to submit proposals to develop work plan for reform
UNCITRAL Working Group III continued discussions on possible reform of investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) at its 36th session, held October 28–November 2, 2018 in Vienna.
Judges of the International Court of Justice decide to no longer participate as arbitrators in ISDS cases
In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on October 25, 2018, Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), mentioned that the court has decided to restrict the practice of allowing members to serve in arbitral tribunals.
Negotiations of a legally binding instrument on business and human rights continue at the United Nations
During the week of October 15–19, 2018, the fourth session of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights took place in Geneva.
NAFTA 2.0 finalized, announced as USMCA: Mexico, United States agree to limit ISDS clause; Canada to pull out of ISDS after a three-year window
On September 30, 2018, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that the two countries had reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a modernized trade deal.
UNCITRAL Working Group III is scheduled to continue discussions on possible reform of ISDS at its 36th session, to be held October 29–November 2, 2018 in Vienna.
Canadian government launches consultation on Canada’s foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPA), open until October 28, 2018
Canadian Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr announced on August 14, 2018 the launch of a public consultation on Canada’s BITs, known as foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs).
The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights will take place October 15–19, 2018 in Room XX of the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
In a September 12, 2018 letter, 312 legislators—including Democrats as well as Republicans—from all 50 U.S. states wrote that they “strongly support” U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer’s efforts to remove ISDS from NAFTA.
The United States and South Korea have renegotiated investment provisions in their FTA (KORUS FTA).
After an RCEP negotiation round held in Singapore in late August 2018, most negotiating partners are reported to have agreed to reduce the scope of application of the ISDS clause.
On September 10, 2018, the Australian Labor Party (Labor) dropped its long-standing opposition to the 11-nation CPTPP, clearing the way for the agreement to pass the Senate.
European Commission communication on protection of intra-EU investment rejects ECT as a basis for intra-EU ISDS
On July 19, 2018, the European Commission (EC) published a communication to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) titled Protection of Intra-EU Investment.
On July 17, 2018, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the Japan–European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA).
United States Trade Representative outlines plan to negotiate model free trade agreement with sub-Saharan African country
The 17th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, hosted by the United States for sub-Saharan African countries, took place in Washington, D.C. from July 9 to 12, 2018.
Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) continued discussions on possible reform of investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) at its 35th session, held April 23–27, 2018 in New York.
The 35th session of Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) takes place April 23–27, 2018
On March 21, 2018, 44 of the 55 African Union member states gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, signed the AfCFTA with a view to creating a single market in the continent.
Council of the European Union adopts negotiating directives: EU Commission to negotiate a convention establishing a multilateral investment court
On March 20, 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted negotiating directives authorizing the European Commission to negotiate a convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes.
On March 8, 2018, the CPTPP was signed in Santiago, Chile. The free trade agreement involves 11 countries in the Pacific region: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
On March 3, 2018, ministers from the 16 participating countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) attended the 4th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Singapore.
Investment for sustainable development through public–private partnerships (PPPs): IISD and UNCTAD host joint workshops in Nairobi
On February 6, 2018, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) co-organized two half-day workshops on Harnessing Investment for Sustainable Development Through Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Infrastructure and Public Services in Nairobi, Kenya.
On December 8, 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the finalization of the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Japan.
During the week of November 27–December 1, 2017, Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) held its first meeting on possible reform of investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS).
Beyond advancing its Investment Court System (ICS) proposal in bilateral negotiations, the European Union continues its efforts toward establishing a multilateral investment court (MIC).
The three parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) held the third, fourth and fifth rounds of renegotiation (Ottawa, September 23–27; Arlington, October 11–17; and Mexico City, November 17–21). The next round of NAFTA renegotiations is scheduled for January 23–28, 2018 in Montreal.
Participating countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) held the 20th round of negotiations in Incheon, Korea, from October 17 to 28, 2017.
TPP-11 ministers agree on core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
On November 11, 2017, in Da Nang, Vietnam, ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam “agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).”
On September 6, 2017, Belgium submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) a request for an opinion on the compatibility of the ICS with the European Treaties.
Following U.S. President Trump’s initiative to renegotiate the NAFTA, the first round of negotiation took place in Washington, D.C. from August 16–20, 2017 and the second in Mexico City from September 1–5, 2017.
The International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)–Queen Mary Task Force on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration opened its draft report for public comment.
The Rules Revision Committee of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) invited public comments on proposed amendments to the 2013 HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules.
On July 31, 2017 the European Commission launched a consultation on the prevention and amicable resolution of disputes between investors and public authorities within the European Union.
UNCITRAL receives mandate to work on ISDS reform; Transparency Convention to enter into force on October 18, 2017
On July 14, 2017, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) entrusted its Working Group III with a broad mandate to work on the possible reform of investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS).
After Canada’s ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on May 17, 2017, Canada and the European Commission agreed to start the provisional application of the agreement on September 21, 2017.
The European Union and Japan announced on July 6, 2017 that they reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Trade ministers from 11 signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership met on May 21, 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss the future of the agreement during an APEC meeting.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa formalized Ecuador’s withdrawal on May 16, 2017 from BITs concluded with 16 countries.
In September 2014, the European Commission refused to register a petition signed by over three million EU citizens requesting the Commission to stop trade and investment negotiations with the United States and refrain from concluding the CETA with Canada.
The European Court of Justice published its Opinion 2/15 on the European Union–Singapore FTA on May 16, 2017.
A meeting of the WTO General Council was suspended on May 10, 2017 after India objected to the adoption of the proposed agenda, which included a “trade and investment facilitation” item.
SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules come into effect; new SCC rules include appendix on investment treaty disputes
On January 1, 2017, the Investment Arbitration Rules of the Singapore Investment Arbitration Centre (SIAC) came into effect. Among the highlights are provisions on early dismissal of claims and defences, submissions by non-disputing parties and mandatory disclosure of third-party funding arrangements. The tribunal may consider such arrangements when apportioning costs. The 2017 Arbitration Rules of the Stockholm Chamber […]
On February 15, 2017, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed by Canada and the European Union on October 30, 2016 after seven years of negotiations. The agreement was approved by 408 Members of the European Parliament and rejected by 254, with 33 abstentions. As reported in ITN, this approval paves the […]
On January 23, 2017, fulfilling a campaign pledge, U.S. President Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016. The Trump administration indicated that it would pursue bilateral agreements instead. In his campaign, the U.S. President also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. In a meeting […]
On December 13 and 14, 2016, the European Commission and the Canadian Government co-hosted exploratory discussions on establishing a multilateral investment court. Government representatives from several countries attended the closed-door meeting in Geneva. Upon concluding CETA, the two hosts had vowed to “work expeditiously” to create a permanent investment court, building on the ICS mechanism included in the agreement. The goal of […]
Following criticisms of CETA, academics propose reforms in EU trade and investment policy and negotiations
On December 5, 2016, the Belgian region of Wallonia published the Namur Declaration, proposing to change EU trade policy and negotiations. The document was initially signed by 40 academics from several countries, including Paul Magnette, Minister-President of Wallonia. The region made the news in October 2016, when its parliament temporarily blocked the approval of CETA by the Belgian […]
In September, EU officials recognized that the negotiations on the EU–U.S. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were unlikely to be concluded before the end of U.S. President Barack Obama’s mandate.
During the 10th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from November 7 to 10, representatives from Brazil and India announced that they had recently initialled a bilateral investment agreement (BIT).