13 Apr


By / bintoromover

The Multilateral Agreement On Investment

The MAI would provide a comprehensive framework for the treatment of foreign investment. It would allow countries to exempt certain MAI commitments (such as national treatment and treatment of the most favoured nation (MFN) in areas of particular political or economic sensitivity. For example, the United States is working to ensure that U.S. MAI commitments do not go beyond those we already have in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the 31 bilateral investment agreements (ILOs) currently in place, in which the United States participates. Indeed, many elements of the MAI are modelled on the terms of thought already contained in these agreements and which have been developed taking into account the investment policy and regulatory practices of the United States. In 1996, industrialized countries accounted for 60% of all foreign direct investment and accounted for 85% of all foreign direct investment in the world. More importantly, it is unlikely that foreign companies in the United States will see a great benefit in pursuing their investment requests through the AMI procedure. Companies tend to resort to investor-state arbitration procedures, which are generally quite costly when they have serious questions about the fairness of national jurisdictions or the availability of appropriate remedies. We expect our OECD partners or other likely signatories to the MAI to conclude that they can get a fair trial in the U.S. courts.

The limit values proposed by the MAI could also undermine the ability of policy makers to address inequalities between developed and developing countries and between social groups within nations. Many U.S. laws, which treat small and minority businesses favourably and direct investment in poor areas, would be contrary to the conditions proposed by the MAI. While the design of a comprehensive investment pact coincides with the start of the URUGUAY Round GATT negotiations in the mid-1980s, the existence of advanced negotiations on a concrete investment proposal could not be confirmed until the end of 1996. Negotiations have been under way at OECD headquarters in Paris since 1995. The United States is represented by the State Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Among the measures that could be fragile are federal and local reinvestment rules, which aim to encourage bank investment in impoverished areas.

The Federal Community Reintroduction Act (CRA) works by providing administrative authority to open new banking agencies for credit and other investments in underserved territorial schemes. If a bank is unable to prove that it is lending and invests elsewhere in the municipality in which it is located, it may not be able to obtain the extension authorization. Local community reinvestment laws also require the provision of public funds or the use of banks by public bodies on the basis of a bank that often applies higher standards than those used by federal supervisory authorities. If MAI underwriters are no exception to banking regulations, these laws could be challenged as prohibited performance requirements. Over the past three decades, the nature and extent of international trade and international investment have changed dramatically. Global capital flows – investments in production capacity, portfolio investments and currency exchanges – have increased exponentially. The United States



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