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Global Trade and Investment Law: Contestation and Reform

Dates:
  • Fri 14 Feb 2020 09.00 - 16.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-02-14 9:00 2020-02-14 16:00 Europe/Paris Global Trade and Investment Law: Contestation and Reform

International economic law and its institutions are paradigmatic embodiments of transnational law and governance. Yet they are subject to a destabilising array of contemporary challenges and pressures. After decades of deepening levels of multilateral trade cooperation, we are now witnessing the sudden emergence of dangerous levels of unilateralism. In the United States, the Trump Administration’s turn to destabilising tariffs in the guise of its America First policies have provoked swift retaliation by both strategic competitors (China) and allies (Canada and the European Union). Moreover, the U.S has shown itself to be openly hostile to bilateral, regional and multilateral trade commitments. The World Trade Organization especially is subject to unprecedented pressures and violations with its vaunted dispute settlement system is now also rapidly approaching a dangerous possibility of stasis. International investment law is no less conflicted. Constructed against a historical contingency of state hostility to foreign investors (in the post-colonial period), bilateral and regional investment treaties have prioritised protection of foreign investment without adequate respect for the regulatory autonomy and constitutional obligations of host states. Investor-state arbitration and protection standards in investment treaties sit at the apex of state dissatisfaction, with important strategic actors like the European Union advancing judicial reform possibilities. This seminar seeks to explore this unsettled terrain by considering the complex political economy factors driving state reassessment/recalibration of these legal structures and institutions.

Sala del Camino - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Camino - Villa Salviati- Castle

International economic law and its institutions are paradigmatic embodiments of transnational law and governance. Yet they are subject to a destabilising array of contemporary challenges and pressures. After decades of deepening levels of multilateral trade cooperation, we are now witnessing the sudden emergence of dangerous levels of unilateralism. In the United States, the Trump Administration’s turn to destabilising tariffs in the guise of its America First policies have provoked swift retaliation by both strategic competitors (China) and allies (Canada and the European Union). Moreover, the U.S has shown itself to be openly hostile to bilateral, regional and multilateral trade commitments. The World Trade Organization especially is subject to unprecedented pressures and violations with its vaunted dispute settlement system is now also rapidly approaching a dangerous possibility of stasis. International investment law is no less conflicted. Constructed against a historical contingency of state hostility to foreign investors (in the post-colonial period), bilateral and regional investment treaties have prioritised protection of foreign investment without adequate respect for the regulatory autonomy and constitutional obligations of host states. Investor-state arbitration and protection standards in investment treaties sit at the apex of state dissatisfaction, with important strategic actors like the European Union advancing judicial reform possibilities. This seminar seeks to explore this unsettled terrain by considering the complex political economy factors driving state reassessment/recalibration of these legal structures and institutions.


Location:
Sala del Camino - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of Law

Type:
Seminar

Contact:
Valentina Spiga - Send a mail

Organiser:
Prof. Jürgen Kurtz (EUI - Law Department)

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