This Essay begins with a survey of the protection afforded to foreign investors under customary international law. This survey serves to demonstrate that the changing international political and social order, and international economic forces, affect the formulation of the standard of protection and compensation afforded to investors under international law. Next, the Essay traces the history of the post-World War II attempts to negotiate multilateral investment protection measures as part of the Havana Charter. As a result of the failure to implement the Havana Charter, negotiations over investment measures did not make their way into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade's agenda until the Uruguay Round. This Essay discusses U.S. efforts to put negotiations over investment measures back onto the world stage during the Uruguay Round negotiations, as had happened half a century ago during the Havana Charter negotiations. The results achieved in the Uruguay Round negotiations are discussed, and the reasons why negotiations on investment measures were thereafter moved to the OECD are also described. This Essay highlights some of the irreconcilable positions taken at the OECD during the MAI negotiations that prevented a successful result. Thereafter, this Essay lists the many accomplishments among developed and developing countries in reaching bilateral and regional investment agreements, which, in the long run, should provide the basis for a high standard investment agreement to be negotiated under the auspices of the WTO.
A Journey from Havana to Paris: The Fifty-Year Quest for the Elusive Multilateral Agreement on Investment,
24 Fordham Int'l L.J. 275
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