U.S. International Investment Agreements: Issues for Congress [April 29, 2013]   [open pdf - 396KB]

"The global landscape for foreign direct investment (FDI) is undergoing significant transformation. Over the past few decades, investment flows have increased with greater economic integration of the global economy and the growth of international value chains. Although global FDI flows dipped amid the 2008 international financial crisis, they surpassed pre-crisis levels in 2011. Previous distinctions between advanced country/capital exporters and developing country/capital importers are being blurred as more and more countries are both sources of and hosts for FDI. The United States, which remains a major source of and destination for FDI, seeks to facilitate investment flows by reducing restrictions on foreign investment and enhancing protections for investors, while balancing other policy interests. In 2011, the Obama Administration issued a statement reaffirming the United States' commitment to an open investment policy that treats all investors in a fair and equitable manner under the law, and encourages and supports business investment from both domestic and foreign sources. […] This report provides an overview of U.S. international investment agreements, focusing specifically on BITs [bilateral investment treaties] and investment chapters in FTAs [free trade agreements]. It discusses key trends in U.S. and international investment flows, governance structures for investment at the bilateral and multilateral levels, the goals and basic components of investment provisions in U.S. international investment agreements, the outcomes of the Administration's Model BIT review, and key policy issues for Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43052
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