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Investment protection is key to securing growth

  • Unambiguous investment protection rules will attract capital flows to Europe and secure them for years to come. ISDS is a tool to implement the law, not one to make or change it.
  • Over the past sixty years EU countries have signed over 1,400 bilateral investment agreements, the vast majority of which contain investor safeguards. These agreements have attracted the capital that has developed the societies which we live in today.
  • It is important to remember what ISDS was created for – to prevent discrimination against foreign investors, and to secure equal treatment under the law. This does not threaten the ability of governments to regulate.
  • ISDS is a tested procedure that has protected the investments of European companies for decades. TTIP is an opportunity to further improve and reform the system, and set a benchmark for future trade agreements.

A clearly defined and transparent investment protection regime with the US, that is grounded in the legal systems of all partners involved, will set the conditions for future inward investment in Europe. This investment, over time, will drive economic growth and the benefits that result from more jobs, better infrastructure and improved services.

Unambiguous investment protection rules will attract capital flows to Europe and secure them for years to come. ISDS is a tool to implement the law, not one to make or change it.

Leading authorities on international trade question why ISDS is such a divisive issue for some civil society stakeholders. It is an impartial, neutral, well functioning set of principles and procedures that have been in place for decades. The system can be improved, but does not need to be scrapped as that would inject considerable uncertainty in an area sorely needed for Europe at present.

It is important to remember what ISDS was created for – it provides a guarantee that national legal systems cannot discriminate against foreign investors in favor of domestic competitors.  ISDS provides a structure and system for neutral and objective arbitration over investment disputes. This does not threaten the ability of governments to regulate.

Over the past sixty years EU countries have signed over 1,400 bilateral investment agreements, the vast majority of which contain investor safeguards. These agreements have attracted the capital that has developed the societies which we live in today. These accords have resulted in comparatively few cases where companies have launched complaints against governments.

The global stock of foreign direct investment is around $26 trillion USD today. ISDS regimes have set the framework to build this sum. The system has existed for nearly half a century. In those fifty years, there were 586 ISDS cases brought to international tribunals, 90 of which were decided upon in favour of a company. The vast majority of these 90 cases led to no societal debate on their merits. It is clear that a transparent and well designed ISDS mechanism in TTIP will be a positive tool to attract capital, and not act as a catalyst for legal cases that may threaten the fabric of European society.

ISDS is a tested procedure that has protected the investments of European companies for decades. TTIP is an opportunity to further improve and reform the system, and set a benchmark for future trade agreements.

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