EU External Trade: USA

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 4th March 2014.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness and desirability of the investor-state dispute settlement clause in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State for Portsmouth

The UK has consistently pushed for an ambitious and broad agreement with all issues on the negotiating table. Negotiations are at an early stage and there is at yet no proposed text on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned academic research into the impact of investor-state dispute settlement within the context of wider investment protection treaties to inform the UK position with regard to the upcoming investment treaties being negotiated by the EU.

The research developed a framework for analysing the costs and benefits of investment protection treaties as a whole and applied the framework to assess the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement provisions within proposed EU agreements with China and with the US (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). A copy of this research has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Clearly the exact conditions of any investment provisions included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will be essential in assessing their effectiveness and desirability. The desirability of including an ISDS clause in this agreement would also depend on an assessment of the precedent it would create for agreements with other countries.

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