EU External Trade: USA

House of Lords written question – answered at on 19 November 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the investor-state dispute settlement system in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will not be dealt with by United Kingdom courts.

Photo of Lord Livingston of Parkhead Lord Livingston of Parkhead The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) will be an agreement with 28 EU countries and the US. In the case of the UK, it has over 90 existing bilateral investment treaties with other countries across the world, UK domestic courts and the UK legal system remain the main route for resolving the overwhelming majority of disputes that foreign investors may have with the actions of the UK Government. Investment protection provisions and Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses in trade and investment treaties are nonetheless valued by investors for providing certainty and protection from discriminatory action by host governments. Well-formulated investment protection and ISDS provisions have the potential to encourage investment while placing effective safeguards on the Government’s ability to regulate in the public interest. The Government believes it is in the UK's interest to create modern investment provisions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to both encourage investment and create a potential model for future trade and investment agreements with other countries. As such, we would want the ISDS mechanism in TTIP to be in line with best practice, including the new The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration.

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