In recent decades, the United States, the largest source of and destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013, has entered into binding investment agreements with foreign countries to facilitate investment flows, reduce restrictions on foreign investment and expand market access, and enhance investor protections, while balancing other policy interests. Some World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements address investment issues in a limited manner. In the absence of a comprehensive multilateral agreement, bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and investment chapters in free trade agreements (FTAs), known as international investment agreements (IIAs), have been the primary tools for promoting and protecting international investment. The role of Congress on IIAs includes setting U.S. trade policy negotiating objectives; Senate ratification of BITs; and congressional consideration and passage of legislation to implement FTAs. Current and future U.S. investment negotiations raise several policy issues for Congress.
Date of Report: U.S. International Investment Agreements (IIAs)
Order Number: 4/20/2015
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