As USCIB continues to advocate for open and fair investment policies in NAFTA and at recent discussions in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, USCIB Director of Investment, Trade, and Financial Services Eva Hampl was in Paris last week, participating in the meetings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Investment Committee. Hampl also held several bilateral meetings with various OECD investment staff and officials from the U.S. Mission to the OECD.
The agenda of the OECD Investment Committee was extensive, including the work of the Freedom of Investment Roundtable, covering issues including societal costs and benefits of international investment agreements, investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and related issues, particularly regarding an overview of arbitrators in investment arbitrations and adjudicator compensation systems in dispute settlement. The meetings also discussed the strategic direction for the OECD investment work.
During the stakeholder consultation, Business at OECD made strong statements focused primarily on international investment agreements, specifically ISDS and related issues.
“We maintained our position that investment agreements are very important to business, and are necessary for a robust international investment environment,” said Hampl. “Unfortunately, the OECD has not yet been able to produce reliable data definitively proving the benefits of IIAs,” she added.
Hampl also made an intervention on behalf of U.S. industry, underlining the importance of empirical research in this area, and raising concerns about leaving a vacuum of information in the space related to IIAs.
“In today’s political environment that appears to be progressively more hostile toward foreign investment, advocating for these protections is vital,” said Hampl. “As the OECD continues to develop policy documents on these issues, USCIB will actively participate in shaping these policies.”