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On BITs

November 10, 2010

Kevin Gallagher (Boston University, Tufts Global Development & Environment Program) and Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi) have written a great piece using Obama’s India visit as a hook to talk about Bilateral Investment Treaties. We hear about bilateral FTAs and multilateral organizations like the WTO all the time, but BITs have flown underneath the radar for a while. This is a great and timely intro for the uninitiated – BITs are essentially the crappy foreign investor protections contained in NAFTA-style FTAs and the long-dead Multilateral Agreement on Investment, stuck into independent treaties.

The Bolivian Cochabamba water privatization fiasco? There is a BIT relevant to that case, which Gallagher and Ghosh use as their illustrative example. And here’s another case study at Eyes On Trade of how BITs empower multinationals at the expense of sound domestic policymaking.

Flying Whale

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