Another New Normal? How the USMCA's State-of-the-Art Investment Chapter Can Guide Broader Change in Investor-State Dispute Resolution - Chapter 1 - Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law - Volume 14
“There is nothing permanent except change.”
With its signing on 30 November 2018, and its entry into force on 1 July 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) became among the latest in a long line of multilateral treaties. At the time of its signing, Mexican Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, called the Agreement “a state-of-the-art instrument that will bring great economic benefits to Mexico, Canada and the US.” United States President Trump touted the Agreement as “the largest, most significant, modern, and balanced trade agreement in history,” while Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau similarly commented that the “new, modernized agreement” serves to “protect jobs, strengthen the middle class, and create new opportunities for businesses.”
Such praise, however, is to be expected from the State signatories to the Agreement. The pertinent question, then, is whether, from an objective perspective, the USMCA – and for purposes of this Article, the Investment Chapter thereof – in fact represents the new “state of the art” in investment treaties. This Article, and the corresponding debate at the Fourteenth Annual Juris Conference on Investment Treaty Arbitration, will examine precisely this question, with these Authors concluding that the USMCA Investment Chapter does indeed represent the new “state of the art” in investment protection treaties.