Reinvigorating the U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty Program: A Tool to Promote Trade and Economic Development

Series: CSIS Reports
The CSIS Project on U.S. Leadership in Development is focused on leveraging the U.S. private sector to promote international economic development. A key ingredient to success in trade and investment will be encouraging U.S. foreign direct investment in struggling economies to bring needed capital and commercial know-how. A principal instrument available to the government to facilitate investment is the bilateral investment treaty (BIT). This paper provides an update on the current use of BITs and discusses their effectiveness as a development tool. It considers the political and negotiating challenges impeding the progress of the U.S. BIT program and concludes with a recommendation to move this program forward.