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Public Meeting Regarding the U.S. Model Bilateral Investment Treaty Review

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of State hosted a public meeting concerning the Administration's review of the U.S. model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). USTR and the Department of State co-lead the negotiation of BITs for the United States. The Administration is reviewing the U.S. model BIT, last updated in 2004, to ensure that it is consistent with the public interest and the overall U.S. economic agenda. More than 70 members of the public attended the public meeting and 17 people made statements.

Ambassador Ron Kirk welcomed the public participation in the meeting. "The Administration is committed to receiving the input of the full range of stakeholders regarding the U.S. model BIT," Ambassador Kirk said. "This public meeting is an important and constructive step in our efforts to do so, and we will carefully consider all of the input that we receive."

The agenda of the meeting is included below, with links to statements for the record from each presenter. The audio recordings of the morning and afternoon sessions is available below

 

 

 

 

Public Meeting: Model BIT Review
U.S. Department of State, Loy Henderson Auditorium
July 29, 2009

 

9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m. – U.S. Government Introductory Remarks

9:10 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Hon. Benjamin Gilman (The Gilman Group)
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Oscar Cerna (CEMAR)
Todd Tucker (Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch)
Sarah Anderson (Institute for Policy Studies)

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Stephen Canner (U.S. Council for International Business)
Sean Heather (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
William Waren (The Forum on Democracy and Trade)
Ed Scott (Chevron)
Calman Cohen (Emergency Committee for American Trade)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Jim Schultz (The Democracy Center)
Jeff Conant (Food & Water Watch)
David F. Snyder (American Insurance Association)
Melida Hodgson (Foley Hoag LLP)
Jeffrey Pryce (Steptoe & Johnson LLP)

2:00 p.m.

Frank Vargo (National Association of Manufacturers)

 

BACKGROUND

The United States negotiates BITs on the basis of a model text, last updated in 2004. The model text may be viewed on the USTR website or the State Department website. The United States is presently a Party to BITs with 40 countries (list available here). In addition to the above-mentioned public meeting and the opportunity to submit written comments per the Federal Register notice published on July 14, 2009 (those comments will be available later at www.regulations.gov), the Administration is seeking advice from the statutory advisory committees that advise USTR and the Department of Commerce and the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.

For more information, contact Carol Guthrie at 202-395-3230.