December 6, 2017
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Critics of bilateral investment treaties and investment chapters in trade agreements have increasingly argued that these accords can undermine a state’s sovereign “right to regulate” and limit the “policy space” available to governments, undermining the public interest. In this Issue Brief, Simon Lester and Bryan Mercurio argue that governments should veer from simple carve outs and adopt broader “general exceptions” strategies in order to better protect legitimate public welfare measures.
The Issue Brief can be found here.
PRIOR IIEL ISSUE BRIEFS:
In May 2017, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher (Chris) Giancarlo announced the launch of LabCFTC as part of an effort to modernize the agency and serve as a focal point for grappling with unprecedented waves of financial technology innovation impacting markets. To lead the work, he appointed Daniel Gorfine the initiative’s Director and the agency’s Chief Innovation Officer.
In this Issue Brief, Director Gorfine outlines the CFTC’s Fintech Agenda, and shares a number of current and forthcoming projects that collectively provide a blueprint for the agency’s digital upgrade. Mr. Gorfine’s remarks are accompanied by a prologue by IIEL Faculty Director Chris Brummer.
In this Issue Brief, delivered by Ambassador Alan Wolff as the 2017 Greenwald Lecture during Georgetown Law’s 2017 Annual International Trade Update, Alan Wolff examines the legal system governing trade—both the rules in international agreements and those by statute—and argues that the United States and the world should be prepared for current institutions, international arrangements and domestic processes, like large financial institutions under Dodd-Frank, to be “stress-tested” by unanticipated forces and developments. But in contrast to financial regulatory stress tests based on stylized economic models, the tests facing trade may well be operationalized through the real world adoption of trade measures that depart significantly from longstanding norms and expectations.
Why the Ryan-Brady Tax Proposal Will Be Found to be Inconsistent with WTO Law, by former WTO Appellate Body member Jennifer Hillman. In this Issue Brief, Professor Hillman argues that, as currently described, the plan’s taxes on imports are a clear violation of WTO rules and the rebates or exclusion from taxes for exports could pose challenges as well. As a result, the plan risks significant litigation, retaliation from our trading partners, possible additional duties on U.S. exports, and carries the potential to start a trade war. As a result, reforms to the corporate tax system should be scrutinized and undertaken carefully.
Renminbi Internationalization and Systemic Risk, in which IIEL Faculty Director and Williams Research Professor Chris Brummer argues that China’s renminbi strategy introduces novel systemic risks to the global financial system, including a potentially inadequate provision of renminbi liquidity, a regulatory race to the bottom between offshore RMB-hubs, and significant transmission belts of financial risk to even non-renminbi markets. To mitigate these risks, he argues for a policy recipe of stronger Mainland macroprudential oversight, transparent countercyclical capital account reforms and credible commitments on the part of the government to refrain from competitive currency devaluations.
IIEL’s inaugural Issue Brief on Shadow Banking was penned by Amias Gerety, then-Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
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