Sustainable Liberalism and the International Investment Regime

Since 1995, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been sponsoring negotiation of a multilateral agreement on investment. Several multilateral agreements protecting foreign investment already exist, although these are limited in their applicability to certain regions or sectors of the economy. This article argues that the consensus is not necessarily permanent, but reflects the momentary confluence of several political and economic trends. It concludes that, if the consensus is to be maintained, then States must use this moment to ensure the success of liberalism, rather than to seize temporary economic advantage. In essence, if a liberal investment regime is to be effective, then States must develop a sustainable liberalism.