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Yale Law School




To protect American investment abroad, the United States traditionally endorsed arbitration as a preferred means to resolve disputes between investors and host countries. Yet a growing awareness of the down-side of arbitration, at least from the perspective of the party seeking the home-town justice of its own courts, has led to media attacks and legislative initiatives intended to hobble neutral international adjudication. This article suggests that assaults on investment arbitration are misguided, and may end up doing more harm than good. On balance, NAFTA arbitration serves as a positive force in the protection of legitimate economic expectations, enhancing the type of asset protection that facilitates wealth-creating capital flows, bringing net gains for both host state and foreign investor. A retreat from investment arbitration will likely to backfire, creating problems than it solves.

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