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PASCN DP 2001-15: Toward the Formulation of a Philippine Position in Resolving Trade and Investment Disputes

The task of finding a negotiating position on dispute settlement for APEC is not an academic matter. For one, the drivers of the move to create APEC, principally Australia and to a lesser extent, the United States, promised the world that APEC would show the way to more dramatic multilateral trade liberalization by delivering on a broad range of liberalization reforms coupled with trade investment facilitation actions. The delivery of liberal targets could only be realistic on the assumption that there is every economic incentive for all the Members of APEC to liberalize and that the political costs of liberalization, for the more protectionist Members, were acceptable. It also meant, that should those cost parameters no longer hold true, there is a degree of “binding-ness” in the commitments of APEC individual Members to prevent or minimize backtracking on the reforms. The question of “binding-ness” of the commitments on the other hand, become very material to the question of the choice of a mode for resolving trade and even possibly investment disputes in APEC. On the other hand, the presence, range and experience of and with dispute settlement mechanisms outside the APEC forum impacts on whether in fact, APEC will be the preferred venue for resolving these trade disputes. The degree of usefulness of APEC for resolving trade disputes thus becomes a core issue. This paper explores these facets of the problem of finding a dispute settlement mechanism in APEC by contextualizing the problem in its territorial and economic environment. A survey of the different modes of dispute settlement is also presented together with a tally of the various modes and venues to which the various APEC Members subscribe. The paper ends with a description of strategic concerns of the Philippines in the trade and investment area together with suggestions on how the government may approach dispute settlement.

Philippine APEC Study Center Network
Authors Keywords
Sereno, Lourdes; trade reforms; trade sector; investment; trade policies; APEC;
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Published in 2001 and available in the PIDS Library or Downloaded 323 times since December 08, 2016
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