TTIP and Sovereign Debt Restructuring

Avoiding a collision

Policy Brief

15/07/2016

As members of the Eurozone are now acutely aware, the lack of a sovereign debt-restructuring regime is one of the most glaring gaps in the international financial architecture. In the absence of a clear and coherent regime, some investors have sought to investor-state-dispute systems (ISDS) in bi-lateral investment treaties (BITs) and the investment provisions of free trade agreements (FTAs) as instruments to circumvent important restructurings that have occurred. Under investment treaties, Argentina has been challenged for its sovereign debt restructuring of the early 2000s and Greece was challenged for the restructuring conducted by the International Monetary Fund, European Commission, and the European Central Bank. The trade and investment treaty regime is not equipped to govern global financial stability in general and sovereign debt restructuring in particular. It is paramount to ensure that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) does not govern these matters and leaves sovereign debt to national governments and international financial and monetary authorities.

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