WTO Plus: Creating Liberal Investment through Regulating Tax Incentives


The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) narrow reading of the Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) should be expanded to prohibit specific and targeted tax incentives aimed at attracting foreign investment. These tax incentives restrict investment and trade liberalization. This paper proposes that trade and investment are intrinsically linked, and as such, the WTO is the proper forum to regulate investment measures. This paper argues the case against specific foreign investment attracting tax incentives. These incentives do little to actually attract investment, and are harmful to development. Individual tax incentives also limit the collective global benefits of investment. This paper concludes by arguing that the WTO should use the existing TRIMs Agreement to prohibit the specific tax incentives used to attract foreign investment.


International Law | International Trade Law

Date of this Version

November 2003