Stephen Kho Quoted by Law360 on Possible Changes to NAFTA Arbitration Provision

Law360 has quoted Akin Gump international trade partner Stephen Kho in the article “Nixing NAFTA Arbitration Provision Would Touch New Ground,” which looks at a proposal under consideration by the United States to eliminate investor-state dispute resolution from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The article reports that such a move would be a big change from past administrations and likely set a precedent for future trade negotiations.

According to the article, the United States has agreed to a Canadian proposal to eliminate the investor-state dispute settlement provision in order to advance trade agreement talks more quickly and bring them to a conclusion before Mexican presidential elections this summer.

Kho said Washington’s preference for opting out of or eliminating NAFTA’s investor state arbitration provision diverges from the largely supportive approach undertaken by past administrations. This new stance, he noted could set the tone for future negotiations in other trade deals.

“I think they are setting precedent, and others who are interested in doing deals with the U.S. ... should expect that this may be the blueprint,” Kho said.