Title

Singapore and its free trade agreement with the European Union: Rationality 'unbound'?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-2017

Abstract

Querying Poulsen’s view that some States negotiate investment treaties in ‘bounded’ rational ways, this article focuses on how the recently concluded European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) illustrates the evolution of Singapore’s treaty practice. Singapore has abandoned the ‘old’, and has joined the bandwagon of next-generation FTAs; yet, shrewdly, it is not fully convinced about the ‘new’ either. For example, the EUSFTA does not include a most-favoured nation clause, and does not commit to an appeals mechanism, unlike its Canadian and Vietnamese counterparts. Singapore’s caution appears to be motivated by a pragmatic desire to avoid the pitfalls that these provisions could bring with them, as Investor-State arbitration (ISA) jurisprudence demonstrates, and to study the implications of a recent decision by the EU’s highest court regarding the FTA. Indeed, that shows that the EU itself is now equally wary of the ISA regime removing disputes from the jurisdiction of national courts.

Keywords

Singapore, free trade agreement, investor-state disputes, European Union

Discipline

Asian Studies | Commercial Law | International Trade Law

Research Areas

Commercial Law

Publication

Journal of World Trade and Investment Law

Volume

18

Issue

5-6

First Page

858

Last Page

889

ISSN

1660-7112

Identifier

10.1163/22119000-12340064

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1163/22119000-12340064

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