U.S. Stumps Germany’s G20 investment facilitation proposal

The upcoming G20 meeting was to be a prime occasion for Germany to give its global investment facilitation proposal a firm foothold but the U.S. has thrown a spanner in the works, so to speak. U.S. now joins the ranks of developing countries such as India and South Africa in opposing Germany's support for global investment facilitation.

Germany, which currently holds G20 presidency, is all set to host the G20 meeting in Berlin where negotiators have been invited with the express purpose of drafting the set of deliverables on investment facilitation. So far, it has the unswerving support of Turkey, China, Brazil Russia, Indonesia, Korea and Mexico for this move.

Opposition from developing countries

With support coming in from many quarters it seems inevitable that the move will go through except for the fact that developing countries are pointing out that this is not in their best interests. Both India and South Africa have made it clear that they do not support the move. Their reason is that accepting the G20 investment facilitation terms will take away their 'policy space' and prevent them from having complete freedom and flexibility in carrying out developmental investment.

The U.S. stance

The U.S. has made it very clear that it does not support the finalization of the draft deliverable or any other move that will ratify the investment facilitation policy. The missive sent to the G20 leader has also clearly stated that as far as the U.S. is concerned, such a policy move is not helpful or necessary at the current time. This comes as a rude shock to Germany and also Russia, two of the most enthusiastic supporters of the investment facilitation talks. It is believed that concrete plans were underway to discuss the measure at the upcoming G20 meeting and attain some form of clarity on how the final policy will take shape. The opposing stance taken by the U.S. may well derail all these well laid plans.

This is by no means completely unexpected, however. For years now, similar policies have been opposed by the U.S on the same ground while developing countries have cited the need for 'policy space' to avoid backing the stance. It appears that multilateral investment agreements will have to wait a few years more until all G20 participants agree to put their differences aside and come together to make a uniform policy.

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