The Ministerial Declaration of Punta del Este, which launched the Uruguay Round, addressed the issue of trade-related investment measures as a theme of the new round through a carefully crafted compromise: after examining the functioning of the GATT articles with regard to the restrictive and trade-distorting effects of investment measures, negotiations should , if necessary, develop other provisions that may be necessary to avoid such negative effects on trade. The emphasis on the commercial effects of this mandate highlighted the fact that the negotiations were not intended to deal with the regulation of investments as such. The Uruguay Round negotiations on trade-related investment measures were marked by strong differences of opinion among participants on the coverage and nature of possible new disciplines. While some industrialized countries have proposed provisions prohibiting a wide range of measures in addition to local content requirements, which were found to be inconsistent with Article III in the case of the FIRA Panel, many developing countries have opposed them. The compromise that ultimately resulted from the negotiations is essentially limited to an interpretation and clarification of the application of the GATT provisions on the questioning of imported goods (Article III) and quantitative import or export restrictions on trade-related investment measures (Article XI). The TRIPS agreement therefore does not cover many of the measures discussed in the Uruguay Round negotiations, such as export results and technology transfer. In addition to the TRIMs agreement, there are other investment agreements that can help your business compete with the international market. The United States has bilateral investment agreements with 40 countries. These agreements generally offer comprehensive investment protection, including local content disciplines and commercial compensation. The full text of the bilateral investment contracts is available on the website of the Trade Ministry`s Trade Negotiations and Compliance Office. Similar provisions have also been introduced in the investment chapters of some U.S.
free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, with Korea and Panama and others. Pending the conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations, which resulted in a well-concluded agreement on trade-related investment measures (the « TRIMs agreement »), the few international agreements providing for disciplines for foreign investment restraint measures have provided only limited guidance on substance and countries.