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Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct InvestmentAvoiding Simplicity, Embracing Complexity$
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Stephen D. Cohen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179354.001.0001

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 The International Regulation of Multinational Corporations

 The International Regulation of Multinational Corporations

Why There Is No Multilateral Foreign Direct Investment Regime

(p.252) 11 The International Regulation of Multinational Corporations
Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment

Stephen D. Cohen

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides yet another eclectic analysis, this time of the still-irreconcilable controversy surrounding the “appropriate” kinds and extent of governmental regulation of MNCs as entities and FDI as process. The initial section explains why so little progress has been made in establishing meaningful international rules covering these international business phenomena. Next is an abbreviated survey of the major bilateral agreements and voluntary codes of conduct that seek to regulate FDI-related activities to serve the common good. The conflicting attitudes towards the appropriate kinds and extent of multilateral regulations are explained in depth by examining two major loci of contention: the would-be Multilateral Agreement on Investment, and the existing Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The increasing significance of activist non-government organizations as unofficial regulators of MNC behavior is examined in the concluding section.

Keywords:   international regimes, regulation of business, bilateral investment treaties, codes of conduct, OECD, Multilateral Agreement on Investment, non-government organizations, NAFTA

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