The Obama Administration’s Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) Should Provide for Investor Visas

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The Obama Administration is busily negotiating bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with China, India, Russia, and Vietnam. BITs aim to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the United States and protect American investors’ rights abroad. It’s disappointing, then, that the Administration seems to omit from the BITs a provision for investor visas, despite the fact that previous administrations have entered into 70 treaties (40 of them BITs entered into since the 1980s) with investor visa provisions. If foreign investors can’t get investor (E-2) visas to come to the U.S., how will they invest here? If American investors are denied visas by foreign countries, how will they manage their investments overseas?

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