The need to address negative impacts of foreign investment on the environment, public health, and human rights has long been acknowledged. Drawing on recent case studies, this essay focuses on a number of concerns that arise when investors seek to unduly influence host government decision-making, including in the context of national policy-making in the public interest. This essay argues that International Investment Agreements (IIAs) should begin to more directly incorporate investor responsibilities so to avoid detrimental societal impacts of foreign investment and to maximize foreign investment's positive contribution to host communities. A fundamental reframing of IIA objectives is key in overcoming the existing resistance to incorporating investor obligations in new and amended treaties.
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