Financial Stability and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Lessons from Chile and Malaysia

GEGI Working Paper Series

By Kevin P. Gallagher, Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Mah-Hui Lim,  Katherine Soverel
October 2013

Download here: Financial Stability and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Lessons from Chile and Malaysia


There is growing recognition that nations may need to deploy cross-border financial regulations to prevent and mitigate financial crises.  Indeed, in December of 2012 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on a new ‘institutional view’ that notes how the IMF will begin to recommend that nations deploy cross-border financial regulations going forward.  However, many nations have become party to global, regional, and bi-lateral trade and investment treaties that may restrict their ability to effectively deploy such regulations.

This paper examines the cases of two countries currently in negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP): Chile and Malaysia.  The paper examines the extent to which each nation has deployed cross-border financial regulations in the past, and the extent to which they have negotiated the policy space for such regulations in its previous trade and investment treaties.  Finally, it analyzes the extent to which such measures would be permitted if the TPP’s investment provisions looked like the model bi-lateral investment treaty of the United States.

We find that, with some important exceptions, both countries have successfully deployed cross-border financial regulations and have carved out the ability to do so under their trading commitments.  However, such policy space would be jeopardized if the TPP conformed to the US model rather than arrangements that each country has been able to broker in other arenas.