Including Investment Provisions in the US-UK Trade Agreement

Including Investment Provisions in the US-UK Trade Agreement


Assessment will be in the form of a 2500-word policy brief that responds to one of the prompts listed below. The brief should propose realistic policy responses or reforms in light of existing theoretical and empirical evidence and be written for decision-makers who would be positioned to act upon its recommendations. The argument for these proposals should examine their political and economic costs and benefits as well as broader distributional implications. Similarly, what are the decision-makers incentives to undertake the suggested policies? Is the proposal politically feasible?

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1 – The Trump administration has hinted at renegotiating the Korea-US FTA. As a consultant to the

USTR, identify the potential scope of such a renegotiation and its distributional and political consequences. Advise whether the USTR should support or oppose such a policy turn.

2 – Since the Brexit referendum, the UK has proposed pursuing a trade agreement with the US. Should this agreement include investment provisions? If so, what should be the emphasis, and why?

3 – British insurance providers would like better access to the Indian market. What instruments in the trade policy tool box should the UK government use, and why?


In a good brief, ideas will be clearly presented, with a readily apparent line of reasoning and convincing evidence supporting a logically consistent argument. The proposed reform will be apparent from the outset, as the typical audience for this form of output will have little time or patience for lack of direction. Academic research will provide support for original arguments and statements, and a quality paper will make comprehensive use of relevant readings from this module’s reading list, supplementing them with significant research.


Your policy brief should follow this general structure:

  1. Introduction – This states the policy problem and identifies the issue(s) that you will solve. This section should also summarize your own policy recommendations and, concisely, the reasoning behind them. The policy brief’s audience should either be clarified in this section or in a ‘to’ line beneath the title.
  2. Issue description – The issue should be described; its relevance and importance should be highlighted. Status quo policies should be described, along with any existing difficulties that may hinder reform. The policy environment should also be clearly described (this includes, institutions, laws, stakeholder and policy-maker interests, and any other political-economy concerns). Remember to focus on IPE-related aspects of the policy problem and make links to relevant academic kinds of literature.
  3. Policy proposal – The proposed policy reform needs to be detailed, along with the associated costs and benefits. If other alternative reforms seem plausible, these should also be discussed and compared to the proposed policy. Attention needs to be paid to the institutional, legal, and political-economy environment; additionally, consider stakeholder and policy-maker interests in pursuing reform, along with any potential hurdles to implementation. Remember to root your proposal in relevant academic kinds of literature.
  4. Conclusion – Conclude the brief by giving a short summary of the issue and status quo and reiterating the proposed reform and how it would improve upon the status quo.

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