Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Dale B. Furnish

First Page



The ACM's Common Regime of Treatment of Foreign Capital seems to be a well-balanced set of rules representing an ambitious attempt at reconciling national and regional development interests with the need for foreign capital and technology on terms equitable and remunerative to those who supply them. As in the case of virtually every piece of development legislation based heavily on economic theory and aimed at wholesale change of an existing situation, the Common Regime has plunged into largely uncharted areas in which its ultimate effects are impossible to predict. It is not, however, a "lyrical" piece of drafting. Because it is serious and because so many other countries will observe its effects, it is extremely important. What Latin America and the Third World do about foreign investment in the future may likely be better measured by observation of the Common Regime and its application than by any other measure available. The Common Regime is almost certainly not so bad as some United States business interests would paint it; likewise, it is almost certainly not so definitive an answer to the problems it contemplates as its drafters, ACM interests, and other defenders might wish. This is all good theater, not unfamiliar to even casual observers of the breast-beating that goes on in inter-American relations. It is worth noting, however, that the Common Regime is, more than perhaps anything else, an invitation to all the participants--domestic and foreign, public and private--in the ACM economies to reason together and forge a mutually beneficial modus vivendi built on disclosure and common concern.