Negotiation-Support-Final-Print-2_Page_1-236x300The Negotiation Support Portal (available in English and French) is an online web portal that aims to improve the accessibility and visibility of useful tools, resources, and technical support available to assist host governments planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale investment projects in the extractive industries, land & agriculture, and infrastructure sectors. The Portal includes:

  • roadmap that visually lays out the investment process, with a brief description of what should happen at each stage of the investment, featured tools and resources, and links to providers that provide support to host governments at each stage;
  • searchable database of major support providers that provide technical assistance on a not-for-profit basis to host governments in the investment process. The database includes detailed information about each provider including the types of support provided, the sector and stage at which the support is provided, the general response time for a request for assistance, and the fee arrangements for the types of support on offer.  A hard copy of a matrix of major negotiation support providers (updated June 2014) is also available;
  • A repository of tools & resources to better inform and guide governments at each stage of the investment; and
  • A list of short term trainings and professional development courses aimed at government officials and policy makers in relation to one or more stages of the investment process in the extractive industries, land & agriculture, or infrastructure sectors.

The Negotiation Support Portal was developed by CCSI in consultation with a wide range of experts from government, the World Bank, civil society, and academia. Funding for the project was provided by the Australian Government and the United States Department of State.  In June 2014, the Negotiation Support Portal was officially endorsed by the G7 CONNEX initiative. A French version of the portal was launched in September 2015.

In October 2015 CCSI convened the First Meeting of Negotiation Support Providers to discuss challenges associated with the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the provision of technical assistance for, and capacity-building trainings regarding, large-scale investment projects to low-income governments. A summary of the challenges discussed can be found here.


During the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, many stakeholders raised strong concerns about the Investment Chapter of the TPP, and in particular, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS).  The US Trade Representative (USTR) and other representatives of the negotiating partners assured the stakeholders that the TPP’s investment chapter would respond to the legitimate concerns about expansive investor protections and ISDS. The actual text, however, when made public, showed the opposite: a further evisceration of the role of domestic policy, institutions, and constituents. In their current form, the TPP’s substantive investment protections and ISDS pose significant potential costs to the domestic legal frameworks of the US and the other TPP parties without providing corresponding benefits. TPP entrenching flaws - COVER

In this Policy Paper, CCSI’s Lise Johnson and Lisa Sachs respond to the USTR’s claims that the “TPP upgrades and improves ISDS” and “closes loopholes and raises standards higher than any past agreements.” Indeed, as the memo discusses, there are a number of problems from previous trade agreements that have been carried over into the TPP, and new provisions added to the TPP that do not appear in other US FTAs and that raise additional concerns.

This analysis follows on a Policy Memo on Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest, and US Domestic Law, in which the authors, together with Jeffrey Sachs, highlighted more systematic flaws of investment treaties and their ISDS protections, including the impact that ISDS has on the development, interpretation and application of domestic law.

More of CCSI’s research on the intersection of treaty law and domestic standards can be found here.