Recognizing and Understanding the Challenges in Trade Investment Law

Trade and investment law are interconnected, but both deal with capital formation: how businesses fund themselves. Trade covers things bought and sold in time, like oranges or oil, and rules surrounding trade between other nations. Investment law involves encouraging the moving of investments into companies and projects that offer the greatest likelihood of success while regulating and protecting investors.

Both of those issues can be international. A nation may institute tariffs or other export restrictions to protect domestic industries and employees or keep currency flowing into the country. Or a government may have trade treaties with other nations to encourage trade in certain areas or eliminate tariffs and restrictions.

The Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) is one of the successor organizations to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It promotes free trade but also attempts to reduce trade barriers. The WTO's primary function is to ensure that trade flows are as smooth, rapid, and safe as possible. Another role of the WTO is to protect intellectual property rights. The WTO also analyzes international trade rules to ensure they do not conflict with health, safety, the environment, and labor laws.

The complex trade law system developed by the WTO operates with bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to define the entire system's inner workings and to set out the exact parameters for individual dispute resolution between countries. While this includes business entities, it also includes governments, national agencies, and international organizations who benefit or suffer from the long chain of regulations that can be realized between a foreign government and the country where they operate.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the regulatory authority for America's investment markets, mainly stock trading. It issues thousands of new forms and rule changes each year, making a manual review of every filing an impossible task.

Fortunately, artificial intelligence solutions like those used by the SEC can rapidly scan for new rule changes and anomalies in regional filings, dramatically reducing the time spent researching regulatory concerns.