The State Department's Office of the Historian just released some interesting archives as part of the FRUS series, 1977-1980. Here's someting from a Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (Bergsten) to Secretary of the Treasury Blumenthal on a GATT for Investment (see p. 175):
The various possibilities for topics which could be included in the GATT for Investment fall into three general categories: investor protection, government intervention, and regulation of MNE activities. The specific topics include the following:
1. Investor Protection
—A judicial remedies convention could be negotiated which would be designed to ensure that goods produced from expropriated mines and factories can be judicially seized if shipped to the markets of the signatory countries.
—We can strengthen the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes or other similar panels.
—We would face the question of to what extent and in what form we should press for inclusion of the principles of national and most favored nation treatment and treatment according to the minimum standards of international law. These are sticking points particularly with the IDCs [LDCs?], who argue that only local remedies should be available to a foreign investor.
—Consideration could be given to several possible approaches for establishing investment insurance on a multilateral basis, but the history of negotiations on such proposals does not give grounds for optimism.
Speaking of the history of international investment law, I've been reading this book by Todd Weiler: The Interpretation of International Investment Law: Equality, Discrimination and Minimum Standards of Treatment in Historical Context. It's a fascinating book; I'll try to blog about it soon.