Trims Agreement Summary
The Trade-Related Investment Measures Agreement (TRIM) is a rule that applies to national rules applied by a country to foreign investors, often as part of an industrial policy. The 1994 agreement was negotiated under the WTO`s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and came into force in 1995. The agreement was reached by all members of the World Trade Organization. Trade-related investment measures are one of the four main legal agreements in the WTO trade agreement. The Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS” is the first WTO agreement that requires members to establish relatively detailed material standards in their national legal systems and to compel them to define enforcement measures and procedures that meet minimum standards. The ON TRIPS agreement is sometimes described as the first WTO agreement that imposes a “positive right.” This alone could lead to more than typical controversies, given that, in many cases, Members face quite significant changes in their national legal systems. Prior to the Uruguay Round (1986-1994) negotiations, which resulted in a well-concluded agreement on trade-related investment measures (“TRIMs”), few international agreements offered disciplines for measures to limit foreign investment and limited guidance on country content and coverage. The OECD Code on the liberalisation of capital movements, for example, obliges MEPs to liberalise restrictions on direct investment in a wide range of areas. However, the effectiveness of the OECD code is limited by the many reservations of each Member. Pending the conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations, which resulted in a well-concluded agreement on trade-related investment measures (the “TRIMs agreement”), the few international agreements providing for disciplines for foreign investment restraint measures have provided only limited guidance on substance and countries.