In 1996, industrialized countries accounted for 60% of all foreign direct investment and accounted for 85% of all foreign direct investment in the world. Answer: No, the MAI will not require its members to allow unlimited foreign investment in all sectors of the economy. The MAI will reflect the reality that certain sectors are politically and/or economically sensitive to different countries and are therefore exempt from obligations. The MAI also recognizes that these areas of sensitivity vary from country to country. International direct investment has been taking place for more than a century in different forms and to varying degrees.  Attempts to create a framework for the protection of foreign investment date back to the 1920s, including the negotiation of a draft League of Nations convention.  From the second half of the 20th century, investment protection was developed by the Bilateral Investment Agreements (ILOs) which are signed between two countries and specify the desired conditions for investing among themselves. The first ILO between West Germany and Pakistan was signed in 1959 and their numbers have continued to increase since then, although studies indicate that the ILO does little to contribute to the increase in foreign investment.  In 1965, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was established within the framework of the United Nations, and in 1967 the OECD prepared a draft convention on the protection of foreign property, although this was not adopted.  The MAI can be a positive force for the protection of the environment and work. The United States has proposed a number of provisions to promote environmental protection and compliance with basic labour standards. These provisions are intended to protect the ability of states to enact and implement laws and regulations to achieve these objectives.
The MAI would not compromise a government`s power to regulate in general, including to protect the health, safety of workers and the environment. We are also looking for a specific language that would allow each party, including the United States, to request consultations with any other contracting party to the MAI that is supposed to lower the basic standards of work, environment, health or safety in order to attract investment. The MAI would provide a comprehensive framework for the treatment of foreign investment. It would allow countries to exempt certain MAI commitments (such as national treatment and treatment of the most favoured nation (MFN) in areas of particular political or economic sensitivity. For example, the United States is working to ensure that U.S. MAI commitments do not go beyond those we already have in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the 31 bilateral investment agreements (ILOs) currently in place, in which the United States participates. Indeed, many elements of the MAI are modelled on the terms of thought already contained in these agreements and which have been developed taking into account the investment policy and regulatory practices of the United States. In Montreal, on May 25, 1998, the Montreal Conference on Global economies was blocked for five hours by hundreds of Activists of Operation SalAMI, on the basis of the French acronym for the proposed agreement, AMI, not only for sausage, but also for a “dirty friend”. Operation Salami called on Canada to withdraw from the MAI negotiations.