In 1999, the Battle of Seattle dragged International Investment Agreements briefly into the limelight. This moment of notoriety passed quickly, however, and International Investment Agreements (IIAs) have quietly continued to be drafted, signed, and enforced. These agreements have a profound impact on the environmental regulations of countries subject to IIAs, with a pronounced effect on developing countries’ regulatory schemes.

This paper explores the impact of IIAs on environmental regulation, using two case studies to suggest that IIAs do indeed prevent some countries from developing or enforcing effective environmental policies.