The U.S.-China Trade Dispute: What Are the Possible Options Going Forward After the Missed Opportunity of May?

China has been a rapidly growing economy for several decades. The challenges for the United States and many other trading partners is that China has moved away from a path of adopting market economy principles and has instead reverted to a state-directed economic model – a model not adequately addressed by current WTO rules with the result that there are longstanding grievances for the U.S. and other trading partners that are not addressable within the WTO, at least at the present time.

President Trump Declares a National Emergency Regarding Threats Against Information and Communications Technology and Services in the United States; Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Adds Huawei to its Entity List
May 17, 2019 by Terence P. Stewart

On May 15, 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain.” The Executive Order is numbered 13873, and was published in the Federal Register on May 17, 2019. 84 FR 22,689-22,692.

Blockchains and Customs: Prospects and Possibilities
April 26, 2019 by Nicholas J. Birch

One of the cutting-edge technologies currently generating much excitement and commentary in many fields is “blockchain.” Blockchains are finding use in systems as varied as banking, healthcare, and voting.

WTO Reform of the Dispute Settlement System - A New Proposal from Japan and Australia is a Step in the Right Direction
April 22, 2019 by Terence P. Stewart

During the last two years, the WTO has been wrestling with concerns outlined by the United States over the last nearly two decades on the operation of the dispute settlement system, most particularly the actions of the Appellate Body.

The United States To Terminate GSP Designation of India and Turkey
March 6, 2019 by Terence P. Stewart and Lane S. Hurewitz

As instructed by President Trump, on March 4, 2019 the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the United States intends to terminate India and Turkey’s designations as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized Systems of Preferences program.

2019 - A High Stakes Year for U.S. Trade Policy and the Future of U.S. Trade Relations
February 19, 2019 by Terence P. Stewart

When President Trump became President in 2017, one of his first acts was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that had been negotiated and signed by the Obama Administration.

Proposals For WTO Dispute Settlement Reform - A First Step But Not Enough
November 29, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

On November 23, 2018, two documents were circulated to WTO members for consideration at the December 12, 2018 General Council meeting proposing amendments to the WTO’s Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) with the intention of addressing the concerns raised by other WTO members about the functioning of the WTO’s dispute settlement system.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement - An Important Updated FTA for North America
November 14, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

On November 14, 2018, I participated in a program put on by the U.S.-Canada Law Institute and prepared a paper entitled “The USMCA & United States-Canada Trade Relations: The Perspective of a U.S. Trade Practitioner”.

Data Privacy Protection in the EU, the U.S., and Around the World: Does the EU's GDPR Provide a Guide Path?
November 13, 2018 by William A. Fennell and Stephanie T. Rosenberg

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) establishes a clear vision for the level of data privacy protection that it believes is appropriate for developed countries, and, indeed, the world-wide web, at this point in the 21st century. It could become the default standard for all countries that wish to protect their citizens from unwarranted electronic intrusion.

The Future of the WTO - Will Reform Happen in a Timely Manner?
November 8, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

In a world of rapid technological change, the WTO can be characterized as operating on rules developed in the last century where the ability to change has proven very elusive with an ever expanding membership of countries and territories with very different economic systems and various levels of development and a decision system premised on consensus.

Reform at the WTO - Will It Happen?
August 21, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

The World Trade Organization came into existence in January 1995 amidst much hope with a greatly broadened membership, a significantly broadened mandate, including services, trade-related aspects of intellectual property, the reintegration of textiles, and the start of reform in the agricultural sector, and a more binding dispute settlement system.

Will 2018 Go Down as the Year that Key WTO Members Abandoned Basic Commitments to WTO Obligations?
June 29, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is in crisis in 2018, due to Member country discord. The various agreements that make up the WTO are mostly 25 years old and reform is needed. The negotiating function at the WTO, which requires consensus on major issues by 164 Member countries for progress, has proven incapable of addressing most of the issues confronting the system.

Can the WTO Be Saved From Itself? - Not without a major crisis, and probably not even then
April 13, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

On April 13, 2018, the Washington International Trade Association held an event looking at the question, “Is the Multilateral Trade Dispute Settlement System Broken?” As a panelist, I prepared a paper that was focused on the U.S. government’s stated concerns and carried the title noted above.

Storm Clouds in Geneva - The Building Crisis Over the WTO Dispute Settlement System
February 7, 2018 by Terence P. Stewart

Since last summer, the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body has been considering whether to set in motion a process for identifying, vetting and appointing one to three Appellate Body members based on (originally) expiring terms and now three vacancies.

WTO Dispute Settlement – Two Decades of Issues Reach a Tipping Point for the United States
December 20, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

In a paper provided to participants at a Global Business Dialogue event on December 20th, Terence Stewart, Managing Partner of Stewart and Stewart, reviewed the areas of concern to this and prior Administrations in the functioning of the Dispute Settlement system at the World Trade Organization.

Who Sets the Rules for Who Can Serve on the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization?
September 1, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

When the World Trade Organization was created nearly twenty-three years ago, a new feature of the global trading system was a dispute settlement system that both had the opportunity for appeals from panel decisions and made the final decisions (whether panel or Appellate Body) “binding”, i.e., the decision could not be blocked by the losing party.

NAFTA 2.0, an update and additional comparisons of existing NAFTA texts and TPP texts
August 24, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

The U.S., Canada, and Mexico met in Washington, D.C. last week, from August 16-20, for the initial round of renegotiations/modernization of the NAFTA.

The NAFTA Renegotiation is the Logical First Place to Address the Needs of Perishable, Seasonal, and Cyclical Agricultural Products
August 23, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

The Trump Administration has been reportedly planning to introduce proposals within the NAFTA negotiations started last week to address the special needs of perishable, seasonal, and cyclical agricultural products within the trade remedy area.

NAFTA Negotiations Start Late Summer – An Opportunity Not Only to Update But to Address Underlying Causes of Continuing Distortions
June 6, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

The Trump Administration on May 18th notified Congress of its intent to enter into trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico to update (“modernize”) the 1990s agreement and to address issues of interest consistent with the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority Act.

Imports of Steel into the United States and their Effect on National Security (Updated)
April 20, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

The U.S. steel industry has been hard pressed by dumped and subsidized imports for many decades causing the closure of many plants and the loss of thousands of good paying jobs.

Moving Our Trading Relationship with Japan Forward
April 19, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart

In the first few months of President Trump’s tenure, the President has had the U.S. withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which both the U.S. and Japan had signed in 2016, and which Japan was focused on bringing into effect; met with Prime Minister Abe in Florida where bilateral relations and expanding trade were discussed; and had Vice President Pence travel to Asia for a series of meetings, including with Deputy Prime Minister Aso where the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue was kicked off.

The WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Entered Into Force on February 22 – Full Implementation Is Now The Focus

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (“TFA”) was agreed to by the WTO membership in December 2013 at the Bali Ministerial. On November 27, 2014, the General Council adopted the Protocol of Amendment which inserts the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement and opened it for ratification by members. It is the first multilateral trade agreement achieved by the WTO since its inception in 1995.

China’s Threat to the Competitiveness and Security of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry; Tools Available for the U.S. Government and Industry to Respond
February 17, 2017 by Terence P. Stewart and Sahar J. Hafeez

Progress in semiconductors has been the key driver of innovation and growth in a variety of areas, including aerospace, consumer electronics, energy, medicine, and defense systems. As the leading provider of semiconductors, the strength of the U.S. semiconductor industry has helped paved the way for global advancement in these areas and for economic development in the United States.

Issues for Businesses to Consider Should the Incoming Administration Choose to Address the Trade Deficit in Part Through Trade or Tax Actions
December 29, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

During the campaign, now President-elect Trump identified a variety of actions that might be taken if he were President to address the nation’s trade deficit and hence restore manufacturing jobs at home. These include various actions (renegotiation, withdrawal) with regard to existing or negotiated but not yet implemented trade agreements, additional duties on imports from certain countries, increased pursuit of disputes with trading partners who are not fulfilling existing obligations, addressing currency manipulation, and strong enforcement of existing laws providing individual industries and their workers remedies for unfair trade practices.

Leveling the Playing Field for American Companies and Workers - Ensuring that Goods Made with Forced Labor are Identified and Banned Pursuant to US Law
November 15, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart and Sahar J. Hafeez

Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 ("Section 307") prohibits the importation of "{a}ll goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor."  The section of US law has held out the promise that American companies and their workers should not have to compete with goods made abroad with such labor.

A Missed Opportunity: WTO Director General Azevêdo’s October 7 Speech at the National Press Club on Trade
October 11, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

On October 7, 2016, the World Trade Organization’s Director General Roberto Azevêdo spoke at the National Press Club as part of his outreach to support continued trade liberalization and to counter what he describes as the anti-trade rhetoric building in various parts of the world including in the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s New EAPA Investigations into Evasion of U.S. Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders
October 6, 2016 by Nicholas J. Birch

Domestic producers and importers in the United States have had concerns for many years that some importers have gained an unfair advantage in the market by illegally evading U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain imported products.

The WTO Needs to Focus on the Underlying Causes of Unfair Trade Rather Than Undermine Legitimate Trade Remedy Laws
August 9, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

In a rules-based system, the rules are developed to permit the smooth functioning of the members within the system by identifying what can and cannot be done.

Comparison of Persons Designated for Economic Sanctions Imposed by the United States, EU, Canada, Australia, and Japan Regarding Ukraine and Russia
August 8, 2016 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

Notes: This list is limited to Ukraine-/Russia-related sanctions regimes imposed by selected countries since 2014. Other countries are following the EU sanctions, at least in some respects. The sanctions also apply to certain entities owned by designated persons. The list does not include entities designated on the U.S. Entity List. See our Trade Flow articles for more information.

Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions Update and Overview: U.S. and EU Reaffirm Sanctions
August 8, 2016 by Jennifer M. Smith

In July 2016, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed that the U.S.’s Ukraine-/Russia-related economic sanctions will remain in effect unless Russia fulfils its obligations under an agreement reached in February 2015 in Minsk.

The Obama Administration’s Proposal to Change the MPF, the Main Customs User Fee, to Comply with TPP: Some Importers Will Pay More, Others Will Pay Less
August 1, 2016 by Jennifer M. Smith

The Obama Administration is currently seeking informal input from and consulting with importers regarding a recent proposal to change the structure and amount of the Merchandise Processing Fee (“MPF”) to bring it into compliance with the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”).

Implications of a U.S. WTO Challenge to China’s Continuing Use of Export Duties
July 14, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

On July 13th, the United States requested consultations with China at the WTO on China’s application of export duties on a range of raw material products where such application is inconsistent with China’s Protocol of Accession to the WTO.

Improving the Functioning of the World Trade Organization Appellate Body - the United States makes an important contribution by taking a stand on when reappointment of an AB member is inappropriate
May 27, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

Events in May: The terms of two of the seven WTO Appellate Body (“AB”) members expire at the end of May. For one member, a replacement must be found as the existing member has served the maximum time permitted by the rules (two four-year terms). For the second, the AB member has sought reappointment to a second four-year term.

American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 – New Law Provides Opportunity for Producers to Seek Duty Suspension/Reductions for Inputs Not Produced Domestically
May 23, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

For many years, producers of products in the United States have sought tariff suspensions on input products not produced in the United States through a process known as miscellaneous tariff bills (although other actions were also possible through such bills).

Dispute Settlement at the World Trade Organization – Holding Appellate Body Members Accountable When They Address Issues Not Raised in Disputes or Exceed Their Authority By Adding to or Diminishing Rights or Obligations
May 13, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization consists of seven members serving staggered four year terms. Appointees to the Appellate Body can be reappointed once, should be representative of the WTO membership, and are appointed by the Dispute Settlement Body on a consensus basis.

Four Years After the U.S.-Korea FTA – Trade Myths vs. Trade Facts
March 16, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

March 15th marked the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (“KORUS”). The agreement has been the object of concern in some corners for failing to open the Korean market sufficiently and not adequately addressing various non-tariff barriers, particularly in the automotive sector.

Rethinking U.S. Trade Policy – Lessons From the Current Presidential Campaigns
March 14, 2016 by Terence P. Stewart

The appeal to voters of both Democratic and Republican candidates in the Presidential primary races to date who believe past trade deals have not been well crafted and have served workers poorly has surprised many pundits.

Comparison of Financial Services, Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce chapters from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with earlier US FTA’s with Peru, Korea and Colombia
December 10, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

Stewart and Stewart today released the 13th, 14th, and 15th comparison texts of chapters from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”) with chapters (where they exist) in the earlier U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia.

Release of Comparison Documents for Chapters 7 and 8 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade with earlier US Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Korea and Colombia
December 2, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

As part of a continuing series of releases, today Stewart and Stewart released two documents that compare the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”) chapters on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (“SPS”, Chapter 7) and Technical Barriers to Trade (“TBT”, Chapter 8) with chapters on such topics in earlier US Free Trade Agreements with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia.

The Start of the Twenty-First Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21) in Paris, November 30, 2015 – What World Will We Leave Our Children and Grandchildren
November 30, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

Any student of modern times cannot but notice the changes in our environment. While weather cycles certainly can be unpredictable and there continues to be debate in some circles as to the causes, the evidence behind a warming globe is hard to dispute and is widely accepted as is the degradation of the environment in many parts of the world.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Chapter 4 on Textiles and Apparel Compared to Textile and Apparel Chapters in the US Free-Trade Agreements with Peru, Korea and Colombia
November 25, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

US Free Trade Agreements have historically had a chapter that addresses how trade in textile and apparel products is handled.

Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation, Trans-Pacific Partnership Chapter 5 and its counterparts in earlier US FTAs with Peru, Korea and Colombia
November 24, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

The latest document in Stewart and Stewart’s series comparing chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with earlier US Free Trade Agreements with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia looks at Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation.

Release of Document Comparing Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Chapter 3, Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures, with texts of earlier US FTAs with Peru, Korea and Colombia
November 23, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

At the heart of every Free Trade Agreement is both the tariff liberalization that will occur and how goods will be evaluated as qualifying for the preferential rates that have been negotiated. In today’s release of another TPP chapter, Stewart and Stewart presents the rules of origin and origin procedures that are included in Chapter 3 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and how those provisions compare to provisions in earlier US Free Trade Agreements, with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia.

Release of Comparison Document of Trade Remedy Chapter of TPP with similar chapters in US FTAs with Peru, Korea and Colombia
November 20, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

Stewart and Stewart today released the latest comparison text of topics covered in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and such topics from earlier US Free Trade Agreements with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia.

Two comparison documents for Chapters 15 and 17 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership released
November 19, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

Stewart and Stewart released the sixth and seventh comparison documents today comparing The TPP Chapter on Government Procurement (Chapter 15) with chapters on government procurement contained in earlier US Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Korea and Colombia.

Release of Text Comparing TPP Chapter 20 on Environment with Earlier U.S. FTAs with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia
November 18, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

The relationship between trade agreements and environmental agreements has been of significant importance since before the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO). There is a permanent committee at the WTO looking at issues pertaining to Trade and the Environment and a variety of environmental topics was part of the Doha Development Agenda issues that have been negotiated since late 2001, including on fishery subsidies, tariff treatment on environmental goods and other matters.

Comparison of Trans-Pacific Partnership Chapter 19 on Labor with similar chapters from US FTAs with Peru, Korea and Colombia
November 17, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

In the fourth release, Stewart and Stewart today provides a comparison document of the provisions within the Trans-Pacific Partnership dealing with labor (Chapter 19) and the provisions on labor contained in some earlier US Free Trade Agreements with Peru, the Republic of Korea and Colombia.

The Intellectual Property Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership compared to earlier agreements is now available.
November 16, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

Stewart and Stewart released today a comparison volume of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Chapter 18) with the IP chapters of the Peru, Korea and Colombia FTAs.

Stewart and Stewart posts second comparison of a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement chapter - Investment - with earlier US FTAs involving Peru, Korea and Colombia
November 12, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

In the firm’s ongoing program to compare all chapters of the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”) with earlier free trade agreements the United States has entered, today’s posting looks at the investment chapter of TPP.

Trans-Pacific Partnership - Comparison texts with earlier FTAs with Peru, South Korea and Colombia
November 10, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

On November 5, 2015, the Obama Administration released the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) along with various side letters that had been negotiated.

Breakthrough in Efforts to Expand Information Technology Agreement – Some Good News for the WTO
July 20, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

Tariff reductions on groups of goods were the original main focus of negotiations between member nations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (“GATT”). When the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) came into existence at the beginning of 1995 following the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of negotiations in 1994, it was anticipated that trade liberalization through multilateral talks that would include additional tariff reductions or eliminations would continue to be an important part of the WTO’s function.

Lessons from the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations on Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from China
July 16, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

The United Steelworkers (“USW”) recently petitioned for relief under U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws on imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China. It was the first antidumping and countervailing duty case that had been brought in a very long time by workers without co-petitioner support by one or more of the managements of the domestic producers.

Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – How Much of the Congressional Objectives Will Be Achieved?
July 10, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

The twelve governments involved in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) negotiations (United States, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru) will meet at ministerial level in Maui, Hawaii from July 28-31, 2015, with their chief TPP negotiators meeting from July 24-27. Expectations of the participants are running high that the end game is in sight and that the ministerial will provide the setting for the resolution of major outstanding issues.

U.S. Trade Legislation Enacted in June 2015 and Remaining Pending Bill (H.R. 664) – What Do Companies Need to Be Aware of?
July 6, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

June 2015 ended with the passage of two trade bills and with a third awaiting conference between the House and Senate. Despite the importance of trade to the U.S. economy and to communities, businesses, and workers, in recent decades there has been very limited review of U.S. trade policy, including whether past and current policy and agreements are achieving the objectives Congress and various Administrations have articulated.

Cuban Trade Flows – What Opportunities Exist If U.S. Sanctions Are Eventually Lifted?
April 7, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced changes the Administration was taking on U.S. policies toward Cuba that were within the Executive Branch’s authority.

Making Trade Remedies More Effective Within the World Trade Organization and Domestically
March 30, 2015 by Terence P. Stewart

It has been a little more than twenty years since the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) came into existence. While global trade has increased significantly in that time, the growing membership of the WTO and changing power structure within the organization reflecting changing roles in the trading systems have contributed to a situation where it has been essentially impossible to forge consensus on the road forward or to meet built-in timelines within the agreements or Ministerial Understandings that constituted the original structure of the WTO.

Will the WTO Get a Second First this Month by Achieving an Expanded Information Technology Agreement?
December 2, 2014 by Terence P. Stewart

Sixteen days ago in Brisbane, Australia, the WTO’s Director-General had received strong support from the G-20 countries for efforts of the WTO membership to reengage in trade negotiations following two major bilateral agreements – US and India on resolving the impasse on implementing the Bali package (including the first new trade agreement since the WTO’s founding, the Trade Facilitation Agreement) and the US – China agreement on an expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA) product list, the first tariff reduction agreement since the ITA was agreed to in Singapore in 1996.

Which Value of an Investment Will Be Awarded in Investor-State Arbitration?
November 10, 2014 by Nicholas J. Birch

One of the evolving issues in investor-state arbitration is the question of which value of an investment can be recovered by an investor following a government taking. In areas where the expected value of a project can evolve rapidly due to sudden changes in information or market prices, such as in oil and gas exploration, whether the value of the project is taken on one certain date or another can have dramatic effects on the compensation received by an investor in an international arbitration.

Testimony of Terence P. Stewart - House Ways Means Trade Subcommittee
June 11, 2014 by Terence P. Stewart

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee: My name is Terence Stewart, a trade lawyer here in Washington, D.C. Over the years our firm has represented various agricultural and fishing interests in the United States. The views expressed today are my personal views and do not reflect the views of any of our current or prior clients.

Two Developments on Russia: U.S. Withdraws Russia’s Eligibility Designation for GSP, and Canada Increases Sanctions on Russia
May 8, 2014 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

Yesterday, May 7, 2014, President Obama notified Congress of his intent to withdraw the designation of Russia as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program “because Russia is sufficiently advanced in economic development and improved in trade competitiveness that continued preferential treatment under the GSP is not warranted.”

U.S. Added 17 Companies and 7 Individuals, Including Rosneft CEO Sechin, to Russia Sanctions List and Further Restricted Exports to Certain Russian Entities; EU, Canada, and Japan Also Stepped Up Sanctions
May 1, 2014 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

On April 25, 2014, the G-7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) announced that they would “move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia” due to Russia’s failure to deescalate the ongoing situation in eastern Ukraine and contrary to Russia’s commitments in an April 17 agreement reached in Geneva.

RUSSIA AND UKRAINE UPDATE: The U.S. Has Stopped Issuing of Export Licenses to Russia and the U.S., Canada, and the EU Have Expanded Sanctions, But Loan Guarantees to Ukraine Provide Opportunities for U.S. Businesses
April 16, 2014 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

In the recent days and weeks, the United States, Canada, and the European Union (EU) have expanded economic sanctions and taken other trade-related measures in response to the developments in Ukraine and Russia’s actions with respect to Crimea.

Failure to Pass IMF Reforms Undermines America’s Global Leadership and Limits Overall IMF Flexibility to Address Challenges in Ukraine and Elsewhere
April 10, 2014 by Bill Frymoyer

Tomorrow the IMF Annual Meetings begin in Washington, DC, and a major issue discussed will be the failure of the U.S. Congress to pass quota reforms that America actually suggested in 2010. We are the only major country not to pass these noncontroversial changes, but because of our veto ability, the implementation of the reform overall remains delayed.

U.S. Sanctions Additional Russian Individuals, Including Officials and Businessmen, and Bank Rossiya Over Crimea
March 21, 2014 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

Yesterday, the United States imposed additional sanctions on 20 Russian individuals, including high-level Russian officials and prominent Russian businessmen considered part of President Putin’s “inner circle,” and on one financial institution, Bank Rossiya (A.K.A. Aktsionerny Bank Russian Federation) in response to Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea.

Trade Adjustment Assistance: Rapidly Increasing Use by Workers Whose Employers Are Moving Production Offshore in the Past Decade
January 21, 2014 by Terence P. Stewart

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (“TAA”) program has been part of the political compromise behind trade liberalization since the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. TAA is based on the concept that, while trade liberalization should be an economic benefit for the nation as a whole, there are workers, industries, and communities who will be adversely affected by trade liberalization and who would benefit from training and other benefits to help them adjust to the changing business environment in the United States.

New Year Brings New Export Control Reforms: Changes Announced on a Range of Materials, Equipment, Explosives, and Items for Missiles and Rockets; Some Reforms Take Effect Today; Other Changes Imminent
January 6, 2014 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

On January 2, 2014, the Federal Government announced a third wave of major reforms to U.S. export controls. These reforms change the existing controls on certain items.

U.S. Government Tightens Syrian Sanctions in Response to Use of Chemical Weapons: USG to Intensify Syria Sanctions Enforcement Efforts
December 12, 2013 by Alan M. Dunn and Jennifer M. Smith

On December 10, 2013, the U.S. Department of State published a notice indicating that additional sanctions are being imposed against Syria in response to the Syrian Government’s use of chemical weapons.

Trade in Natural Gas: The Resource, The Law & The Choices
March 7, 2013 by Alan M. Dunn

Summary of Remarks by Alan M. Dunn at Global Business Dialogue Event at National Press Club, Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trade Policy Progress: What To Expect In 2013
January 7, 2013 by Bill Frymoyer

President Obama has a bipartisan opportunity to develop a new consensus on trade policy in 2013. As a Democratic president who understands the importance of both enhancing exports and providing incentives for middle-class opportunities at home, he is well-situated to achieve significant progress on trade in his second term. Clearly this is a tricky exercise given the 20-year battle between Democrats and Republicans, labor unions and business on trade policy.

How Non-Profits, Particularly in Health Care, Can Obtain Federal Funds Now: Focus on Federal Agency Grants
August 14, 2012 by Kathleen H. Hatfield

In this difficult economic environment, the U.S. government has targeted non-profits for the continued distribution of funds through a number of continually-evolving mechanisms, some of which we have discovered do not involve “traditional” competitive grant requests. As explained below, at least one $230 million health care program we’ve found is formula-based -- meaning eligible applicants who submit a properly completed application will be funded.

Sequestration In January Would Devastate Job Creation And Wreak Havoc In Health Care, Manufacturing, And Other Domestic Sectors
August 1, 2012 by Kathleen H. Hatfield

A year ago this month, Congress and the Obama Administration agreed to a short-term increase in the debt ceiling in return for the establishment of a “Super Committee,” which was to present a plan for long-term deficit reduction. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), enacted on August 2, 2011, the Super Committee was to develop recommendations to reduce the federal deficit by 1.2 to 1.5 trillion dollars over 10 years.

Easing Sanctions on Burma: New Opportunities for U.S. Businesses
July 27, 2012 by Alan M. Dunn and Jumana Madanat Misleh

On July 11, 2012, the Obama Administration announced the easing of sanctions on Burma as they pertain to new investment and the provision of financial services by U.S. persons in that country. The announcement was accompanied by a new Executive Order (E.O. #13619) and the issuance of two new general licenses by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets control (OFAC).

Stewart and Stewart Paper Examines Causes of High Food Prices and Reviews Current and Potential Policies to Prevent Future Spikes in Food Prices
October 18, 2011 by Terence P. Stewart and Stephanie Manaker Bell

In February 2011, world food prices reached an all-time high, exceeding even the prices seen during the 2007-2008 food price crisis. The speed with which food prices increased from July 2010 to February 2011, as well as the fact that the world experienced a food price crisis just three years ago, raises questions about extended periods of extraordinarily high food prices and the negative implications that they have for moving people out of poverty and reducing social turmoil.

UPDATE - Developments in U.S. Export Controls
September 19, 2011 by Alan M. Dunn

U.S. businesses need to be aware of the changing landscape of U.S. export controls and must exercise care in complying with these shifting legal regimes. The U.S. government currently is engaged in an effort to overhaul the U.S. export control system, and is implementing some changes in a piecemeal fashion as it makes progress on the reforms.

Debt Ceiling Agreement Puts Pressure on Constituencies to “Make Their Best Case” to Congress Before Super Committee’s October 14 Deadline
August 26, 2011 by Terence P. Stewart and Kathleen H. Hatfield

The contentious debate over lifting the deficit ceiling has made it clear that Americans will face drastically lower government spending levels and potentially dramatically different priorities by the end of 2011. Corporate leaders and key industries likely to be affected by potential budget cuts should be sure they communicate quickly with Congress and participate in the government’s deliberations to the greatest extent possible. The newly-selected Congressional Super Committee, appointed to cut $1.5 trillion in 10 years, will accept recommendations from committees of relevant jurisdiction by October 14, 2011. Time is short for meaningful participation from key national constituencies.

New Economic Sanctions Introduced In Response to Libyan and Syrian Crackdowns on “Arab Spring” Require Vigilance by Businesses to Avoid Violations
July 21, 2011 by Alan M. Dunn

In response to government violence and human rights abuses arising out of the “Arab Spring” in Syria and Libya, the United States and the European Union have issued a series of sanctions over the last several months directed at the Libyan and Syrian governments and members of the governing regimes.

Export Control Overhaul: Gates Calls for a Focus on the “Crown Jewels”
May 3, 2010 by Elizabeth A. Argenti and Alan M. Dunn

Secretary Gates recently announced a massive reorganization plan for the United States’ export control regime. At its heart, the proposed reform calls for streamlining the existing system by combining what are currently separate lists of restricted technologies as well as enforcement agencies for: (1) defense items (such as weapons and related technology); and (2) for dual-use items (goods, technology and software that may have both commercial and military applications).

Stewart and Stewart Identifies Trade Tools to Redress China’s Currency Undervaluation
April 8, 2010 by Terence P. Stewart

On April 7, 2010, the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart submitted an analysis to the House Ways and Means Committee identifying options for addressing the trade-distorting effects of China’s exchange rate policies.While recent news stories suggest China may eventually alter some of its currency practices on its own, the United States should have all options on the table to eliminate unfair currency undervaluation.

Office of Foreign Assets Control Issues Final Enforcement Guidelines
November 19, 2009 by Elizabeth A. Argenti and Alan M. Dunn

With OFAC’s issuance of its final enforcement guidelines, U.S. importers and exporters now have clearer guidance on how OFAC will determine penalties in enforcement actions when their business activities run afoul of U.S. trade sanctions imposed on certain foreign countries, individuals, and organizations.

Export Controls – The Current Reform Effort May Be More Than Rhetoric
October 21, 2009 by Alan M. Dunn

Sufficient political forces may have aligned to overcome the hurdles to an overhaul of the U.S. export control system. Many see current export controls on dual-use items as no longer serving U.S. national security and harming U.S. economic interests. The challenge is in striking a balance so that American innovators can tap new export markets while ensuring that sensitive technologies and equipment do not get into the hands of America’s enemies.

“Buy American” is No Job Killer
June 8, 2009 by Elizabeth J. Drake

There have been a number of stories in the media recently about how the “Buy American” provision in the economic stimulus and recovery law enacted earlier this year is leading to job-destroying retaliation by other countries. The most recent one, the lead editorial in the June 3 New York Times, “The Peril of Buy American,” like other reports, offers an incomplete analysis. The “Buy American” provision does not cost American jobs. It helps preserve and create them.

Attitudes May be Changing But Cuba Embargo Is Still Tight
May 4, 2009 by Alan M. Dunn

White House and senior Congressional leaders have indicated their support for various relaxations of the long-standing U.S. embargo on Cuba but lifting the embargo will require significant legislation by Congress. None of the bills currently under consideration would lift the embargo or even relax current restrictions except in a few product sectors.

Don't Buy the Anti-Buy American Arguments
February 5, 2009 by Terence P. Stewart

The fact that there is a debate about the legality of “buy American” provisions in the economic stimulus legislation before Congress is perplexing. International trade rules allow such discretion in national procurement policies. Period.

Infant Formula Tragedy Shows Importance of Ensuring Food Safety in Global Supply Chains
September 26, 2008 by Andrew Anderson-Sprecher

The ongoing tragedy of Chinese infants getting sick and dying after consuming tainted baby formula highlights the importance of strong food safety measures throughout global supply chains. The apparent adulteration of milk at collecting centers in China caught international corporations off guard and escaped attention of government regulators for close to a year. Chinese authorities, importing countries, and corporations must now assess how to ensure food safety in the future.

The Market and the Classroom: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship?
August 15, 2008 by Stephen J. Norton

The hearing was about the future of U.S. trade policy. The witnesses were four former U.S. trade representatives. But it was education that emerged as the dominant subject.

Running Afoul of OFAC Trade Sanctions Is A Lot More Expensive Under New Law
August 11, 2008 by Alan M. Dunn

Exporters and other U.S. persons involved in international transactions now face significantly higher civil and criminal penalties if they ship goods to countries subject to U.S. trade restrictions, such as Iran. Tough new penalties for companies or individuals who run afoul of OFAC economic sanctions (as well as other export control or anti-boycott restrictions) were formally implemented in June 2008 and emanate from legislation Congress approved last fall.

Food Crisis Signals Need for Comprehensive Approach to Agricultural Trade Policy
April 28, 2008 by Terence P. Stewart

Like a hurricane, the perfect storm that has spurred the global food crisis continues to draw strength from the open ocean of factors that generated it. Unlike a hurricane, there is no great land mass on the horizon that will cause it to break up and disappear. There is, however, an opportunity for global trading and economic institutions to respond to the current situation and prevent future catastrophes.

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