Blank Rome’s International Trade group advises governments, corporations, industry associations, and export banks in a wide range of trade and investment issues.
Our Trade Remedies, Trade Litigation & Trade Negotiations team is known for its robust track record not only in trade remedy proceedings but also in appeals of trade remedy measures before U.S. courts, litigation before the World Trade Organization, litigation under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (and, previously, the North America Free Trade Agreement), and trade policy and negotiations.
In order to provide comprehensive services to our clients, we work closely with other highly regarded groups within Blank Rome, including our Corporate, Government Contracts, Maritime, Intellectual Property & Technology, and White Collar Defense & Investigations teams.
How We Can Help
The team regularly leads on trade remedy cases of global legal significance. For example, on behalf of the Government of Canada we have led for over 25 years on the highly publicized softwood lumber U.S. dispute, which currently involves more than 15 separate antidumping, countervailing duty, and injury proceedings. This high-caliber work demonstrates our leadership in the market.
We have a successful track record representing foreign producers, governments, industry associations, and U.S. importers in U.S. trade remedy investigations and reviews. Drawing on our in-depth knowledge of U.S. laws and regulations, as well as our credibility with U.S. government agencies and within the trade bar, we have helped our clients achieve excellent results even in difficult situations. We also have an excellent record advising clients involved in trade remedy investigations conducted in foreign jurisdictions, such as Mexico and Brazil.
Members of our team have appeared on behalf of governments, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Indonesia, the Government of Chile, and the Government of Mexico, at every stage of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) dispute settlement process, from consultations, to panel and Appellate Body proceedings, Article 21.5 compliance proceedings under the Dispute Settlement Understanding (“DSU”), and in DSU Article 22.3 and 22.6 arbitrations. We have also provided advice with respect to the WTO-consistency of actions (such as export restrictions, tax regimes that discriminate in favor of domestic production, and industrial policies) by certain WTO Members.
The disputes we have handled span the range of WTO disciplines, including market access for, and non-discriminatory treatment of, goods under Articles I, III, and XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (“GATT”); agricultural measures under the Agreement on Agriculture; trade in services under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (“GATS”); antidumping measures under the Anti-Dumping Agreement; countervailing duty measures under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (“SCM”); and prohibited and actionable subsidies under the SCM Agreement.
We have also advised litigants in the context of dispute settlement panels under regional trade agreements such as the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (“USCMA”) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).
Our team is well positioned to offer support in any of these areas, having sat at the table before WTO panels and the Appellate Body as external counsel to our government clients, led dispute settlement teams while in government, served as USCMA/NAFTA panelists, and assisted panelists as part of the WTO Secretariat.
Our team members have been directly involved in negotiating and advising governments on multiple Free Trade Agreements (“FTAs”), including regarding all chapters in “multilateral” FTAs such as the USCMA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”), as well as in “bilateral” FTAs such as UK-Canada, UK-Mexico, UK-India, and UK-GCC (“Gulf Cooperation Council”). One of our team members served as Canada’s assistant principal counsel for the NAFTA negotiations and has a thorough understanding of the rules and obligations that are contained in most current FTAs. As important as our familiarity with the content of FTA chapters is our understanding, born of decades of negotiating and advisory experience, of:
- the design and architecture of FTAs as a whole and the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches under those FTAs;
- the interplay among the different chapters; and
- how each chapter may relate to a party's rights and obligations under the WTO Agreement, other FTAs, or other international instruments such as environmental or taxation agreements.
This enables us to advise on all obligations under current FTAs and to devise strategies to address legislation and regulations that countries have in place, or intend to introduce, that violate these FTAs.