EU Investment Court System The Investment Court System (“ICS”) included in the European Union (“EU”)’s recent investment and trade agreements with Canada, Singapore, Vietnam and Mexico (together, the “EU Agreements”) provides for the creation of a permanent first instance tribunal and an appellate tribunal drawn from a pre-selected roster of tribunal members. In this regard,…

Is there any practical value to international agreements without enforcement instruments? And can the multilateral rules of the world trade system hold the trust of the member states, so that they continue to adhere to the mutual benefits and obligations under WTO law – even if the WTO dispute settlement system is totally or even…

Click here for Part I Blowin’ in the wind. (Or the failed promises of the WTO’s Sustainable Development Agenda) The trumpets of Sustainable Development blew heartily at the creation of the WTO, which succeeded the GATT in 1994, just two years after the Rio Summit. For starters, The Marrakech Agreement establishing the WTO[1] explicitly listed…

At the end of 2020, the long overdue conclusion of the fisheries subsidies negotiation was once again postponed in the WTO. Any reasonable observer would have long ago concluded that the environment was the “the lost cause” in this organisation. Reasons to think so are many. Yet there are also strong grounds to believe the…

On January 8, 2021, a South Korean district court ordered the Japanese government to pay compensation to a group of former “comfort women (慰安婦),” also known as victims of sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II. The court denied sovereign immunity to Japan and ruled that the Treaty on…

President-elect Biden’s victory has been met with relief by many in the international trade community. Despite a plethora of obstacles he faces, Biden is expected to conduct U.S. international trade policy in a different way, including the use of multilateral approaches rather than “going it alone,” diplomacy instead of taunts and insults, collaboration not flying…

In the aftermath of the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference held at Buenos Aires in December 2017, four groups of WTO Members launched negotiations, agreeing to advance discussions on four vital trade issues – investment facilitation, domestic regulations in services, electronic-commerce (E-Commerce), and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). These joint initiatives were launched through independent…

Introduction The European Union (EU) and China signed a bilateral agreement for the reciprocal protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) against usurpation and imitation. The agreement strengths the EU-China trading relationship and reinforce the EU (sui generis) approach on GIs in the global market.  It took around eight years of negotiations, but in the end, it…

1. Introduction On 20 October 2020, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (“PTS”) decided to approve Hi3G Access AB, Net4Mobility HB, Telia Sverige AB and Teracom AB as participants in auction proceedings regarding the granting of licenses to use radio transmitters in the frequency bands 3,5 GHz and 2,3 GHz.  In laying down the requirements…

President-elect Biden’s victory has been met with relief by many in the international trade community. Despite expected obstacles he faces, Biden is expected to conduct U.S. international trade policy in a different way, including the use of multilateral approaches rather than “going it alone,” diplomacy instead of taunts and insults, collaboration not flying “solo,” and…

India imposed a ban on 247 Chinese mobile application including TikTok, PubG, Helo, and WeChat on the basis that these applications are involved in activities which are detrimental to the sovereignty and security of India. The Government stated that it has received complaints from many sources regarding the misuse of these apps to steal and…

Introduction Free Trade Zones and Special Economic Zones (‘zones’) have a unique character in international law. They are very much part of the geographical territory of a sovereign State. At the same time, they are deemed to be generally outside the customs territory. Such a unique character of these zones has been successfully used by…

Since December of last year, the WTO Appellate Body has been unable to hear new appeals[1]. Some WTO members have created the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA). It offers a path forward, but how does it work and what is its future? Who are the MPIA parties? In April, a group of WTO Members…

I. Introduction In Part 1 of this post, we examined the draft amendment to the Polish Act on the National Cybersecurity System [“Polish National Cybersecurity Act”] introduced by the Polish Minister for Digitization on 7 September 2020.[1] We explained that Draft Article 66a of the Polish Act sets out new regulations for the Polish telecommunications…

I. Introduction On 7 September 2020, the Polish Minister for Digitization presented a draft amendment to the Act on the National Cybersecurity System [“Polish National Cybersecurity Act”].[1] Apart from a series of amendments related to cybersecurity issues, the newly introduced Draft Article 66a sets out new regulations applicable in the Polish telecommunications market. The new…

Global trade is slowing at an unprecedented rate, as illustrated in the chart below. This trend had started long before COVID-19 had made its inroads. This may appear surprising as firms are more networked and increasingly rely on global supply chains. In recent times, the efforts for time-bound compact trade deals have received great attention….

The popular video-sharing mobile app TikTok has been in the news of late. President Trump signed an executive order on August 6, banning TikTok unless it is acquired by a U.S. company by September 15th.[1] This order comes on the heels of similar action taken by India, which banned 59 applications owned by companies in…

Recent events, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic, have brought home the point as never before how inter-connected and inter-dependent the world that we live in has become, and how vulnerable humans are to nature and natural phenomena, and how fragile human societies and enterprises are in the face of forces and science that are beyond…

On May 12, 2020, the Indian Directorate General of Trade Remedies (‘DGTR’) initiated a new anti-dumping investigation against a specific exporter from Vietnam,  Kim Tin MDF Joint Stock Company, for alleged dumping of ‘Plain Medium Density Fibre Boards’. Because  this product is already subject to anti-dumping duties in India, the second case is of interest. …