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…

Reclassification of ‘gig’ workers in California The State of California passed a law in force as of 1 January 2020 that classified ‘gig’ workers as employees of the platforms engaging their services ‘unless the hiring entity demonstrates that the person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the…

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…

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…

On 30 June 2020, the Mexican ministry of labor Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS – Secretary of Labor and Social Protection) issued its report on Public Communication No. MEX 2016-1 under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). Better known as the NAFTA labor side agreement, the NAALC was in effect in…

Although politics surrounding the US-China Trade deal are now a bit unstable , the intellectual property (IP) chapter in particular reflects some important principles that may well guide US-China relations regardless; they are important for what they do, and do not, include. Unlike other US trade agreements, the ‘IP Chapter’ appears as the first chapter…

On 22 April 2020, the U.S. President, Donald Trump, announced a “Proclamation  suspending entry of immigrants who present risk to the U.S. Labour Market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 Outbreak” (“Proclamation”). Is the Proclamation compatible with the United States’ WTO obligations?  Specifically, is in line with obligations relating to the supply of services…

Introduction The novel Covid-19 is spreading expeditiously through China and resultantly, U.S. and Australia have imposed a ban on travellers who have been through China in light of its safety and security concerns. WTO primarily regulates the goods and services and not the movement of persons however there is an increased probability of imposition of…

The full text of the US-China Phase One Deal, officially titled ‘Economic and Trade Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China’, was released on 15 January 2020. This 96-page agreement includes seven major chapters which cover the following matters respectively: (1) intellectual property,…

Introduction The recent WTO Panel report in India-Export Related Measures (DS541) has significant implications for various export promotion schemes implemented by WTO Members. In this case, the United States challenged certain schemes implemented by India under the Foreign Trade Policy. These included the Export Oriented Unit (EOU) Scheme and Sector-Specific Schemes, Merchandise Exports from India…

The WTO dispute settlement system runs a serious risk of regressing by year end into the conditions that prevailed in the GATT era. The difference between the GATT and the WTO formulations of dispute settlement is gigantic. Under the GATT, compliance by the defendant with dispute settlement findings was, in practice, voluntary; under the WTO,…

While there has recently been significant commentary on Chain of Responsibility under the Heavy Vehicle National Law and transport of goods by road the most common manner of importing and exporting goods to and from Australia is by sea. While carriage by sea meets practical requirements of importing and exporting it does carry inherent risk….

Free trade agreements (FTAs) are contractual obligations between the parties to reduce or eliminate tariffs on imports and reduce/eliminate trade restrictions in a wide array of economic sectors and services.[1] The goals of FTAs are to promote cross-border trade and investment and provide a stimulus to the economy of the trade partners. FTAs arise from…

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased 1.4% to 32.5 gigatonnes in 2017, a new and dubious record. According to environmental organizations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), China continues to be the largest annual CO2 emitter, with the United States in second place (the United States is still the largest cumulative or historic CO2…

We wanted to draw your attention to some interesting articles about the topics of the Regulating for Globalization blog that appeared in the European Foreign Affairs Review Volume 23, Issue 3, 2018, edited by Jörg Monar & Nanette Neuwahl.   Han Dorussen, Emil J. Kirchner, Thomas Christiansen, ‘Security Cooperation in EU–China Relations: Towards Convergence?’ (2018)…

This the seventh post in a series of posts commenting on the NAFTA renegotiation process. For Part I click here, for Part II click here, for Part III click here, for Part IV click here, for Part V click here, for Part VI click here. The United States and Canada are continuing their meetings this week to try…

This the sixth post in a series of posts commenting on the NAFTA renegotiation process. For Part I click here, for Part II click here, for Part III click here, for Part IV click here, for Part V click here. The terms of the bilateral agreement reached by the United States and Mexico on August 27, 2018, as…

This the fifth post in a series of posts commenting on the NAFTA renegotiation process. For Part I click here, for Part II click here, for Part III click here, for Part IV click here. On August 27, the United States and Mexico announced having reached a preliminary agreement regarding the terms under which they would conclude…