Woods, LaFortune LLP

Navigation Menu

Woods, LaFortune LLP to Attend Round 3 of NAFTA Modernization Talks

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017

With the first two rounds of the NAFTA negotiations completed the next meeting is scheduled for Ottawa starting September 23rd.  Michael Woods has been invited to attend as an observer.  Global  Affairs Canada has undertaken to arrange on-going briefings and meetings upon request with Canada’s NAFTA Chief Negotiator and Deputy Chief Negotiator and subject-matter experts for observers during the round which is scheduled to continue until September 27th...

Read More

Inside US Trade Interviews Michael Woods on NAFTA and Participation of Indigenous People

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017

Michael Woods and his International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment (IITIO) colleague, Wayne Garnons-Williams were interviewed by a leading American journal, Inside U.S. Trade, on the subject of Indigenous Peoples and their interest and future role in the negotiation of modern trade agreements. Michael spoke to the Nation to Nation aspect of the Government of Canada’s relationship with First Nations and what this meant in the context of the current NAFTA talks. With Canadian negotiators setting out an Indigenous Chapter as one of their objectives, this is subject to increasing interest.  See link to our earlier posting re the IITIO submission to the Government.  Also see link to the Inside U.S. Trade...

Read More

Michael Woods participates in NAFTA Roundtable

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017

On August 2, 2017,  Michael Woods participated a joint Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAC)/ Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) Roundtable on the subject of Intellectual Property (IP) rights and upcoming NAFTA re-negotiations. Participants included representation from First Nations, Government of Canada, and others interested in the upcoming  NAFTA negotiations.  Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM) and the  founder of CIGI, launched the session with an informal  presentation on the need to foster Canada’s “ Innovation Economy” and the importance for NAFTA negotiators to take this into account when addressing IP aspects. Roundtable members then discussed IP and the recognition and protection of “Traditional Knowledge” and other forms of Indigenous  business and cultural expression.  Michael spoke in his own capacity as a trade lawyer and former trade negotiator.  He also spoke capacity a member of the executive council of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO) along with fellow members Jim Ransom of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and  Kyle Delisle of the Mohawks of Kahnawa:ke. See the link to the roundtable...

Read More

Michael Woods & IITIO Submission on NAFTA Modernization Indigenous Peoples Participation Consistent with Canadian and International Law and Policy

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017

Michael Woods was recognized by his colleagues at the Inter-Tribal Trade Investment Organization (IITIO) for his contribution to the organization’s submission to Global Affairs Canada with respect to the upcoming negotiations with the United States and Mexico on the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The submission  draws on recent decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada and  important developments in international law including the  adoption of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 and the more recent reaffirmation of Indigenous rights by the adoption of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ADRIP) in 2016.  In the submission IITIO, points to these recent developments and the Government of Canada own statements leads to the need to for the participation of Indigenous peoples in the negotiation of international agreements that impact their rights. IITIO submits that this is consistent with international law as well as in line with current international and Canadian domestic policy for Indigenous rights.  See the submission endorsed by IITIO executive at this link  as well as a letter in support filed by the Shuswap National Tribal Council.  ...

Read More

“A Diplomacy Vacuum Canada Well Positioned to Fill”

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017

Michael Woods was quoted at length in the June 2017 edition of Lexpert Magazine, a leading Canadian business law publication.  In the article, A Siren Call among Shrill Notes by  Julius Melnitzer, Michael is one of the leading members of Canada’s international trade bar asked to comment on the implications for Canada of the current U.S. Administration’s protectionist moves on trade. He takes a positive view that that “ … the demand for international business expansion remains alive and well … [Canada] is a G7 country that looks like the global leader in promoting trade liberalization.” The article addresses both NAFTA and Canada’s growing options with respect to Europe and the CETA and Asia on continuing negotiations with TPP partners as well as China. Michael encourages continuing and deepening strategic partnership between Canada’s businesses and government in building the strongest partnership possible – one that will keep Canada “punching above our weight” in terms of global...

Read More