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Wood, LaFortune LLP in Texas – Houston Strong!

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017

Last month Woods, LaFortune LLP was talking international trade in Texas as Gordon LaFortune and Jean-Marc Clément attended the Advanced Customs Compliance Conference that took place in Houston September 20-22. Jean-Marc, the firm’s Montreal- based counsel, was a speaker and he addressed the audience of over 300 trade compliance professionals on the Canadian perspective on the on-going NAFTA negotiations.  Joining him on the panel designed to give the audience views on NAFTA form Canada and Mexico was trade lawyer Brenda Cordova from the Mexico City based firm of Braumiller Law Group.  DeLeon Trade LLC, a trade compliance firm also based in Houston, organized the event which has become an important annual event for international trade experts.  Copies of our conference presentation are available upon...

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Woods, Lafortune LLP – The Indigenous Chapter – “not like the others”

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017

Invited to join other representatives of the various the stakeholders groups, Michael Woods is spending time at the site of the NAFTA Round 3 negotiations in Ottawa during the week of September 24th. His focus is on the Indigenous Peoples and SME files. The growing interest in Canada’s proposal for an Indigenous Chapter is reflected in recent interviews Michael had with Macleans and the Toronto Star. A member of the executive of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO), Michael works closely with the Chair, Wayne Garnons-Williams. Attached is a photo of Wayne and Michael with an Algonquin elder at a reception at the National Gallery of Canada held during Round 3. The event was hosted by the Canadian Council of International Law (CCIL) and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and was held in honour of the negotiators for the three NAFTA...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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