I’d Cut Down Every Law in England… !

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018

It is almost that time of the year of for newly minted law graduates.  There are days when I reflect on the growth of the rule of law in the international context and its importance for order and justice in the world. This included international trade law.  But as we know the rule of law in this context remains vulnerable to local views and narrow national self-interest.   When I was called to the bar...

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Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part III

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018

On May 31, 2018 the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross announced that the section 232 tariff on steel and the 10% tariff on aluminum would go into effect June 1st with respect to imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico. All three had been give exceptions following the March  8th decision by the U.S. president to impose these measures pursuant to section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act 1962 on the basis of...

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Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part II

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018

On Thursday March 8th, President Trump followed through on his threat to impose tariffs on all of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) on a global basis. The Proclamations on the two products are notable in that it aims to link the tariffs to the national security of the United States.  “The persistent threat of further closures of domestic steel production facilities and the “shrinking [of our] ability to meet national security production requirements in...

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Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box of National Security – Part I

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018

President Trump has followed through on his promise to impose significant tariffs on imports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).  Canada and Mexico were exempted in the context of the ongoing tri-lateral negotiations.  As the President put it; “… we’re going to hold off to see “see whether or not we’re making a deal on NAFTA.”  The threat of this action and then announcement that the duties will go into force within the next...

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GATT Article XXI’s National Security Exception – The Ultimate Trade Policy Conundrum

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018

[Originally published 4/9/ 2015. Updated: 3/9/2018.] Is it a necessary “safety valve” or the “ultimate threat” that could reverse and unwind the sometimes slow, but relatively constant progress in global trade liberalization?   When old friend and former Foreign Service colleague, Michael Virr, invited Catherine Walsh and me to discuss trade law with his Algonquin College (Ottawa) class, the topic was the GATT national security exception, which according to some, represents “the broadest and most...

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Canada-EU – Old Ties, New Trade Partners

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018

The following column was co-authored by Michael Woods and Gordon LaFortune and published today on Slaw.ca. For Canadian business, the threat of U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA is the biggest and most immediate challenge.  Without progress that satisfies the U.S. Administration, the current NAFTA negotiations may end with the U.S. issuing a Notice of Withdrawal that starts the six month clock on formal U.S. withdrawal from the Agreement and the market uncertainty that will likely...

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Gordon LaFortune and Michael Woods Join Slaw.ca as Columnists

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018

Michael Woods and Gordon LaFortune of the Ottawa and Montreal-based international trade law firm, Woods, LaFortune LLP, are pleased to announce that they will be writing a new column for Canada’s online legal magazine Slaw.ca. Starting this Monday, February 18th, Gordon and Michael will offer bi-monthly contributions on such matters of interest as the ongoing NAFTA re-negotiations, Canada’s new trade agreements (e.g. CETA, CPTPP), current WTO cases, and latest developments in trade remedies, import...

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Michael Woods Attends Round Six of NAFTA Negotiations in Montreal

Posted by on Feb 13, 2018

Participating on behalf of client stakeholders and as a member of part Global Affairs Canada Indigenous Working Group, Michael Woods attended Round Six of the NAFTA negotiation in Montreal January 22-29.  During the week in Montreal, Michael had the opportunity to meet and exchange views with Canadian negotiators, the many other stakeholders in attendance, and members of the media [see photo of Michael and Don Newman].  On January 27, Michael attended a Canadian American...

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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...

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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...

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