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 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 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 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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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...

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