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Considering International Trade Law – Indigenous Perspectives & Possibilities – March 19th at the University of Ottawa

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019

Michael Woods is scheduled to participate on a panel discussion on Indigenous perspectives and international trade law at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law on March 19, 2019. His participation reflects his ongoing involvement in the field as a member of the executive of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO) and the Global Affairs Canada Indigenous Working Group which advised the Government on Canada’s international trade agenda.  Michael will be joined by the Chair of IITIO, Wayne Garnons-Williams and he head of the Government  of Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, Robert Brookfield.  The organizers are encouraging members of the public to attend as this will be and open event. Lunch will be...

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New Term for Michael Woods on Algonquin College’s Program Advisory Committee

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019

Michael Woods’ appointment to the Ottawa-based Algonquin College’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC) on  International Business Management has been renewed and he looks forward to serving another two-year term.  He was originally named to the PAC  in 2016. The committee includes leaders from the international trade community, government, academia, and the private sector who advise the College’s faculty designing and defining the continuing development of the College’s International Business Management Programs.  Michael attended the most recent meeting of the PAC on February 11, 2019, which was chaired by Professor Keith Seymour, Chair of Management Studies at the School of Business. The committee reviewed the latest developments in Algonquin College’s programs aimed at preparing Canada’s next generation of international business...

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NAFTA is dead! Long live NAFTA!

Posted by on Dec 18, 2018

Jean-Marc Clément, LL.L. – Counsel – Woods, LaFortune LPP Contact: e-mail – clement@wl-tradelaw.com; phone – 1-514-570-6144 NAFTA Redo – Trade Lawyer’s View The purpose of this article is not to paint a detailed picture of NAFTA but rather share a Canadian trade lawyer’s perspective on the evolution of a 25 year-old agreement that was recently modernized for the 21st Century. NAFTA resuscitation It’s fair to say that NAFTA received very little attention over the course of its lifespan, until the 20th anniversary came along in 2014 that is, only to fall quickly out of the spotlight once again for the next couple of years. Until an election promise came along.  And then NAFTA suddenly became the poster child of everything that had gone wrong in America. Back in 1989, Canada and the USA had taken a step in the right direction. Recognizing that the two Northern neighbors had such a natural fit for commerce, a trade deal would help cement the relationship. It should be said that both countries had been early adopters and supporters of the GATT multilateral system in the late 1940s, but they would certainly be able to dive deeper in trade liberalization and commit that to paper. Hence the Canada-US FTA was introduced and paved the way for greater predictability in international trade in North America, reduced costs at the border and improved competitiveness on the world stage. Then it was the year of the three amigos in 1994. Bringing Mexico into the equation presented a challenge but additional opportunities as well. A few more chapters were added to the agreement and side agreements were reached on labor and the environment. Meanwhile the WCO multilateral system slowly came to a grinding halt. Bilateralism became the new focus in America and elsewhere. And then the 2017 US elections came along. NAFTA apparently had to be either dramatically improved or thrown in the shredder. After more than a year of grueling negotiations behind closed doors, the self-imposed deadline of September 30th had apparently been met and a joint statement confirmed that an agreement had been reached. Autumn leaves and November signings What quickly followed was the (not...

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Woods, LaFortune LLP Chairs Session on Iran Sanction at Toronto Forum on Economic Sanctions Compliance & Enforcement

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018

Michael Woods has been invited to chair a panel on that will examine the implications of the recent divergence  between U.S. sanction regulations on Iran and those of Canada and the European Union as a result of U.S. withdrawal from 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (P5 + 1”). The conference, which is to be held in Toronto from September 24-26, is being organized by the Canadian Institute in collaboration with the American Conference Institute.  Leading trade practitioners from Canada, the United States, and Europe will be featured at the conference and Michael will be joined on the Iran sanctions panel by expert lawyers from the United States and the EU who will examine the intricacies of UN-driven and individual national sanctions and the issues of extraterritorial application and related “blocking” legislation.  For more about the conference see: https://www.canadianinstitute.com/4th-forum-economic-sanctions-compliance-enforcement/...

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Woods, LaFortune LLP Chairs CBA Webinar on the Intersection of International Trade Law and Aboriginal Law

Posted by on Aug 30, 2018

Michael Woods will serve as chair for the September 12, 2018 Intersection of International Trade Law and Aboriginal Law: Key concepts and recent developments, an upcoming Canadian Bar Association (CBA) webinar that will feature some of Canada’s leading experts in international trade law and aboriginal law. Vital issues including inter-tribal trade and the importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) will be examined.  Michael has devoted much time to the work of bringing the world of Indigenous Peoples and international trade closer together and is honoured to facilitate a review of critical jurisprudence including Huspacsath First Nation v. Canada, Grand River Enterprises Six Nations v. United States, and Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia etc. The team of experts from private practice, academia, and government will speak about the latest in modern trade agreements and the place and role of Indigenous Peoples drawing on the recent NAFTA experience and other ongoing and future trade negotiations.  There is no charge to dial-in for CBA members – for futher details see:...

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Possible Canadian Safeguard Action Against Steel Imports: Steel Importers, Distributors Consumers and End-Users Should Take Action

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018

Canadian firms that import, distribute, or use steel and Canadian consumers who buy products that contain steel should pay close attention to the Government of Canada’s announcement that it is considering safeguard action, including the possibility of provisional safeguards, against imports of steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire, and wire rod imported from all countries.  In most cases, if safeguard measures are adopted, duties or quotas or both would be assessed against these steel imports after a safeguard inquiry has been held.  But, in certain circumstances provisional safeguard measures could go into effect immediately while that inquiry is conducted.  Because the measures would restrict imports and increase costs, they would likely have a negative impact on importers, distributors, end-users and consumers. On August 14, 2018, the Government of Canada announced public consultations to seek views on whether it should take safeguard action, including potential provisional safeguards, against imports of the seven steel products.  The Government is taking this action to address concerns that the recent 25% U.S. additional duties on steel products will divert foreign steel destined for the U.S. to Canada and that this could result in an increase in steel in the Canadian market that will injure Canada’s domestic producers.  Canada is seeking views on whether safeguard action is warranted and, if so, on the appropriate remedy.  A copy of the Invitation to Submit Views can be found at https://www.fin.gc.ca/n18/data/18-071_1-eng.asp. Canada can take safeguard action to protect domestic producers.  Typically, if the Government believes that goods are being imported in increased quantities and under such conditions that they cause or threaten to cause serious injury to domestic producers the Canadian International Trade Tribunal will be directed to conduct a safeguard inquiry.  If the Tribunal finds that safeguards are warranted at the conclusion of that inquiry, it will make a recommendation on a remedy (i.e., duties, quotas or both) to the Minister of Finance who may then take action.  In these cases, safeguard measures would usually be imposed on all imports regardless of origin, but only after the inquiry has been conducted and all sides have been given an...

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