Predicting the Unpredictable: Will Tariffs Under President Trump Cause a Trade War With China?

President Trump has stated that he would impose tariffs on imports from China ranging from ten to forty-five percent. Can he do it? And will it cause a trade war?

The Effects of Increased Tariffs

In the 18th Century, tariffs were considered a method of generating revenue and protecting domestic industry. The first U.S. customs duties were imposed in 1789, and were considered vital to the economic survival of the young nation. That mercantilist approach has since been overwhelmingly rejected by mainstream economists. Even by the time of the American Revolution, specialization and comparative advantage were being touted (including by Adam Smith, whose Wealth of Nations was published in 1776) as the true route to national prosperity.

Continue Reading

Predicting the Unpredictable: Practical Steps for International Business Under the Trump Administration

We must distinguish between the unlikely and the impossible.

– P.G. Wodehouse

President Trump’s successive executive orders restricting immigration caught many people off guard, and many businesses had to scramble to react. But we propose that predicting the future is not as challenging under the new Administration as it may sometimes seem. For example, if you wished to know whether there would be an immigration ban (whether you favor or oppose immigration restrictions), you could do worse than to take the President at his word about what he is going to do: Candidate Trump promised immigration restrictions targeting, variously, Muslim people, Muslim majority countries, and countries listed as state sponsors of terrorism. Which countries would Mr. Trump target? Several of those listed could have been predicted in advance based on campaign promises. More broadly, a suspension of immigration from Syria and Libya was an explicit campaign promise, so certainly that much was predictable.

Continue Reading

Bre(xit)aking News

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by a majority of 8 to 3 has today confirmed that triggering the exit procedure from the European Union requires an Act of Parliament.

As such the Supreme Court disagreed with the current UK Government which had argued that Government ministers could rely on their prerogative powers to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union without prior authorisation by Parliament. Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies had argued that they too should be consulted. The judges did not agree with that view.

Continue Reading

Top 12 EU Legal Developments to Watch in 2017

Sheppard Mullin’s EU team has created a list of major legal shifts that await General Counsel and Compliance Officers in the areas of competition, EU regulatory and trade in 2017. These challenges may have an impact on your corporate and commercial strategies.

Our predictions include:

Continue Reading

The Undoing Project – Why NAFTA Can’t be Undone, but Can be Re-Done

Boy, does it sound convincing when Mr. Trump states he will submit notice under section 2205 of NAFTA to let Mexico and Canada know that the U.S. will withdraw from NAFTA. The problem is, while the president-to-be is capable, we presume, of writing, signing, and sending (or possibly tweeting) such a notification, that notification would not have a legal significance because withdrawing from NAFTA, ab initio, is not a power accorded the President.

Continue Reading

The Future of Russia Sanctions: The Awkward Edition

On January 10, 2017, Senate Republicans and Democrats introduced bi-partisan legislation called the “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017,” which would impose broad sanctions on Russia. The Act would codify the sanctions President Obama imposed in response to the Russian cyberattack on the United States to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and the Ukraine-related sanctions President Obama issued in 2014. Importantly, the legislation introduces beefed up economic sanctions against Russia’s energy and financial sectors.

Continue Reading

The Table Flip: Trump, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and American Business

  • A President Trump will have authority to reinstate sanctions lifted by the Iran Nuclear Deal as well as revoke certain authorizations provided for business with Iran.
  • Several economic and geopolitical factors may cause Mr. Trump to reconsider or mitigate his approach to the Iran Nuclear Deal.
  • Companies should prepare to respond quickly to any changes.

Maybe you’ve seen it before, the series of characters that represents upsetting the whole game, flipping the table:

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

These days, where words fail, we have emojis.  And here they describe what a President Trump may do to the carefully planned Iran Nuclear Deal. One year after the implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal (much discussed, at least in our blog), Mr. Trump will take office. At that time, we will see whether his campaign rhetoric against Iran becomes policy action or whether it will be tempered by geopolitical and business realities.

Continue Reading

Negotiation By Tweet: The Uncertain Future of U.S.-Cuba Relations

After the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death on November 26, 2016, President Barack Obama sent a message to the Cuban people highlighting his administration’s efforts to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him…[T]he Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America,” Obama said.

Continue Reading

The Future of the U.S.-Canada Trade Relationship in Light of the Election

By Scott Maberry and Lisa Mays of Sheppard Mullin; and Vincent J. DeRose, Jennifer Radford, Greg Tereposky and Daniel Hohnstein of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Today’s Global Trade Law Blog is brought to you by a collaboration between the international trade group at Sheppard Mullin and the team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG).

The United States and Canada enjoy a unique bilateral relationship. That relationship reflects a unique friendship, underpinned by shared geography, similar values, common interests, deep connections and powerful, multi-layered economic ties. The United States and Canada have both repeatedly confirmed their common commitment to strengthening the security of the border by working cooperatively to address threats early, facilitate trade, promote economic growth and jobs, integrate cross-border law enforcement, and bolster critical infrastructure and cyber-security.

Continue Reading

Obama’s Not Slowing Down On Cuba: New Steps Forward Open Doors (and Humidors!) for Collaboration

With fewer than 100 days left in office, President Obama is not slowing down on his efforts to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. Today, several changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) go into effect. Those changes build on the plan President Obama laid out in December 2014 to increase the means for Americans and Cubans to collaborate in business, education, travel, and humanitarian work. The amendments will strengthen the ties between the two countries, stimulate Cuba’s private sector, create commercial opportunities for both the American and Cuban people, and potentially improve the lives of many Cubans. U.S. companies looking to expand into Cuba should review these changes carefully to identify and develop strategies for growth.

We have included some highlights from the updated regulations below that could significantly  impact your business (or may prompt you to create a new one!). For the full CACR amendments, click here. For the full EAR amendments, click here.

Continue Reading

LexBlog