“The Next Generation of International Trade Agreements”: September 18 Georgia Law conference to feature trade law scholars, practitioners

Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge over the Savannah River, at the Port of Savannah, Georgia, the largest single container terminal in the United States. Photo (1998) by Jonas N. Jordan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Next Generation of International Trade Agreements” is the timely title of this year’s annual conference organized by the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law and Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law. Set for Monday, September 18, 2017, the daylong conference will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Center.

Scholars and practitioners from North America and Europe will come together to discuss one of the most pressing topics in today’s international arena. Panels, which will follow introductory remarks by Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Center Director Kathleen A. Doty, are as follows:

Setting the Negotiating Agenda: C. Donald Johnson (Georgia Law JD’73), Emeritus Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center and former U.S. Ambassador, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; Professor Kathleen Claussen, Miami Law; Nicolas Lamp, Professor at Queen’s University Law, Canada, and former Dispute Settlement Lawyer, Appellate Body Secretariat, World Trade Organization; and Professor Timothy Meyer, Vanderbilt Law.

Changing Dynamics in Global Trade Negotiations: Professor Gregory Shaffer, California-Irvine Law; Professor Mark Wu, Harvard Law; and Professor Padideh Ala’i, American University Law. Moderating will be Tina Termei (Georgia Law JD’10), Corporate Counsel for Global Trade at Amazon.

Industry Roundtable Luncheon Conversation: Ling-Ling Nie, Chief Compliance Officer & Assistant General Counsel, Panasonic North America; Stewart Moran, Assistant General Counsel, Carter’s | OshKosh B’gosh; and Travis Cresswell, Senior Managing Counsel, The Coca-Cola Co.

Pluralism/Regionalism/Fragmentation: Professor Antonia Eliason, Mississippi Law; Professor Markus Wagner, Warwick Law, England; and Professor Robert Howse, New York University Law. Moderating will be Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director, Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law.

Delivering closing remarks will be Victoria A. Barker, Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law. Additional speakers are invited but not yet confirmed: invited: Terry Smith Labat (Georgia Law JD’77), U.S. Department of Commerce; Audrey Winter (Georgia Law JD’80), Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and Professor Saxby Chambliss, Sanders Political Leadership Scholar at Georgia Law, partner at DLA Piper, and former U.S. Senator.

Issues these experts will explore include, as described in the concept note:

“International trade law is at inflection point. Until quite recently, international trade agreements appeared to be moving along a relatively predictable trajectory. Reforms and changes were discussed and negotiated, but mostly along the margins of a supposed consensus about the general direction of the field. Political events of the past year, though – Brexit, the United States’ abandonment of TPP, calls to renegotiate NAFTA, accelerating negotiations of RCEP, and China’s roll out of its One Belt One Road initiative, among others – have challenged that trajectory and sent policymakers and trade lawyers in search of a new trade compass. A new period of negotiation and renegotiation, however, is on the horizon. While this is a source for many of anxiety, it is also an opportunity for progress, reform, and creative thinking. This conference will bring together top scholars and practitioners in the field to discuss the directions forward for international agreements. What should be on the table as old agreements are reopened and new ones are negotiated? What changes are needed to adapt trade agreements to new economic and technological realities? And how can the next generation of trade agreements respond to globalization’s discontents?”

Cosponsoring the conference are the law school’s Business Law Society, Corsair Law Society, and International Law Society, along with the University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs.

Details and registration here for the conference, for which CLE credit is available.

Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law kicks off 2017–2018

Monday was orientation day for the students who’ll work on the 46th volume of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Editor-in-Chief Victoria Barker reports that at orientation, the GJICL Editorial Board (pictured above) heard from Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge about the importance of journal membership. Professor Harlan G. Cohen, a Dean Rusk International Law Center Faculty Co-Director and the Faculty Advisor for GJICL, and Kathleen A. Doty, the Center’s Director, spoke about international law opportunities for Georgia Law students. Speakers about careers and research techniques, respectively, included Laura E. Woodson, Associate Director of Career Development, and Anne Burnett, Foreign & International Law Librarian.

Among the year’s highlights will be the annual GJICL conference, set for Monday, September 18. Entitled “The Next Generation of International Trade Agreements,” it will feature more than a dozen specialists in trade, including 4 Georgia Law alums: the 1st woman to serve as GJICL Editor-in-Chief, Terry Labat; former GJICL Articles Editors Audrey Winter and C. Donald Johnson, Director Emeritus of our Center; and Tina Termei. Joining them will be other academic and practitioner experts from around the world.

This daylong event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, a cosponsor.

Leading GJICL‘s efforts this academic year will be these Executive Board members: Victoria Aynne Barker, Editor in Chief; Michael D. Aune, Executive Managing Editor; Shreya Praful Desai, Executive Articles Editor; Evan C. Dunn, Senior Articles Editor; Margaret Anne Christie and Caroline Anne Jozefczyk, Executive Editors; Michael Lawrence Baker, Executive Conference Editor; Jamie McDowell, Executive Online Editor; Spencer Newton Davis, Senior Managing Editor; Hannah E. Ponders, Executive Notes Editor; and Wheaton P. Webb, Senior Notes Editor.

Collaborating with them will be these members of the Managing Board: Jeremy Hall Akin and Caroline Frances Savini, Conference Editors; Justin T. Conway, Megan Colleen Dempsey, William Neal Hollington, Robert P. Mangum, Shawn Eric McKenzie, Anne Parks Minor, Ryan Holder Shriver, and Adam J. Sunstrom, Submissions and Online Editors; Kaitlyn Claire Fain, Ian M. Lamb, Ethan Keith Morris, Andrew F. Newport, Nichole Novosel, William Blake Ogden, Claire H. Provano, Katherine Nicole Reynolds, and Devon Gayle Zawko, Articles Editors; Matthew J. Courteau, Taylor Shea Eisenhaur, William Carroll Hart, Dana Lohrberg, Steven Chase Parker, Laney J. Riley, Beverly Elizabeth Tarver, and Max Mathew Wallace II, Notes Editors.

Joining the 3L editors just named will be an Editorial Board composed of these members of the 2L class: Deena A.S. Agamy, Dymond Alexis Anthony, Philicia Crystal Armbrister, Ezekiel Arthur, Samuel Baker, Lauren Elizabeth Brown, Amy Elizabeth Buice, Austin Chad Cohen, Keelin Cronin, Jacob Donald Davis, Erin Elizabeth Doyle, Garret Joseph Drogosch, Sarah Lanier Flanders, Simone Iman Ford, Laura Rose Golden, Allison Jean Gowens, Kathryn Cho Hagerman, Wade W. Herring, Evans Fuller Horsley, Ted Smith Huggins, Tammy Le, Zachariah Weston Lindsey, Karla Lissette Martinez, Jacob Thomas McClendon, Elizabeth Kate Modzeleski, Savannah Harrison Moon, Joseph A. Natt, Hayley Alexandra Nicolich, Lyddy Ellen O’Brien, Kyle James Paladino, Garrett B. Peters, Morgan Renee Podczervinski, Connor Jay Rose, Taylor Ann Samuels, Emily E. Seaton, Timia Andrielle Skelton, Nicholas Alan Steinheimer, Adam C. Taylor, Michael Lee Thompson, John James Van Why, Eric M.A. Wilder, Sydney Rebecca Wilson.

Looking forward to another great year!

“International Law and Global Governance in a Turbulent World” to be explored at Georgia Law-Leuven Centre conference, June 29 in Belgium

“International Law and Global Governance in a Turbulent World” is the title of the daylong conference we’ll be co-presenting later this month at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Set for Thursday, June 29, 2017, the conference will be held in Auditorium Zeger Van Hee at Leuven’s College De Valk (Law School, pictured below), Tiensestraat 41, Leuven. It is free and open to the public; register no later than June 27 here.

The conference also is a component of the Global Governance Summer School that we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, are presenting in partnership with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at the University of Leuven. Co-Directors are Georgia Law Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann and the Leuven Centre’s Director, Law Professor Jan Wouters. (prior post) Applications for the summer school are still being accepted here.

Here’s the June 29 conference concept:

“This conference aims to discuss some of the main challenges faced by contemporary international law and global governance in a time of crises. The conference starts with an exploration of the main challenges inherent to the enforcement of universal values such as human rights. Unlike in many other fields, legal standards are well-established and are the object of a broad, sometimes even universal consensus. Yet, not a single day passes without more of less grave violations of such standards in one or the other part of the world. The conference will then also focus on the difficulties to come up with a consensus on the rule of law at the global level. Starting from an analysis of the diversity in the ways the rule of law has been understood across time and geography, the conference will address some of the main challenges to the rule of law within the European Union and at the United Nations level. Finally the conference will also address the risks for the emergence of trade wars in a context of rising protectionism. Questions such as the future of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements will be discussed in light of the changes in the US foreign trade policy and the rising skepticism of citizens vis-à-vis further liberalization of international trade.”

These issues will be explored within the following framework:

  • Panel 1: Global Governance of Human Rights. How to enforce universal values in contested world?
  • Panel 2: Global Governance of Democracy and Rule of Law in international perspective.
  • Panel 3: Global Economic and Trade Governance in Protectionist Times. Will we see the emergence of trade wars in the coming years?

A transatlantic array of speakers will take part. Confirmed so far are Georgia Law Professors Diane Marie Amann and Harlan G. Cohen, and from Leuven, Anna-Luise Chané and Dr. Matthieu Burnay, along with scholars from numerous other institutions: Dr. Tom Pegram, University College London, England; Dr. Katrien Meuwissen, European Association of National Human Rights Institutions; Professor Daniela Piana, University of Bologna, Italy; Professor Petra Bard, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; Professor Laurent Pech, Middlesex University, London, England; Professor Miles Kahler, American University School of International Service, Washington, D.C.; Professor John Kirton, University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs, Canada; and Mr. Tomas Baert, Head of Unit, Trade Strategy, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.

We hope to see you there; more information here and here.

Georgia Law Professor Larry D. Thompson, Independent Compliance Monitor in VW fuel emissions matter

A University of Georgia School of Law professor is overseeing compliance reforms by Volkswagen AG, following the global automaker’s recent sentencing in a criminal case arising out of its fuel emissions tests.

The professor is Larry D. Thompson, holder of the  John A. Sibley Chair of Corporate and Business Law and a member of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, teaches Corporate Responsibility, White Collar Crime Business Crimes. He is also Counsel at Finch McCranie LLP in Atlanta. His distinguished career includes service as Deputy Attorney General of the United States, as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and as General Counsel of PepsiCo.

Thompson was named Independent Compliance Monitor in the VW matter in April, pursuant to a settlement by which a U.S. District Court judge in Detroit accepted VW’s plea to three felony counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States by engaging in wire fraud and violating the Clean Air Act; obstruction of justice; and importing merchandise via false statements. VW agreed to a fine exceeding $4 billion, and also to oversight by the Independent Compliance Monitor.

At the time, the company issued the following statement, by Hiltrud Werner, Board Member of Integrity and Legal Affairs, from its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany:

“Volkswagen welcomes the appointment of Larry D. Thompson to this new position, and we intend to cooperate fully with his important work.”

Since then, Thompson has assembled the team of lawyers he will lead in this work.

On World Trade Day, alum Bill Poole earns Global Leadership Award

Very pleased to congratulate our distinguished alumnus William M. Poole (JD’73), recipient of the Global Leadership Award bestowed by the World Trade Center Atlanta.

The Center bestowed the award during its World Trade Day celebration on May 2, in order to recognize Poole’s

“exemplary service to the facilitation of international trade and investment between Georgia and the rest of the world.”

Poole, who goes by Bill, is Of Counsel at Atlanta’s Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. Serving as head of the office’s International Practice, Poole, whose expertise includes transnational tax law, focuses on transnational business and investment matters.

He’s taught international business transactions law as an adjunct professor here at his alma mater. While a law student, he was Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law and took part in our Jessup International Moot Court and Brussels Seminar initiatives. After earning his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Poole served in Vietnam and Germany.

Through its World Trade Day event, the World Trade Center Atlanta brought an array of leaders to discuss issues of trade and investment. In Georgia last year, this sector accounted for more than $157.2 billion in imports and exports.

Belgian Consul General de Baets featured at Global Atlanta luncheon

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Pictured at front, from right: Belgian Consul General William de Baets and Phil Bolton and Trevor Williams, respectively, publisher and managing editor of Global Atlanta.

For decades, we at the University of Georgia School of Law have welcomed collaboration with Belgium and its people and institutions. Even before 1978, when Belgium’s national airline became the 1st foreign carrier to fly nonstop to Atlanta, a Belgian attorney became the 1st foreign-trained lawyer to earn Georgia Law’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. And thanks to the hard work and generosity of Georgia Law professors like Gabriel Wilner and our Center’s namesake, former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, we’ve partnered with leading Belgian universities to offer summer seminars on issues related to international  law and policy, often with a focus on European Union and transatlantic cooperation. That tradition will continue via this summer’s global governance school at the home of our partner, the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at the University of Leuven, one of Europe’s premier research institutions.

Thus it was a special pleasure to attend last Friday’s “Consular Conversations: Luncheon Interview With Belgium’s Consul General,” held at the Atlanta office of Miller & Martin, where Tom Harrold, Georgia Law alumnus and member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, leads the International/World downloadLaw practice group. The event was part of a series of conversations sponsored by another Center partner, Global Atlanta.

Guest of honor was William de Baets, who’s served since last April as Belgium’s top diplomat in the Southeastern United States. In a wide-ranging conversation with Phil Bolton and Trevor Williams, Global Atlanta’s publisher and managing editor, de Baets explained he’d joined Belgium’s foreign service following 9 years as a Navy officer. Postings before his arrival at Atlanta included deputy head of mission in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Venezuela, and political counselor at Belgium’s embassy in Washington, D.C.

De Baets said that his office provides consular services and also engages in public and economy diplomacy; Friday’s conversation fulfilled the latter role. He spoke to a full house – a testament to the fact that Belgium ranks among the top 10 foreign investors in Georgia, which is home to more than 70 Belgian companies and more than 5,000 Belgian nationals.

Asked about Belgium’s renown as the home of Tintin and the Smurfs, not to mention 20th C. surrealists like René Magritte, de Baets recalled an artistic tradition that reaches back to the 16th C. Flemish master, Peter Paul Rubens. Additionally, Belgium did not gain independence until 1830; before that “the territory kept changing hands and was ruled by other people,” he noted. “We couldn’t speak up too much. We were saying yes and thinking no, or saying yes and doing what we wanted to do. It was a source of our humor – we couldn’t take ourselves too seriously.”

Again answering a question, de Baets spoke of his father’s participation in the resistance during Germany’s occupation of Belgium during World War II.

Flags of the 28 NATO member countries

Conversation then turned to Belgium’s role in contemporary matters. Regarding Brussels-based NATO (right), the defense alliance established 68 years ago by the North Atlanta Treaty, de Baets noted apparent disagreement within the new U.S. administration. Indeed, earlier in the week the South Carolina Governor tapped to become U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, had called NATO “important.”

Although the United States can defend itself without NATO, Europe cannot, and so de Baets advocated strengthening the European Union’s security pillar to offset any weakening of NATO. Such alliances are essential for countries like Belgium and its neighbor, Luxembourg. Yet de Baets acknowledged difficulty in achieving the goal, given disagreement among EU member states – including Britain, even before its people voted in favor of Brexit.

Dubbing compromise a “Belgian export,” de Baets indicated that his country could a key role in aiding Europe’s efforts to resolve crises in financial and security sectors, as well as migration. The goal, he said, is to “strengthen our security without giving up our values.”

Sojourn stirs questions about policies in China, Cuba and the United States

Our Center’s Director of Global Practice Preparation, Kathleen A. Doty, is a World Affairs Council Young Leaders Fellow just completing her tour of China. Traveling with her have been eleven others, many from globally minded businesses. This is the last dispatch in Kate’s series of posts on her travels.

4BEIJING – The people of China are warm. They love babies. I quickly found the best way to make a friend was to coo at the child in her arms. They love long meals and good toasts, and have spent centuries mastering the art of hospitality. Being a guest in China is wonderful.

Beijing is a vastly different city than Shanghai. It is old, gritty, artistic. I heard many people say that Beijing was like Washington, D.C., and Shanghai was like New York. I think that it is a shallow comparison, and having lived in both U.S. cities, I disagree.image1

New York is much more than high rises; Beijing is a city alive and rich in a similar way. Of course, this impression has much to do with the organization of our trip; in Shanghai we were taken primarily to government developments, while in Beijing we were taking primarily to private companies and cultural sites. We visited the sleek showroom of Huawei, the Chinese version of Apple, and iQIYI, the Chinese version of Netflix, which exudes a hip imagestart-up vibe. I sipped exotic tea as I strolled through galleries in the profoundly cool 798 Art District, wandered back alleys in Old World neighborhoods, and saw a palace that has been grand since before my own country was founded. When the lights went out in a restaurant at dinner, the servers calmly brought candles to the table and we kept on with the toasts. Beijing was much more what I image2expected to find in China: a mix of the modern and the historical, of wealth and underdevelopment.

Cultural heritage was a theme I pondered throughout the trip. China is old in a way that I, a woman from Colorado, a place young even in the history of the United States, find mind-blowing. Beijing is a huge city. The several ring roads surrounding it put the Beltway or the Perimeter to shame. The city has been developed and redeveloped countless times, replacing so much of what once was. Walking the Great Wall (which is covered in scratched graffiti, in Chinese characters so foreign to my eye) and seeing the Forbidden City provided just a taste of an incredibly rich history that, little by little, is lost with improvements to modern life. I commented to a friend, an American expat living in China, that I found this sad. He responded that the history in 3China is too long to preserve the physical – you just can’t save every 5,000-year-old building – the cultural heritage of China lives in the language. Having mastered only four words in ten days – “Hello,” “Thank you,” “Cheers,” and “too expensive” – I have to admit that this is lost on me. But it emphasized the importance of intangible cultural heritage work as a means of preserving at least some of an ancient way of life.

Sitting alone in a public park one day, I marveled at how a parent or grandparent needed only to speak a word to a child and he or she behaved. Meeting times were given at strangely precise intervals (for example, 1:25) and taken very seriously. I heard more apologies for tardiness than I thought reasonable given a city of such size and with such congestion. Our guides shared their views that much of Eastern culture derives from Confucius’ thought, and emphasizes hierarchy and respect. This consideration to others was surprising given our pre-trip prepping that people push and don’t stand in line or respect your space, but it just reinforced the cultural difference in the meaning of “consideration.” In so many of my reflections about Communism and the economy, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the attitudes I picked up on were born of pre-existing Eastern philosophy and culture, or from the current economic and political systems in the country.

I also couldn’t help but wonder about the tension between the incredible feats of the state and human rights. Much has been written about this topic and I am no expert, so I won’t belabor the point. But I found myself reflecting, much as I did during my studies in Cuba, on the tension between the social benefits of a Communist system – universal healthcare, education, and in the case of China, the elevation of an extraordinary number of people out of poverty in a short time frame – with the profound lack of freedoms.

2During our visit to the Great Wall, we were standing in an epically long line to take a shuttle bus from the base of the Wall to the parking lot where our bus was waiting. Our guide, a young man in the employ of the University who spoke nearly perfect English, sighed as we inched forward. He said:

“Thank God for the family planning policy.”

I was surprised because the one-child policy so deeply offends our Western concept of individual choice that I simply expected someone of roughly my age to concur; yet in such a populous country, a limit on the number of people is sometimes welcome. I relayed my surprise at his comment to another young Chinese woman I met, and she said,

“Oh yes. The problem with the family planning is that we now have a China that is out of balance, with too many old people and not enough young ones.”

I was so amazed; again, it was a comment totally focused on the macro. Is that Chinese culture? Is that the effect of a Communist system of government? Is it both?

These are the questions that will for me remain unanswered. After studying in Cuba, my takeaway was that they don’t have it right, but neither do we in the United States. The “right” is somewhere in the middle. My impression of China is that it is inching closer to the right balance than Cuba. I have far more context about Cuba to make that statement; this trip showed me, more than anything else, how much I don’t know about China. But standing in Tiananmen Square in the rain, I couldn’t help but think that an inch is terrifically small.