Top Ten Developments in International Economic Legal Affairs
With our occasional “IIEL In the Know” publication, Georgetown’s IIEL faculty, students, and fellows identify recent, major developments in international trade, financial regulation, monetary rules and other fields of International Economic Law—and where possible, highlight interesting sources where our readers can learn more. Recipients of the “In the Know” updates include academics, the DC and international policymaking communities and other IIEL stakeholders.
For more analysis, follow IIEL on Twitter @ChrisBrummerDr and @GTown IIEL.
IIEL Faculty Team Up with Atlantic Council for Press Call on Trump Tariffs
IIEL’s Grant Aldonas, Jennifer Hillman, Naboth Van den Broek and Michael Gadbaw offered their views on the legal implications of the Trump administration’s tariffs to dozens of members of the global press on a March 6th press call co-hosted with the Atlantic Council.
In a wide-ranging discussion, the IIEL’s Faculty and Senior Fellows addressed the implications of the tariffs for WTO and regional trade initiatives, prospects for retaliation and how the current regime compares to past U.S. tariffs in the steel and aluminum sectors. IIEL Faculty Director Chris Brummer served as moderator.
IIEL’s In the Know: You can listen to a recording of the press call here.
CPTPP Signed, Terms Released
The members of The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have agreed to language set to dramatically lower tariffs in a range of sectors for member states—in the absence of U.S. participation, and after President Trump’s rebuke of the TPP launched by the Obama administration. The terms are here.
IIEL’s In the Know: CPTPP is destined to change not only the U.S. relationship with Asia, but also the importance of standard-setting initiatives independent of both China and the United States. Some terms, including for financial regulation, could, however, cause problems for future expansion.
EU to Refuse Trade Negotiations with Non-Parties to the Climate Accord (i.e., the United States)
The European Union will reportedly refuse to sign trade deals with countries that do not ratify the Paris climate change agreement and take steps to combat global warming, under a new Brussels policy.
IIEL’s In the Know: With the United States the sole holdout, the stance could permanently set aside TTIP negotiations already temporarily halted under the Trump administration.
Africa Set to Create Largest Free-Trade Area in the World
A spokesperson from the African Union reiterated the forward movement of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which would involve 54 member states across Africa, and comprise the world’s largest free-trade area, by a number of countries. It would establish a single market covering an area with a gross domestic product of more than $3 trillion.
IIEL’s In the Know: Given Africa’s size, and the ability (and necessity) to jump stages of development, watch more rules for drone technology arising first in Africa, with others learning from its experience.
IIEL Faculty Director Testifies on Cryptocurrencies Before House Financial Services Committee
On Wednesday, March 14th, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee hosted a hearing entitled, “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets.” IIEL Faculty Director Chris Brummer testified on the proper disclosures in ICO “white papers.” You can read Professor Brummer’s written testimony here. A video of the testimony is available on C-SPAN.
SEC, CFTC Request More Oversight for Bitcoin Spot Markets
Chairmen Powell and Clayton expressed a desire for more oversight over Bitcoin spot markets in their testimony before House Regulators.
IIEL’s In the Know: Even without new Congressional dispensations, both agencies possess formidable anti-fraud and anti-manipulation tools to supervise, directly and indirectly, underlying markets for cryptocurrencies.
U.S. Tax Law Set to Impact International Tax and Investment Flows
Under the new U.S. tax law passed in December, tax costs associated with repatriation are essentially eliminated. Notably, the bill does, however, introduce a minimum tax of around 13% on income from patents held overseas—regardless of where they are held.
Hong Kong Considers Loosening Exchange Standards
Amongst other things, the Hong Kong Exchange is considering allowing some companies to list in Hong Kong with weighted voting rights that give greater power to founding shareholders.
IIEL’s In the Know: With the U.S. standards more flexible than some of its counterparts, enhanced competition for international listings could result in a “race to the bottom” diluting investor influence in favor of company founders.
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