The last few weeks have been very busy in terms of developments in global trade. These developments range from the continued U.S. court rejection of the Argentine bond default practices, to greater international arbitration of global business disputes, a new filings of a WTO action by Korea against the U.S. concerning its antidumping calculation and methodologies, G-20 global tax proposals (in St. Petersburg) to restrict tax avoidance by individuals and multinationals, and an in-depth WTO forum concerning innovation as a means of fueling greater global trade. Here is some more information concerning these developments:
- A U.S. appeals court has upheld a judgment against Argentina for payment to holdout bondholders of defaulted sovereign bonds. This is a huge development that now confronts Argentina and its practice of defaulting on sovereign debt. (If the bonds had a “collective-action clause” instead of an “equal treatment clause” the outcome would have been different.) “Argentina Bond Showdown is Set.” Wall Street Journal (Aug. 24-25, 2013).
- As international commerce expands so does the need for international arbitration of cases worth billions of dollars under either bilateral investment treaties (BIT) or between corporate entities. “Growth in Global Disputes.“ New York Times (August 27, 2013).
- Korea filed a new action against the U.S. in the WTO over its antidumping and subsidies measures concerning imports from Korea that utilize “zeroing.” This methodology has long been contested in many actions against the U.S. in the WTO and the U.S. has almost always been found to have violated the WTO rules for A/D. “Korea Files Dispute (Washing Machines).” WTO News (August 29, 2013).
- The G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg of the heads of state agreed to curbing international tax avoidance by committing to exchanging information automatically on tax matters by the end of 2015 and a separate commitment concerning multinational corporations and their use of offshore subsidiaries and tax havens. This is considered one of the few real accomplishments at this summit. “The Group of 20 Tackles Tax Avoidance.” New York Times (Sept. 7, 2013).
- The takeover of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International has cleared CFIUS. This is the largest Chinese take over in the U.S. ever. “Smithfield Takeover Wins U.S. Clearance.” New York Times (Sept. 7, 2013).
- The WTO Public Forum this October , in Geneva, will spend three days on the topic of “Global Trade through Innovation and the Digital Economy.” “Expanding Trade Through Innovation & the Digital Economy.“ WTO News (Sept. 2013). This discusses among other topics the Internet as a trading platform, mobile technology, e-commerce, innovation and international competitiveness, global value chains, social media, data protection, and interactive e-platforms. Provisional Programme.