International Law

Ca. Int'l Law Journal VOL. 25, NO. 1, FALL 2017

Development of New Approaches in International Trade Law

By Jonathan Arnold, Esq.*

I. CURRENT INTERNATIONAL ARENA-DANGER & OPPORTUNITY

It has been an exciting year in the international arena: a new presidential administration in the United States, the United Kingdom undertaking to leave the European Union ("EU"), the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the anticipated renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and so on. Whether your take on all of this is good or bad (or both, or neither), things are definitely in flux. The author is reminded of the Chinese character for crisis, which incorporates elements of danger and opportunity.

This article will focus on selected recent legal approaches to international trade law in response to these changing conditions. Starting with the current California approach, this article will address intellectual property (IP) gaps resident within NAFTA and the approach California has taken in order to address software piracy. Next, it will review what is being done at the federal level, especially in connection with the international piracy of entertainment-based IP. Finally, a short discussion of the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) will be presented. This discussion will include an analysis of how the potential upcoming change to the taxation on imports versus exports will require counsel to (1) provide legal advice that reaches down to the client’s operations regarding export-based transactions, as well as (2) work to ensure that choice of law protects a stateside seller and properly addresses potential issues with the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

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