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Bilateral & Multilateral Trade Agreements

The firm has extensive experience in the negotiation and implementation of international trade agreements. Shearman & Sterling’s attorneys regularly advise governments and private sector interests in international dispute settlements under the World Trade Organization Agreement (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Members of the firm’s International Trade & Investment practice have actively participated in virtually every recent trade initiative, including the Uruguay Round of the GATT, NAFTA, FTAA, APEC, China’s accession to the WTO and negotiations on trade rules in Seattle and the Doha Round. They have also played leading roles in almost every agreement successfully negotiated with the Commerce Department suspending antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. As such, the trade practice offers skillful analysis and interpretation of ongoing negotiations and existing agreements.

Selected representations include the following:

  • Representation of all trade matters for the largest steel company in the world before US federal agencies, including various WTO challenges, US and foreign antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings, customs issues and lobbying matters
  • Advised numerous governments on successful WTO challenges of various antidumping and countervailing duty practices
  • Counsel participated in WTO rules negotiations as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade before coming to Shearman & Sterling
  • Secured an exemption for a Macedonian steel company from steel import tariffs in connection with Macedonia’s accession to the WTO
  • Represented various foreign government interests in preparation for consultative sessions on trade and investment issues with the US government
  • Represented various foreign industry interests in FTA negotiations with the United States
  • Succeeded in having bills introduced in both Houses of the US Congress to repeal WTO-inconsistent legislation that formed the basis for major litigation against our clients and their US subsidiaries. Settled the litigation and, separately, obtained the revocation of an antidumping order on this product
  • Successfully lobbied the Administration against punitive tariffs on behalf of Mexican agricultural interests in two controversial dumping proceedings. This effort included generating strong Congressional support and mounting a media campaign in major national and regional newspapers. Our efforts resulted in the settlement of a decades-old trade dispute between the United States and Mexico
  • Negotiated, on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an agreement enabling the United States to import weapon-grade, highly enriched uranium from Kazakhstan to be converted for use in US power plants. Combated proposed legislation restricting imports of uranium into the United States. In doing so, we devised a targeted legislative and media strategy, helped form a coalition of US groups that would be adversely affected by the restrictions, and succeeded in preventing the restrictions from being adopted as part of the legislation
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