International trade has never been more topical, or more uncertain. The pace of change in recent years has been dramatic, with key developments including the collapse of the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body, the "trade wars" between the United States and China, a trend for countries to take trade measures in the name of national security, and, in 2020 disruption on a global scale due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Changes that take place on the broader geo-political plane are increasingly relevant to business. Corporate leaders need to be aware of international events and how they are likely to impact on their business, whether it be disruptions to supply chains caused by events such as Brexit or Covid-19, compliance risks presented by changes in export control laws and sanctions, tariffs and other trade restrictions, or moves by governments to be more strategic in their support of domestic industry.
More than ever, it is important for lawyers to pay attention to developments in international trade – no matter what their area of practice. The International Trade Committee supports lawyers from around the region to keep on top of those developments. It does so by serving as a forum for lawyers to share information and views on matters that affect their clients across the region.
Alongside a group of lawyers whose practices focus exclusively on traditional international trade law issues (such as export controls, sanctions, Free Trade Agreements, and trade policy issues), the Committee has an active group of members whose work involves a cross-border element, such as those engaged in M&A, tax, intellectual property, competition, maritime matters, and the like. In the wake of Covid-19, we will be working to stay in touch both virtually, and, as and when circumstances allow, in-person.
The International Trade Committee works with other committees such as the Tax; Technology, Media and Telecommunications; Cross Border Investment; Competition; Environmental; and Energy and Natural Resources Committees.