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Article: International Trade Update

April 01, 2017
Business Litigation Reports

Quinn Emanuel Introduces Programs to Assist Clients with International Regulatory Matters

Conducting business internationally is as rewarding as it is complex. Utilizing Complementarity Analysis™, members of Quinn Emanuel’s International Trade Litigation and Policy Practice Group help clients navigate the myriad obstacles facing global operations by providing expert, discrete counsel on how to harmonize business models with local regulations, politics, customs, and traditions to leverage economic, supply chain and regulatory policy efficiencies. Companies which can benefit from these services include those that source, grow or produce products subject to international trade agreement protocols like SPS (Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary), IPR (Intellectual Property), Trade in Services, ROO (Rules of Origin) and the valuation methodologies related to the ROO; manufacture products with inputs subject to export or import control requirements; and, companies that operate in restricted technology or defense related industries.

For example, an unforeseen change in the regulatory classification of certain fungicides used in leather treatment surfaced in sideline discussions during bilateral trade meetings between the US and a trading partner. The cost to a leather manufacturing company and the timing of the reclassification could have had a negative impact on the company’s to meet customer requirements and the company’s bottom line. Since the issue was flagged early in bilateral trade discussions, there was time to explore formal trade dispute remedies with government officials as well as identify alternatives and substitutes, request public comment periods, and require a reasonable implementation period of new regulations to accommodate alternative solutions. Leveraging our experienced as trade litigators, senior trade officials and political advisors, we are able to anticipate issues, provide clients with diverse options and craft solutions.

We work successfully across multiple disciplines including legal, regulatory and diplomatic to protect client’s interests. Recently, we quickly worked to confront and reverse a foreign government sponsored legal action that targeted an affiliate of a US-based parent corporation. We uncovered the underlying motivation for the initiation of a baseless action whilst simultaneously protecting the client’s affiliate in the court. Working through our diplomatic channels and with local legal partners, we ensured that the case was withdrawn. In another part of the world, working with our local staff and through legal and diplomatic channels, without incident or media attention, we secured and protected a client’s critical database servers from extraction by local state-owned ventures. Our decades of legal experience inform the design and implementation of these programs to ensure our clients’ interests are aligned not only with US law but also with local and international institutions.

Our system of Complementarity Analysis™ begins where the numbers end, defining and analyzing observable criteria and critical intangibles. These necessary but distinct disciplines help to insure alignment between our clients’ strategic goals and the means implemented to achieve them.

Comprehensive International Trade and Customs Assessments and Audits. Our international trade and customs lawyers conduct thorough review and efficiency assessments of company internal protocols, policies and practices relating to the flow of trade, movement of capital, and the protection of intellectual property. We review and assess client operations worldwide for compliance with local, regional and international customs practices and regulations and to increase efficiencies with respect to customs valuation, world customs classification and current and projected rate of duties. We review production and/or sourcing origin and anticipate any alteration to existing bilateral, regional or plurilateral trade agreements that could impact where a client sources or produces product. For example, this process has successfully produced for clients streamlined supply chain logistics that saved millions of dollars each year by identifying new beneficial changes in trade arrangements and free trade agreements, identified valuation issues, and the created and integrated a international trade tracking system into a client’s business dashboard to monitor real-time fluctuations and ratios of imports to monitor and respond to pricing changes.

Our lawyers possess the experience, judgment and skill to develop multi-disciplined, company-specific PAIR™ Programs - Plan Anticipate Integrate Respond—our global life, safety, property preservation and business continuity programs for international operations are launched in close cooperation with internal personnel and external interlocutors. While these strategies and programs ideally should be designed with clients well before an unforeseen lawsuit or crisis unfolds, we are experienced in addressing and solving the immediate challenge. In emerging economies, under exigent circumstances, working with strategic local assets, our lawyers have designed and executed local programs and strategies to protect personnel, mission critical data systems and the client’s global brand as the crisis manifests itself.

In addition to assessing and remediating clients’ systems and internal protocols, our lawyers support clients to generate sustainable stakeholder engagement, utilizing proven advocacy and communications techniques that result in durable strategic alliances. We have prepared senior executives for congressional hearings and investigations, drafted testimony and corporate press statements, interfaced with local regulators and the diplomatic corps to extricate a client from retaliatory and politically motivated trade litigation, and designed and successfully implemented legislative strategies, creating unconventional political alliances to produce the first change in US trade remedies and enforcement laws in nearly forty years. Our lawyers are not only litigators, they have served in senior posts in government, the political arena, NGOs and international trade and economic organizations and possess multi-disciplined skillsets to deliver results inside and outside the courtroom.

While well-respected and feared for our litigation prowess, our lawyers are also trusted advisors who protect a client’s bottom line.