The Latest in EU Trade Policy for Trade Associations

Everything you wanted to know about the new EU trade rules: Trump, Brexit, China and so much more.

On 18 October Ellwood Atfield held an Association Leadership Academy for EU trade associations on the topic “Trade Law for Associations: Trump, Brexit, China and so much more…”.

The event was led by Laurent Ruessmann and Jochen Beck two partners of the multinational law firm Fieldfisher and internationally renowned trade law specialists.  Over 40 representatives of major EU trade organisations, had signed up weeks in advance to come to hear Laurent and Jochen speak.  It was truly a high-profile event and we have received excellent feedback from our participants.

In a two-hour lunch presentation, Jochen guided the audience first through the recent changes to the EU trade defence measures, including the TDI Modernisation and the new approach in anti-dumping investigations of imports from third countries which have significant market distortions.  Subsequently, they discussed trade opportunities and challenges for companies and associations in the context of the changing geopolitical climate.  Laurent explained the trade implications of BREXIT, the US and EU safeguard measures, US-China tensions and China’s subsidisation policies.  He illustrated how the 20th century WTO trade system was no longer fit to address these and other 21st century challenges, such as multi-country production and supply networks, IP theft, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.  He addressed the audience with the question of whether we need new trade (defence) rules or whether the existing rules can be revamped.  Jochen then further discussed some of the legal opportunities and challenges that arise from the Free Trade Agreements and Economic Partnership Agreements the EU has recently entered into or is planning to enter into with trading partners in the near future.

The detailed insights inspired many questions among the participants and during the interesting and stimulating Q&A session, Laurent and Jochen also shared practical tips from their longstanding expertise as a powerhouse on the producer’s side in trade defence investigations, as they are described by Chambers&Partners.

The highlight at the end of the event was clearly the excellent desserts and Laurent’s and Jochen’s promise to happily re-join us in the future.

Fieldfisher’s presentation can be downloaded here.  If you have any questions on the topic please contact Laurent Ruessmann or Jochen Beck.  If you would like to know about future events, please contact Ellwood Atfield.

Laurent Ruessman is Partner in the Brussels office of Fieldfisher. He specialises in a broad range of international trade issues including anti-dumping, anti-subsidy, safeguard procedures and litigation, customs matters under EU and Member State legislation, as well as under the WTO and other international agreements.
He has experience with product safety and life sciences regulatory matters, as well as with EU environmental law, including chemical regulation under REACH, data privacy and intellectual property rights. He advises clients in various industries including manufacturers of computer and other electronic equipment, renewable energy products, producers of durable goods, consumer products, agriculture and food products, chemicals and pharmaceutical products, automobiles and auto parts, aviation, iron and steel products, non-ferrous metals, textiles and non-wovens, publishing, oil and gas, banking, insurance and financial services industry as well as other service sectors.
Laurent Ruessmann is regarded as “one of the most experienced trade lawyers in Brussels. Chambers Global 2018”

Jochen Beck is also Partner at Fieldfisher, specialising in all international trade matters, working in the Competition, Regulatory and Trade practice. He advises on a broad range of international trade and regulatory issues under EU and Member State legislation, as well as the application of the WTO and other international agreements. He has a particular focus on EU trade defence instruments, export controls and sanctions, and customs and regulatory law, where his recent assignments include: Representing EU solar glass producers in EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases against China; advising on the EU, Belgian, German and UK export controls; advising on the implications of EU sanctions and embargoes, in particular against Iran, Syria, and North Korea; implementing EU-wide duty recovery programs for a multinational client leading to multi-million euro savings in customs duties; and advising on various aspects of customs law, including valuation, classification and rules of origin.
He works with clients in various industries, such as aerospace and defence, automotive, semiconductor, construction, aluminium iron and steel, consumer products, agriculture and food products, and chemicals and pharmaceutical products.

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