Legal Articles, International

How U.S. Businesses Can Keep Trans-Pacific Operations Strong During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 outbreak, international demand for Chinese products dropped dramatically and China's economy took a hit as a result. China's response to the coronavirus outbreak was to stall domestic economic activity to halt the spread of COVID-19. This strategy proved effective, and now the country is working carefully to mitigate further spread as businesses reopen. Despite uncertainties due to the global pandemic, international trade with China remains strong, especially with the United States. The pandemic greatly impacted some industries, but also improved other sectors due to the vast increase in demand for certain products. ew and forthcoming trade policies between the U.S. and China include a suite of procedural rules that can be confusing, particularly in these uncertain times. Compounded upon domestic regulations designed to fight the spread of COVID-19, businesses are increasingly turning to Chinese attorneys to help them navigate a shifting international scene. As the legal and regulatory landscape changes, businesses are turning to Chinese lawyers in the U.S. and in China to ensure they maintain safe compliance while still preserving their economic activities. Trans-Pacific trade between the U.S. and China has never been stronger and both American and Chinese attorneys are key players in fostering this relationship.

China's Evolving Environmental Protection Laws

Economic growth in China has been remarkable thanks to a booming domestic economy and increasing foreign investment. At the same time, however, citizens of China has suffered the effects of a deteriorating environment. China officially declared a war on pollution in 2014. Environmental laws and regulations would level the playing field between Chinese companies and foreign ones. Additionally, private demand for green supply chains is growing. Due to the severity of their pollution problems, China created standards and regulations that are even stricter than the international ones. Recent changes in China’s environmental initiatives took place on an accelerated timeline, which has been transformative. However, these new policies have also increased cost and created uncertainty in certain industries. Yet, these reforms have improved environmental enforcement across the country and encouraged cities such as Shanghai to take innovative approaches to reduce pollution. The environmental initiatives are paying off. China's environmental governance is improving. The country marches towards having a greener and more sustainable economy as well as being an international leader on green supply chains and international climate goals. Working with Chinese attorneys will be critical for navigating the new environmental law landscape in China.

Bringing The Spirit of the Me Too Movement to Trans-Pacific Businesses

As more women achieve positions of leadership and equal decision making in every level of society, they are bringing meaningful benefits to businesses, governments, and communities. But the movement for gender equity in the West, as seen most significantly in the #MeToo movement, offers helpful insight into how international businesses can move forward on this front. By integrating these new gender norms into their company cultures, trans-Pacific businesses and businesses with operations in China can both improve operations and reduce legal risk. Rethinking corporate policies and integrating a corporate culture that prioritizes gender equality in corporate practices will help mitigate risk in the workplace for women. These protections include implementing policies against hostile work environments, non-discriminatory pay structures, and an ongoing effort toward stronger scrutiny of improper behavior in the workplace. The list will continue to expand. Also, China's Sexual Harassment Law will help guide companies to implement policies that condone bad behavior towards women. A healthier workplace for employees will build trust amongst workers and give a company a good reputation for being a safe place to work for women.

Top Strategies for Winning Arbitration in China

This article discusses how Wholly-Foreign Owned Enterprises ("WFOEs") can be successful in arbitration under Chinese Law. The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”) has reported a rapid growth in commercial arbitration cases in China. Many of these arbitrations have involved WOFEs engaged in activities through the Chinese Government's the Belt and Road Initiative. If a WFOE find themselves in arbitration in CIETAC, parties to a dispute should understand the basic underpinnings of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 1985 (“Model Law”). Strategies for winning arbitration include: agreeing to arbitrate in the first place; executing an enforceable arbitration clause; knowing how and when to commence an arbitration action; applying the correct substantive law; understanding the arbitrability of the case; prepare sound evidence; and ensuring the outcome of arbitration is enforceable.

How Do Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises (WFOEs) Win Lawsuits in China?

This article addresses what a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (“WFOE”) operating in China should do to avoid ending up in court and, if it does, how the company can maximize its chances of winning the case. WFOEs enjoy the benefits of limited liability afforded businesses and the individual rights offered under Chinese civil law. Most WFOE's will need to deal with the Chinese courts' Civil Procedure Law and also should know how the litigation will proceed substantively, such as under contract law or as a foreign party, because it will impact strategy and legal outcomes. Most high-profile WFOE cases do not end in favor of the foreign party. So an entity litigating labor and employment issues or issues likely to impact international trade will likely lose. WFOEs need to also consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as arbitration in front of the China International Economic Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”). WFOEs embroiled in litigation in China’s courts of law can maximize their chance of success by engaging skilled, knowledgeable local counsel with knowledge of both domestic and international laws.

I AM NOT A U.S. CITIZEN. DO I NEED ESTATE PLANNING?

The short and definitive answer is - ABSOLUTELY!

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Confirms That Annulled Awards Can Be Enforced

One year after the Pemex, the U.S. Second Circuit distinguished a more recent decision by confirming that annulled awards cannot be enforced.

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