1-Hour Program

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On April 5, 2019, a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled (in a case involving Russia and the Ukraine) that the “national security” exception to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) does not permit countries to re-label protected trade interests as national security interests for the purpose of evading treaty obligations.  This is the first decision directly addressing the scope of a country’s authority to take exception to GATT on national security grounds.  The decision may lend support to opponents of the Trump Administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and open the door to more challenges to the tariffs.  Critics of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum argue that the administration is using “national security” as a pretext for what are purely economically motivated tariffs.  The U.S. is currently facing WTO challenges to its use of Section 232 tariffs and the recent decision may serve as a blueprint for further challenges, as well as potential investor-state arbitration claims.

Please join Thomas G. Allen from Greenberg Traurig, LLP as he addresses: 

  • The legal background of the Russia/Ukraine WTO case and the legal significance of the “national security” exception;
  • The similarity between the GATT “national security” exception and other multilateral trade agreements;
  • The future impact of the recent WTO decision on pending cases involving the United States; and 
  • The potential for investor-state claims against the United States regarding tariffs.

Program Level: Update

Intended Audience: In-house counsel, outside attorneys, board members, corporate officers, and other allied professionals with interest/experience surrounding direct foreign investment, international trade, U.S. trade policy and investor-state arbitration

Prerequisites: Interest in foreign trade/direct investment/international arbitration

Advanced Preparation: None

Credit Details