On October 2, 2019, the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) awarded the U.S. the largest arbitration award in the WTO’s history, $7.5 billion annually, in retaliation for the unlawful EU subsidization of Airbus.  The award comes after nearly 15 years of litigation at the WTO where the U.S. successfully argued that the EU and four of its member states conferred more than $18 billion to Airbus in subsidized financing.

As retaliation, the U.S. will impose an additional 10 percent duty on airplanes from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as an additional 25 percent duty on certain goods including single malt Irish and Scotch whiskies, coffee from Germany, cheeses from several countries, and certain garments from the United Kingdom.   The retaliatory tariffs will likely take effect on October 18, 2019 and will be “continually re-evaluate{d}. . . based on {U.S.} discussions with the EU.”  In selecting the goods that will be affected by the retaliatory tariffs, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative explained that the tariffs are intended to most heavily impact imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the Member States that provided Airbus with the disputed subsidies.

Meanwhile, tariff threats also loom over the U.S. in a parallel WTO case regarding the illegal subsidization of Boeing in the U.S.  The global trade regulator is expected within six-to-eight months to authorize the EU to impose its own retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. In April, the EU published a preliminary list of U.S. products to be considered for countermeasures. Ahead of the WTO’s ruling on its case regarding the subsidization of Boeing, the EU might choose to revoke prior settlements with the U.S. in other WTO cases, which would effectively create tariffs on approximately $4 billion worth of U.S. imports into the EU.
Continue Reading

On January 16th, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced that it “now estimates that federal courts can sustain paid operations through Jan. 25, 2019” (extending its previous estimate by one week).  See https://www.uscourts.gov/judiciary-news

See also Jan. 11, 2019 Trade and Manufacturing’s Blog entitled:  “Government shutdown closes in on the federal court

Despite the partial government shutdown since December 22nd, the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have remained open by drawing on non-appropriated funds and court fees.

Federal courts will be able to continue operating with their limited funds during the shutdown until January 18th, as reported on January 7th by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (“Administrative Office”).  See https://www.uscourts.gov/judiciary-news.  This deadline is one week longer than its previous estimate.  To meet this goal, courts have been asked to delay or defer “non-mission critical expenses,” such as new hires and non-case related travel.  According to the Administrative Office, judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status.  If new appropriation funds do not become available, “essential work” will continue to be allowed under the Anti-Deficiency Act.  Id.  This “essential work” would include “activities to support the exercise of the courts’ constitutional powers under Article III, specifically the resolution of cases and related services.”  Id.  Individual courts and judges will then decide how to fulfill those critical functions according to David Sellers, a spokesman for the Administrative Office.  See http://fortune.com/2019/01/05/government-shutdown-federal-courts/.  “In the past, some courts have suspended civil cases, some have conducted business as usual,” Sellers said.  “It’s really a judge-by-judge, court-by-court determination.”  Id.

Below is an update on how the shutdown is impacting the trade courts and the Supreme Court
Continue Reading