Nationalization of Resources in Venezuela and Beyond: Do Corporations have Recourse?

by Austin Kaplan April 7 2008, 13:53
I. Introduction



Nationalization keeps multinational corporations and investors up at night. Simply put, nationalization is an exercise of sovereignty where a country seizes private property, resources, or other investments on its soil. The country usually decides whether to pay compensation to former owners after seizure. The recent nationalization of oil projects by Venezuela begs the question: what recourse do corporations like Exxon-Mobil (Exxon) have if their investments are nationalized? [More]

The Existing Labor and Environmental Agreements in NAFTA

by Alex Zaretsky March 21 2008, 09:33
As the Ohio Democratic primary approached, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton pulled out all the stops to secure the few remaining undecided votes in the Democratic Presidential race. Ohio’s economy has been struggling, and the candidates saw a convenient scapegoat to blame for its industrial decline. Both candidates vowed to force Mexico and Canada to include labor and environmental agreements into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or risk the US pulling out of the agreement all together. [1] The sharp anti-trade rhetoric had some obvious omissions. NAFTA more than tripled trade between US, Canada, and Mexico and like all barrier reducing trade agreements, has had a beneficial long-term impact on all three economies. [2] It was supported by politicians and economists of all political leanings, including President Clinton who pushed it through Congress. [3] But perhaps the most glaring omission in Obama’s and Clinton’s speeches is that NAFTA already includes robust, skillfully crafted labor and environmental agreements. [4] The same type of agreements they supported in other trade pacts.

As the Ohio Democratic primary approached, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton pulled out all the stops to secure the few remaining undecided votes in the Democratic Presidential race. Ohio’s economy has been struggling, and the candidates saw a convenient scapegoat to blame for its industrial decline. Both candidates vowed to force Mexico and Canada to include labor and environmental agreements into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or risk the US pulling out of the agreement all together. [1] The sharp anti-trade rhetoric had some obvious omissions. NAFTA more than tripled trade between US, Canada, and Mexico and like all barrier reducing trade agreements, has had a beneficial long-term impact on all three economies. [2] It was supported by politicians and economists of all political leanings, including President Clinton who pushed it through Congress. [3] But perhaps the most glaring omission in Obama’s and Clinton’s speeches is that NAFTA already includes robust, skillfully crafted labor and environmental agreements. [4] The same type of agreements they supported in other trade pacts. [More]

Free Trade Agreements and US Immigration Law

by Alex Zaretsky February 14 2008, 09:36
Since the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947, the United States has signed several free trade agreements (FTAs) that have reduced barriers to international trade. [1] While these agreements traditionally focused on reducing barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and investments, more recent agreements have included provisions that directly affect US immigration law by creating additional nonimmigrant visa classifications to those available under the Immigration and Nationality Act. [2] [More]

The Changing Korean Legal Market

by Yoo Jin Jung February 12 2008, 16:05
I. Introduction


With so much possibility, South Korea’s legal market is virtually untapped, especially considering that it is today’s 10th largest economy in the world. [1] This is because South Korean law prohibits foreign lawyers from becoming licensed to practice within the country and also prohibits foreign law firms from establishing branches within South Korea. [2] South Korean lawyers not only have a very different legal education system, but also have an interesting monopoly within the legal market of Korea. This long insulated legal system is about to change. There has been recent proposed legislation to open the Korean legal market through the Foreign Legal Consultants Act. [3] This will most likely have world-wide affect and forever change how the legal system in Korea operates. [More]

Outsourcing Pregnancy?

by Yoo Jin Jung February 6 2008, 16:08
I. Outsourcing



It makes good business sense to outsource operations. It cuts down on costs, delivers lower prices to consumers, and brings job opportunities to poorer countries. So why not also outsource pregnancy? India, already known as an outsourcing base, is also the growing center for surrogate pregnancy. India is hardly restricted through legislation, as there are no laws that govern surrogacy.[1] No part of the fertility industry is regulated, although the Indian Medical Council does issue nonbinding guidelines for involved parties.[2]

Since 2002, commercial surrogacy has been legal in India.[3] The only laws that India currently has in place concerning women and their infants address maternity leave and breastfeeding.[4] There is proposed legislation to help regulate surrogate pregnancy, but the government has been slow to act.[5] Already, outsourcing surrogate pregnancy, or “reproductive tourism” has become a booming business of over 445 million dollars a year.[6] [More]

Outsourcing: Is Medical Care the New Frontier?

by Eugenia Ismaylova November 5 2007, 13:27
From manufacturing to engineering, computer programming and even legal services, American companies rely heavily on outsourcing as a way to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of operations. As the cost of health care in the United States continues to skyrocket, some patients are traveling overseas to undergo a variety of medical procedures at a fraction of the cost they would pay in the United States. [1] This article seeks to examine the legal issues that arise as more and more Americans travel to countries such as India, Thailand and Mexico to receive medical care,and illustrate how U.S. insurance companies other intermediaries are capitalizing on this new phenomenon. [More]

Special Economic Zones: Select Advantages and Substantial Problems

by Eugenia Ismaylova October 9 2007, 13:30
I. Introduction



Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) are regions within a country that have economic laws more liberal than that country’s typical economic laws.[1] They are usually used by developing countries to attract investment and serve as enclaves of economic freedom for businesses located within them. Originating in China in the early 1980’s, SEZ’s have now spread across multiple continents to dozens of countries including Brazil, India, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.[2] While SEZ’s offer a plethora of relaxed laws and economic advantages to investors, they also provide substantial problems for residents of the communities in which they are located and people who comprise the labor force of SEZ industries. This article seeks to examine the economic, environmental and social impact SEZ’s have on various stakeholders and discuss the current trends in SEZ development. [More]

The Forecast for Foreign Investment in Russia: Should Investors Expect a Warm Climate or Cloudy Skies?

by Eugenia Ismaylova September 11 2007, 13:33
I. Introduction



"If you do business in Russia, you will lose all of your money, because your Russian business partner will steal it from you, because he or she is a thief. And you will die, because the Russian mafia will murder you in your hotel bedroom when you visit Moscow or St. Petersburg."
-Daniel Thorinley [1] at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The above quote seems to reflect the Wall Street Journal and CNN view of conducting business in Russia, who repeatedly caution their readers and viewers about investing in Russia's emerging markets.

According to Dr. Daniel Thorniley, Senior Vice President of the Economist Group, [2] an organization providing analysis on international business and world affairs, this view is unequivocally wrong. [3] He cites business success in Russia as the world’s best kept business secret. Yet this economic giant is largely being ignored by Western investors. [More]

China approves bill to end preferential tax treatment for foreign companies

by Tola Adewola March 27 2007, 12:45
In a move toward a market economy, China recently approved a bill creating a unified enterprise income tax of 25% for companies, thereby ending nearly three decades of preferential tax treatment for foreign companies. [1] This new enterprise income tax (EIT) law will become effective on January 1, 2008. [2] Under the new EIT law, foreign companies in China, currently benefiting from the present preferential tax regime, are expected to experience a significant increase in their tax costs while domestic companies in China will see a noticeable reduction in their tax burdens. [3] [More]

China's New M&A Regulations

by David Lee October 18 2006, 02:50
I. Introduction



The first piece in this series (A Warning to Foreign Companies Entering "Sensitive" U.S. Markets, in the September 6th, 2006 edition of this publication) discussed the attempts of foreign companies to enter "sensitive" areas of the US economy, focusing on how the US government derailed the purchase of US companies by foreign entities. [1] This piece will discuss the Chinese government's new regulations covering M&A transactions involving foreign investors purchases of Chinese companies will affect the M&A market and possible motivations behind the new legislation. [More]

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