“Current Trade Law and Policy—What It Means for the Midwest”

Case Western Reserve University School of Law will host the Trade Law Fall Update Friday, Oct. 20, from 8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. This year’s event, held both in person (School of Law, Room A59) and virtually via Zoom, will focus on the themes of industrial policy, labor, geoeconomics and what they mean for business in Ohio and the Midwest. 

Tackling one of the thorniest issues in U.S.-Mexico trade, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) included upgraded labor rights obligations and a facility-specific Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) to enforce them. Under the RRM, the U.S. can ask for an investigation of worker rights at Mexican factories that export, and if a plant is denying worker rights, duty-free treatment for its exports can be denied. In the three years since USMCA entered into force, the Biden administration has sought 15 RRM investigations and the RRM has become a feature in cross-border trade and investment. 

Attendees at this event will explore the changes on the Mexican side and the compliance risks for U.S. companies that depend on duty-free access to inputs made in Mexico. The event will feature a panel of experts, including the former head of the USMCA labor enforcement team, an experienced Mexican labor lawyer active in RRM cases, and the former legal director of Mexico’s trade ministry.

In the 2023 rollout of industrial policy programs, Ohio has emerged as a destination for major new investment and job creation, including Intel’s $100 billion semiconductor “megafab” near Columbus and the $600 million solar panel plant in Pataskala being built by Illuminate USA and Invenergy LLC. The panel on industrial policy will examine CHIPS Act grants and tax incentives for semiconductor production and semiconductor supply chains; Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax incentives for manufacturing and solar and wind power deployment; how trade policy affects investment decisions; and how Ohio state and local governments are mobilizing to attract investment and jobs. Leaders from Invenergy LLC and Team NEO, Northeast Ohio’s economic development partner and an expert legal advisor on industrial development and siting will join.

A roundup panel will focus on trade and customs law developments, including hot litigation topics, and on-the-radar policy and compliance developments in customs and trade law.

These continuing legal education credit-granting sessions are replete with major topics that will cover the impact of these developments on trade generally and on companies in the Midwest.

Juscelino F. Colares, the Schott-van den Eynden Professor of Business Law and professor of political science, will open and close the event with remarks.

Register to attend.