Our International Trade Group advises clients on domestic and international trade laws governing the movement of goods, services, and technology across national borders.
We advise on customs, export controls, economic sanctions, trade remedies, government procurement and anti-corruption. We also advise clients on Canada’s free trade and investment agreements, including the NAFTA, CETA and CPTPP as well as the WTO agreements. We assist clients in understanding how these agreements can work to help them expand their businesses into export markets and also how to protect their domestic market at home.
We advise clients on the full array of customs issues that arise in international business transactions, including counseling on classification, valuation and origin, administrative proceedings, audits, enforcement actions, litigation, and public policy matters. We also assist companies by designing and implementing compliance programs. Our experience includes handling mandates before Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), courts, and policy makers.
Export controls and economic sanctions regulations work together and often present significant challenges and potential compliance risks for all companies. The Canadian government regulates the transfer of goods, technology, software, and services to foreign destinations as well as to foreign designated persons/entitles. These controls are far reaching, extending to direct and indirect transfers of goods, technology, software, and services from Canada, “reexports” of certain US-origin items and technology from Canada to another, and reexports of certain foreign-manufactured items containing US content to third countries.
We provide advice on compliance with the ever-changing nature of international sanctions. With major changes announced regularly with respect to Canadian sanctions and more than two dozen overlapping, and occasionally conflicting, current sanctions programs in Canada, compliance is an ever-present challenge. We counsel clients on how to conduct business through this myriad of complexities.
Canada maintains comprehensive and targeted economic sanctions against a number of countries and individuals under the United Nations Act and Special Economic Measures Act as well as other statutes. Under these sanctions, businesses and their employees in Canada may be prohibited, directly and indirectly, from conducting transactions with certain countries and designated persons/entities and the companies they own or control. Our team provides guidance with respect to the scope of restrictions on trade and financial transactions, as well as permissible transactions, licensing/permitting requirements, and enforcement activities.
Our lawyers provide litigation counsel on antidumping duty, countervailing duty (anti-subsidy) and safeguard investigations. We represent clients in proceedings before the CBSA, CITT, Federal Court, NAFTA Chapter Nineteen and the WTO Dispute Settlement regime.
NAFTA, WTO & Trade and Investment Agreements – Strategic Advice & Dispute Settlement
Our team helps clients to take advantage of countries’ commitments under trade and investment agreements to protect and promote their investments in Canada and abroad. We also offer strategic advice on trade and investment agreements to provide solutions for companies facing discriminatory or otherwise harmful regulatory measures.
We also counsel private companies, industry associations, and governments on the interpretation and application of international trade agreements to promote or protect their interests. We have counseled companies and government through the dispute settlement process under the WTO and other free trade agreements.
Selling goods and services to the government, whether federal, provincial or municipal presents businesses with tremendous opportunities, but also significant challenges and risks. Our team offers expertise in response to these challenges. Our lawyers have acted as counsel on complex procurement issues for both suppliers and purchasers. We advise a broad range of clients on virtually every aspect of the contracts process, from bidding to complying with complex regulatory regimes and performing contracts, litigating disputes, and handling terminations and debarment issues.
We regularly advise civil and defence contractors on the procurement process and applicable bid dispute mechanisms, as well as the application of the industrial security measures.
We frequently appear in procurement disputes before the CITT, courts and local procurement dispute agencies. Our lawyers also understand how to effectively litigate the protest with a sensitivity towards the need to protect our clients’ customer relationships.
We advise clients on compliance with Canada’s ant-corruption laws as well as the application of similar foreign laws on their domestic and international transactions.
Government Relations Counsel
We represent clients’ interests at the federal and provincial levels of government on matters of international trade and competition law and policy. This includes preparation of briefs and position papers for parliamentary and legislative committees, appearing as both counsel and spokespersons on behalf of clients at hearings of such committees, and ongoing representation at various levels of federal and provincial governments.