On 9 and 10 March 2017 Edwin Vermulst participated in and presented at the annual Georgetown University Law Center’s International Trade Update conference. As a panelist in the session on “China Anti-Dumping 2017″, moderated by Paul Piquado, Edwin Vermulst together with fellow panelists Hannes Welge and Timothy Brightbill gave his views on the calculation of normal value in anti-dumping proceedings against China, the new EU ‘significant distortions’ proposal and the possible abolition of the lesser duty rule in certain cases in the EU.
On 23 and 24 February 2017 VVGB Partner Edwin Vermulst participated in the first ever Bangkok International Symposium on Trade Remedies 2017, bringing together interdisciplinary groups of investigators and users of trade remedies from Thailand and 14 major trading partners including Australia, Brazil, China, the EU, India, Korea, New Zealand and ASEAN member states as well as WTO representatives. Mr. Vermulst gave presentations on Global Value Chains as well as on Anti-circumvention law and practice in comparative perspective.
Edwin Vermulst gave a presentation on 23 November 2016 on recent developments in EU TDI law and practices at the Seoul National University Graduate Institute for International Studies. The event was moderated by Professor Ahn Dukgeun of SNU and Mr. Vermulst covered items such as the EU repackaged NME and LDR proposals, the EU’s AD cost adjustment practice, the EU’s approach of countervailing export taxes and Brexit.
Edwin Vermulst gave a presentation at the second annual C5 Forum on International Trade Disputes held on 11 and 12 October 2016 in Brussels. Together with Laurens Elsen of DG Trade of the European Commission he provided a detailed overview of EU anti-circumvention law and practice from a comparative perspective and concluded that harmonised, detailed anti-circumvention rules might be preferable over the current wild west situation.
Partner Edwin Vermulst and Counsel Juhi Sud contributed the chapter “Anti-Subsidy Law and Practice of the European Union” in the book STATE AID LAW OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, pp 508-563, edited by Herwig Hofmann and Claire Micheau and published by Oxford University Press in September 2016.
VVGB partner Edwin Vermulst addressed the ECIPE event on ‘Trade defense in the EU: The case of solar panel imports from China’, together with speakers Sylvain Plasschaerts and Frank Hoffmeister, held in Brussels on 5 April 2016. Mr. Vermulst provided a legal evaluation of the EU anti-dumping case on solar panel and cell imports, his views on the China market economy status debate as well as general comments / assessment of the EU TDI framework, its specificities, and possible needs for reform.
On 16 February 2016, Edwin Vermulst participated in a panel discussion on “MES – where are we heading ?” The panel was organised by FTI Consulting and moderated by Poppy Bullock. Other panelists included Leopoldo Rubinacci, Christopher Fjellner, Ines van Lierde, Jing Men and Laurent Ruesmann. Edwin Vermulst considered that from 12 December 2016 onward, WTO Members can no longer legally use the analogue country or similar methodologies as the basis for normal value calculations in anti-dumping proceedings targeting China and should rather use Chinese domestic prices or costs. However, contrary to what some would like decision-makers to believe, this does not mean that the EU or other WTO Members will have no defense against genuine Chinese dumping practices. Other provisions in either the ADA or the SCM Agreement offer sufficient guarantees against that. These views will be explained in more detail in an article to be published in 11:5 Global Trade and Customs Journal, co-authored by Juhi Sud, Simon Evenett and Edwin Vermulst.
VVGB Partner Edwin Vermulst participated in the 40th joint annual meeting of the Colombian Instituto Colombiano de Derecho Tributario, Instituto Colombiano de Derecho Aduanero and the International Fiscal Association, held in Cartagena from 10 to 12 February 2016. On 11 February Mr. Vermulst participated in a panel on WTO disputes involving Colombia, together with panelists Nicolas Torres Alvarez and Andres Espinosa Fenwarth and moderated by Felipe Jamarillo. On 12 February Mr. Vermulst gave a presentation on transparency problems in the application of trade defense instruments.
On 1 October 2015, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) (a German political network organisation for and with the various European institutions) organised a breakfast meeting for members of the European Parliament and experts to debate hot topics relating to the ongoing trade and investment negotiations. In a panel consisting of Prof. Jacques Bourgeois (College of Europe, Ghent University and Sidley Austin), Lutz Güllner (DG Trade, European Commission), Romain Pardo (Trade Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (ECP)) and Lea Auffret (Trade Policy Officer at the European Consumer Organisation BEUC), Freya Baetens analysed the planned rules on public procurement.
Although the EU and US objectives with regard to regulating public procurement diverge, Freya Baetens argued that a good deal would entail multiple opportunities for both parties, including promoting competitive and non-discriminatory conditions for procurement at local/regional level but treaty drafters will need to overcome several challenges, such as convincing the US Congress to abolish Buy America(n) provisions, obtaining local participation and facilitating green procurement policies.
On 16 September 2015, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new and transparent Investment Court System for resolving disputes between investors and states. This system is aimed to ‘replace the existing investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in all ongoing and future EU investment negotiations, including the EU-US talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)’.
In a presentation for academics and practitioners at Rotterdam University on 16 October, Freya Baetens scrutinised the main elements of reform as highlighted by the Commission, concluding that the current dispute settlement system is certainly in need of reform, but while the Commission’s proposal for an Investment Court System is a first step in the right direction, determining its precise procedural and substantive scope as well as manner of implementation will require a significant amount of further work.