International Economic Law

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Critical insecurities? The European Union’s trade and investment strategy for a stable supply of minerals for the green transition

Clashing over critical minerals The green transition is creating an exponential need for critical raw materials (“CRMs”), such as lithium, nickel and cobalt, as these are necessary for environmentally-friendly technologies, from wind turbines to electrical vehicles. The European Union (“EU”) is in desperate need of such minerals due to limited reserves at home and long-lasting reluctance to mine what little amounts it has been endowed with because of the environmental risks that it entails. The extraction and processing of CRMs are currently concentrated in a few States. In particular, China dominates many of CRM supply chains and is seeking to secure further supplies abroad. At the same time, the United States of America (“US”) is adopting incentives to encourage the extraction and processing of these minerals in its territory or in those of its preferential trading partners. Many resource-rich developing countries, such as Zimbabwe and Indonesia, have also been hoping to ride on the green transition wagon to kick start their economic development process by adopting measures…

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How Does the Financial Sector Relate to the European Commission’s Proposal For a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive?

In the last few years, there has been a significant momentum behind imposing mandatory obligations on multinational enterprises (MNEs) to respect human rights and the environment. In 2017, France became the first Member State of the European Union (EU) to adopt and implement legally binding obligations on MNEs with the Loi de Vigilance. Following France’s footsteps, Germany…

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Politicization of the 5G rollout: Litigation way for Huawei?

The Chinese government’s ambition to become the global leader in new technologies, manifested in state-led industrial policies such as Made in China 2025, has prompted a strong response. For example, the United States significantly tightened its export control regulations and expanded grounds for foreign direct investment screening. In turn,…

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US – Origin Marking Requirement: Did the WTO Panel Get the Balance Right between Trade Security and National Security?

On 21 December 2022, the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel ruled against the United States (US) on the product labeling requirement for all goods from Hong Kong to be marked “China” as their country of origin. This requirement came from the executive order that then US President Donald Trump signed on 14 July…

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Tilting the Playing Field

“Levelling the playing field” has been one of the buzzwords of the European Union (EU)’s external economic policy over the last few years. In essence, through various instruments including free trade agreements, the EU has been trying to ensure that foreign entities, goods and services are subject to similar regulatory burdens as their EU counterparts when engaging in…

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