“Who’s going to turn down a Junior Mint? It’s chocolate, it’s peppermint, it’s delicious. It’s very refreshing.”
Cosmo Kramer, Seinfeld, episode #60
When I was in law school, I was rankled by students who complained about how busy they were. I mean, we were all taking pretty much the same courses. I swore I would never engage in that whine and I never did.
Bloggers who apologize for being too busy to post also rankle me. I swore we would never make that excuse on this blog and for more than three years, we haven’t. But today, talking about how I have been too busy to post much is the perfect segue to this post and so I cannot resist.
The reality is that my firm has been crazy busy of late and it has been due mostly to China’s stimulus. Now I am not a big fan of government intervention and I see government stimuli (that is the plural of stimulus, I looked it up) as the equivalent of a sugar rush (see Junior Mints above), but man, while it is happening, it is even better than chocolate.
My firm is getting stimulus work both coming and going (and if you see any sexual innuendo in this sentence I can’t help you). I am going to have to be vague here (and even mix the facts up a bit) because none of these matters are out there in the public realm yet (though one is likely to hit the media any day now), but the following is what has been keeping me down/up lately:
1. We have been working on a large deal for a Chinese company that received a China bank loan along with pretty strong “instructions to do a deal in the United States.”
2. We have been working on a large deal for a Chinese company here in the United States that was able to severely undercut the pricing of its competitors because it recently started receiving Chinese government subsidies to do these sorts of deals outside China.
3. We have been working with a Chinese company looking to establish a factory on the West Coast, again, pretty clearly at the direction of the Chinese government, which has loaned them a boatload of money to do exactly this.
4. We have been working on a China joint venture for a US big equipment company (this is meant to be vague and is not the same thing as heavy equipment) that was asked to go into China by a Chinese company to take advantage of the massive uptick in need for this sort of equipment due to increased Chinese government infrastructure spending.
5. We have been working with a US company whose sales of big equipment (vague again) into China have doubled in the last six months due to increased Chinese government infrastructure spending.
And, needless to say, it’s not just us. The Wall Street Journal did a story on this about a week ago, entitled, “China’s Stimulus Spurs U.S. Business,” but hey, I was too busy to write on it then….
China Stakes notes that China’s overseas investment in 2009 will, for the first time, very likely exceed incoming investment into China.
Junior Mint, anyone?
What are you seeing out there?

Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.