international law

This is part 9 of our series on eight+ things to read about China and a lot more. We constantly get emails from readers asking what to read on China and all sorts of things related and even barely related to China and this series is intended to constantly and consistently answer these questions.

As we said in our initial post on this, our plan is to list out eight (or so) articles we benefitted from reading and think you our readers would also benefit from reading, along with a very brief explanation as to why the particular article was included. More specifically:

The articles will likely include many on China and on Asia and a few on international trade, international politics, Spain and Latin America, economics and really just anything else we believe might benefit our readers or even that we just want people to read. We do not plan to choose articles that push our or any other political agenda or any other agenda for that matter, but having said that, we are not objective and our views may creep through. Our goal though is to focus on articles that are important or helpful or — most importantly — that make you think. Our posting of an article will NOT mean we agree with all of it or even any of it. Most of the articles will be from the week preceding the post but we will also sometimes throw in older articles (classics if you will) as well.

Please do not hesitate to comment at the end of this or any other post. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your comments, good, bad and indifferent.

Here we go, in absolutely no particular order.

  1. The Chinese Influence Effort Hiding in Plain Sight. Atlantic. Because I consider this THE single most important article I’ve read in months. Because “Beijing uses student and professional associations to try to influence not just Chinese citizens abroad, but outsiders, too.”
  2. To thrive in a “wicked” world, you need range. Quartz. This article is about David Epstein’s new book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.  Because “having a capacity for abstraction and the ability to transfer concepts is the key to success in our “wicked” world. While it’s true that some chess grandmasters and world-class athletes start early and drill hard, this repetition is only effective in golf or games with strict rules and easily quantifiable results, Epstein says. Those are “kind” worlds with limited possibilities. In life, however, and especially in postmodern life, where rote tasks are increasingly automated and pretty much any fact can be discovered with a web search, the rules aren’t straightforward. What it takes to be great is intellectual flexibility.” Because I completely buy this. Do you?
  3. Real Hedge-Fund Managers Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Actually Doing. New York Magazine. This article talks with a number of hedge fund managers who make a compelling case that accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been running a large scale blackmail operation, not a hedge fund. What I found so interesting about this is how we lawyers usually agree (and are angered by) the incredibly small number of fellow lawyers believed to be cheating their clients.
  4. Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong. Atlantic. This article posits that U.S. elementary schools are focusing too much on teaching children reading comprehension and not enough on imbuing them with knowledge and this particularly works to the detriment of poor kids: “Children from better-educated families—which also tend to have higher incomes—arrive at school with more knowledge and vocabulary. In the early grades . . . children from less educated families may not know basic words like behind; I watched one first grader struggle with a simple math problem because he didn’t know the meaning of before. As the years go by, children of educated parents continue to acquire more knowledge and vocabulary outside school, making it easier for them to gain even more knowledge—because, like Velcro, knowledge sticks best to other, related knowledge. Meanwhile, their less fortunate peers fall further and further behind, especially if their schools aren’t providing them with knowledge. This snowballing has been dubbed “the Matthew effect,” after the passage in the Gospel according to Matthew about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Every year the Matthew effect is allowed to continue, it becomes harder to reverse. So the earlier we start building children’s knowledge, the better our chances of narrowing the gap. True?
  5. China’s trade war manufacturing exodus could be hastened by EU-Vietnam trade deal, analysts say. South China Morning Post. Because our international manufacturing lawyers are seeing almost the same percentage of our European clients moving or looking to move their manufacturing from China as our U.S. clients. The U.S. is still the world’s largest consumer market and if you are a European or Canadian or Australian or Latin American company that sells a good percentage of your products to the United States, China is not a good place to be these days. This article posits that this new EU-Vietnam trade deal could cause “a flood of European companies [to] seek low-cost manufacturing in Vietnam, at China’s expense
  6. Jeremy Hunt refuses to rule out sanctions against China. The Guardian. The UK’s foreign secretary says the “UK will always put its principles first, as Hong Kong row escalates.” The United Kingdom is obviously none to happy with China these days either.
  7. Manufacturing in China: Control your Molds. China Law Blog. Because when companies move their manufacturing from one factory to another, they usually want to bring over their molds and their tooling from the old factory to the new factory. Because getting your Chinese factory to freely relinquish molds usually a good contract and many of the companies coming to my law firm for help in moving out of China do not have that and this is causing them problems. Part 2 of this series on controlling your molds is here and Part 3 is here. There have been times where we have counseled our clients to hold off on changing factories until they get a contract that will enable them to leave with their molds.
  8. Are tariffs against China bringing factories and jobs back to the U.S.? USA Today. Because one of our clients is mentioned in this article. Because it highlights how so many American companies have moved or are looking to move their manufacturing out of China. Because it says that some companies have actually moved their manufacturing back to the United States. Not a lot but more than I think many realize. Because it says that SE Asia and Mexico are the most common countries to which manufacturing is moving and because I believe the United States directly benefits from a rising Mexico economy. See The China-US Trade War and the Winner is….MEXICO.
  9. Foreign Student Gets Physical with a Traffic Officer, and Then… Guide in China. Because ignorance of the law is not an excuse anywhere in the world, including China. Because if you are called out for a legal violation, fighting the police officer who does so is never going to be your wisest move.
  10. Walmart’s Supplier Says Chinese Factories in ‘Desperate’ State. Bloomberg. Because this supplier is Li & Fung, who is the “world’s largest supplier of consumer goods” and probably knows more about China factories than any other company in the world. Because Li & Fung says “China’s factories are getting ‘urgent and desperate’ as worried U.S. retailers accelerate a move out of the country amid heightened trade tensions. Because doing business with “urgent and desperate” companies is very risky and because I plan to write a blog post this upcoming week on why this is so and on what our China lawyers are seeing that can be attributed to Chinese factory desperation.

 

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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.