international law

This is the twentieth episode in our ongoing Saturday 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.  A Mysterious Pencil Factory Sharpens Focus On Tariff Scams. NPR. Because tariff abuse is incredibly rampant in large part because many do not realize that it can and does lead to jail time. Because our international trade lawyers worked on a case that led to a $62.5 million settlement against a subsidiary of Univar for allegedly “mishandling” the location from which it was getting its saccharin. Because there are going to be a ton more of these cases in the next few years and companies need to know that skirting U.S. tariffs is a bad idea. Because there is money to be made by reporting your competitors for illegal transshipping. See How To Get Rich From Your Competitor’s Illegal Transshipping: Moiety and the False Claims Act

2. An acclaimed French chef is suing over a lost Michelin star. It all started with a cheesy allegation. Washington Post. Because we live in the age of ranking services. Because the validity of nearly all ranking services are overrated but because of that, they can matter for your business. Because I spent two years of my life living in France (Aix-en- Provence and in Tours) I totally grasp how unbelievably insulting it is to be accused of having used cheddar cheese in a soufflé. Quelle horreur!

3. All-Time Player Rankings: NBA’s Top 50 Revealed. Bleacher Report. Because for a large chunk of my life, basketball was everything. Because with the exception of relegating Pistol Pete Maravich to an honorable mention and not ranking Elgin Baylor high enough it does a pretty good job.

4. Harvesting organs to serve a thriving global market. Quartz. Because where there is constant smoke there is nearly always fire. Because the world needs to know.

5. Nasdaq cracks down on IPOs of Chinese companies. Because even though President Trump has said he is backing down from blocking Americans from investing in Chinese companies it is going to get increasingly tougher for Chinese companies to list on U.S. stock exchanges or even to remain listed.

6. Mapped: The World’s Largest Exporters. Virtual Capitalist. Because the graphic is way cool and super revealing. Because the only countries to export more than 500 billion dollars in product a year are the China ($2.5 trillion), the United States ($1.7 trillion), Germany ($1.6 trillion), Japan ($738 billion) The Netherlands $723 billion, South Korea ($605 billion,  and Italy $547 billion). Oh, and Hong Kong shows up at $569 billion, but much of that is really from the PRC. I am shocked Germany is so close to the U.S., that Italy is so high and that India is so low (at $326 billion). I am delighted Spain shows up so high at $345 billion because we have offices there and because a bunch of our lawyers will be speaking in both Madrid and Barcelona in early November.

7. Chinese citizens must pass a facial-recognition test to use the internet as part of Beijing’s social credit system. Daily Mail. Because nothing need even be said about this.

8. Five Charts That Will Change The Way You Think About Racial Inequality. Forbes. Because “most Americans assume the wealth gap between white and black families with post-graduate educations is virtually negligible. The truth is that black families with post-graduate degrees are still only worth about 30 cents to every white families’ dollar.” Because most Americans believe that racism has pretty much ended and then completely ignore that holding people back for hundreds of years does not immediately mean they are at the same starting line as everyone else. Because if you truly look at these charts it likely will change how you think about racial inequality.

9. Goldman Says Up to $4 Billion Moved From Hong Kong to Singapore Amid Unrest. Bloomberg. Because there are still some people who insist Hong Kong will be just fine. Because my law firm’s immigration lawyers are seeing an increase in all sorts of people fleeing Hong Kong for the United States and the EU.

10. Zika Was Soaring Across Cuba. Few Outside the Country Knew. New York Times. Because it shows a government’s ability to keep things quiet. Because I went to Cuba with my family while Zika was raging instead of Oaxaca because I was concerned about my two daughters.

11. Why Chinese and U.S. Stakeholders Should Listen Carefully to What PLO Lumumba Has to Say. The China/Africa Project. Because Lumumba does have a lot to say and for many who fail to listen it will be at their peril. Because whatever China giveth with the one hand as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, it taketh with the other hand. See, e.g. It Doesn’t Matter if Ecuador Can Afford This Dam, China Still Gets Paid.

12. The teenager married too many times to count. BBC. Because sex trafficking is bad enough, but when done by religious clerics to children as young as nine years old and all the while justifying it on religious grounds, it seems even more horrible.

Please share any of your thoughts on the above as a comment below.

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Photo of Dan Harris Dan Harris

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

He primarily represents companies doing business in emerging market countries, having spent years building and maintaining a global, professional network.  His 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.

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

Dan is a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and constantly travels between the United States and Asia. He most commonly speaks on China law issues and is the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog. 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 Dan regarding various aspects of his international law practice.

Dan is licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at his firm, Dan focuses 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.