Asia-Pacific

If passed, the House bill, "Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act" (H.R. 2378) has all the markings of a major trade battle before the WTO. At bottom, the law requires the United States administrative agencies to treat currency manipulation as a subsidy that would be subject to countervailing duties equal to the benefit to exporters conferred by the manipulation. The...

Brad Roth has sent along a link to this New York Times editorial, which begins: If a country sinks beneath the sea, is it still a country? That is a question about which the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a Micronesian nation of 29 low-lying coral atolls — is now seeking expert legal advice. It is also a question the...

Actually, I'm not, although I'm confident Labor will pull out the election.  But I'm endlessly fascinated by the fact that people place bets on the outcome of the election -- and that the latest odds are treated as serious news by The Age, the best newspaper in Australia: Labor has been the subject of a huge betting plunge on it winning...

That’s a remarkable statement, but it actually is true. Yesterday the Supreme Court in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project addressed the question of whether a federal statute criminalizing the provision of “material support” to terrorist organizations was constitutional. A humanitarian NGO group wanted to train members of two terrorist organizations, the PKK and the LTTE, to become more...

The news coming out of China of ten suicide deaths at Foxconn industrial park is terribly distressing. All of the workers who committed suicide were recent high school or vocational training school graduates aged between 18 to 24. One of the fatalities, Sun Danyong, jumped to his death after being interrogated over a missing iPhone prototype. Foxconn,...

There's a post that's been making the rounds in the science fiction blogosphere that warrants note by those interested in international law, especially in regards to issues of international trade, development, and regulation. The piece is by Ghanaian writer Jonathan Dotse and it concerns the rise of African cyberpunk. Before getting to Dotse's post, though, a couple of words on cyberpunk itself. Cyberpunk is...

Today's Financial Times has a story on how unhappy U.S. businesses have become about Chinese government restrictions interfering with their access to Chinese markets.  So, one can understand how U.S. exporters would welcome news that the United States and China are getting closer to including a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).  And, let's be clear, this would be the mother-of-all BITs, given...

Bangladesh has ratified the Rome Statute, making it the 111th member of the International Criminal Court.  Bangladesh was the first country in South Asia to sign the Statute, which it did on July 17, 1998.  I don't know what explains the 12-year gap between signature and ratification; if any readers know, please chime in below. Bangladesh's ratification will have immediate dividends. ...

Japan triumphs in a big way at the CITES meeting in Doha, as the U.S. proposed ban on bluefin tuna trade goes down 20-68. The rejection of the bluefin proposal was a clear victory for the Japanese government, which had vowed to go all out to stop the measure or else exempt itself from complying with it. Japan, which consumes nearly...

Yesterday, the Japanese Government (now led by the Democratic Party after nearly five-plus decades of rule by the Liberal Democratic Party) confirmed that in the 1960s Japan and the United States entered into a series of secret defense pacts.  Specifically, a committee of scholars has identified various tacit agreements allowing U.S. warships to carry nuclear weapons into Japanese ports, granting unrestricted use of...