Unfair or poorly devised government policies can be the biggest obstacle to doing business in global markets. In some cases, companies can seek to fix the problem by reminding governments of their obligations under international trade and investment agreements. In other cases, the best advocate for reform is another national government whose companies have been negatively affected.
National governments can be powerful allies in seeking to open foreign markets to goods and services or in protecting a company’s investments or intellectual property rights abroad. They can resolve problems through formal trade agreements or less formal government-to-government dialogues. The executive and legislative branches can both play forceful and effective roles in this process, and can fix problems before a company has to commit the time and resources necessary for litigation.
Sidley lawyers have decades of experience, both in and out of government, in leveraging the authority of national governments to resolve commercial problems around the world. We have drawn from this experience in advising clients across a wide array of commercial sectors. For example:
- We have advised the securities and express delivery industries in advocating market-opening initiatives in global and bilateral trade negotiations.
- We have helped an equipment manufacturer work with government trade negotiators to liberalize trade in remanufactured goods.
- We have advised software companies and associations on using trade negotiations to improve market access for their software and online gaming services.
- And we have advised pharmaceutical companies on how best to use trade negotiations to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights abroad.
Our experience in negotiating such matters while in government service covers virtually all economic sectors and regions of the world.