October 25, 2018

ABA Mexico City conference features range of investment, trade and treaty programs

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2018 – The American Bar Association Section of International Law will convene a fall conference in Mexico City with three days of programming emphasizing investment and regional trade and treaty issues.

International Trade and Investment Conference
Sponsored by the ABA Section of International Law

Wednesday – Friday, Nov. 7-9

InterContinental Presidente
Campos Elíseos 218, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc,
11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

The opening plenary session at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, features a 90-minute focus on legal ethics in the United States and Mexico. “So, You Got off the Plane and You Thought You Were Ethical: Comparative Legal Ethics Focusing on Latin America and the United States,” will include a mix of U.S. and Mexican attorneys and will examine ethical rules, the role and scope of attorney-client privilege, conflicts of interest and other timely topics.

Mexico Congresswoman Gabriela Cuevas Barron, a former senator who is president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, will speak at a 12:45 p.m. luncheon Wednesday. She has been active in protecting the rights of children — particularly unaccompanied migrant children — and in preventing their exploitation in situations of war and conflict.

With NAFTA treaty re-negotiations near a close, the conference provides a timely look at a multitude of new and ongoing trade and investment matters between the U.S. and Mexico as well as the region. Altogether, 26 programs dealing with trade issues, criminal justice and the law will be offered.

Some of the more notable ones include:

“The Future of Labor Mobility in the Americas After NAFTA Negotiations: Where Do We Go from Here?” — With the North American Free Trade Agreement entering a new phase, a great degree of uncertainty has been cast over the future of international labor mobility. International treaties in the Americas, including NAFTA and Mercosur, contain significant provisions on labor mobility to allow signatory countries to grant temporary entry to business visitors, intra-company transferees, professionals, traders and investors. These provisions impact foreign workers, employers and local labor, and provide the focus for this panel.
Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

“Beyond NAFTA – Strategic Opportunities Using Free Trade Agreements in Europe, Asia and Latin America” — In an environment of globalized free trade, the current U.S. administration has taken a different direction with new self-initiated antidumping cases: Section 201 tariffs on solar panels and refrigerators, and section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum to name just a few. Moreover, there are threats of possible U.S. withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO), besides renegotiation of the NAFTA treaty. In response to some of these new policies, Mexico has looked to other regions to expand its global trade network. The panel will discuss some of the U.S. changes to trade policies, the terms of the “new and improved” NAFTA agreement and a business perspective on the actions taken by the Mexican government related to global trade.
Wednesday, 2:30 – 4 p.m.

“Criminal Enforcement in the Americas: Cooperation Between Government Authorities” — Amid other issues, most observers say there is increasing cooperation between government authorities as they seek to enforce criminal laws. Panelists will provide updates on recent cooperative efforts between states, including the Financial Action Task Force, anticorruption and anti-bribery laws, antitrust investigations and prosecutions, and other notable investigations.
Thursday, 9 – 10:30 a.m.

“Aligning Regulation of Cannabis Markets with International Realities and Legal Obligations” Approximately 30 countries have expanded their cannabis laws in varying degrees, and Mexico is among multiple Latin American countries to recently join the growing list of cannabis-legal nations. For global trade and investment, the economic and social benefits have been immeasurable. The legal cannabis market is projected to create more jobs than manufacturing within the next two years, while growth is expected to increase at a 25 percent compounded annual rate. At the same time, most cannabis-legal countries are signatories to international treaties prohibiting these transactions. The panel will discuss some of the economic, social and legal issues raised by the cannabis trend.
Friday, 2:30 – 4 p.m.

“Closing Plenary – Challenges for the General Counsels in Face of Government Transitions in Mexico” — These are challenging times for general counsels in Mexico, particularly when it comes to enforcement in multiple jurisdictions. General counsels for several Mexico companies — México and Venezuela Weatherford, Grupo Herdez, General Electric, Grupo Desc and Philip Morris — will discuss these issues.
Friday, 4:30 – 6 p.m.

For more information on the conference, including a preliminary list of speakers, please click here.

MEDIA: Media must pre-register to cover this event and should contact Bill Choyke at 202-662-1864 or bill.choyke@americanbar.org.

Founded in 1933, the ABA Section of International Law is a leader in the development of legal policy in the international arena, the promotion of the rule of law and the education of international law practitioners. It is the only ABA entity that focuses on the full range of international legal issues and is involved in a wide variety of substantive legal activities. Follow latest Section of International Law news on twitter @ABAInternatl

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