How has your trade and customs work been affected by worldwide geopolitical issues such as Brexit and the US administration’s trade stance?
Daniel Moulis: Both of these events are side effects of a bigger phenomenon. They reflect the fear of the electorates of powerful Western economies for their job security and their personal security. The first is caused by the competitiveness of lower socio-economic countries, the second by people movement and terrorism. In Australia, Brexit and Trump have not had a specific and separable effect on our trade and customs work. But the general climate of fearfulness definitely has. Protection of local industries and their jobs is on the uptick, through increased anti-dumping and anti-subsidisation action, tough import monitoring and “Buy Australia” preferences. The pursuit of national security objectives, and the protection of the local citizenry, have been accompanied by elevated import and export controls, including trade sanctions.
Gary Horlick: Brexit and Trump have almost doubled my workload. I had expected to spend 2017 in TPP implementation, two WTO cases, and two NAFTA chapter 19 cases and compliance with them. I lost the TPP implementation when it was torn up, but I have all the other work plus: work to save NAFTA for a wide range of US farmer and rancher interests, including work on eventual possible constitutional litigation; one of the few trade actions I had never done, a section 232 national security investigation of steel imports; detailed Brexit planning work for one large US multinational and an association of exporters of wine to the UK; counsel to the government of the UK on several items; and I co-taught a course on Brexit with Jennifer Hillman in autumn 2016, possibly the first one, and we co-edited a book based on the course (second edition expected in spring 2018).