May 8, 2019

As International Trade Evolves, Cornerstone Announces an Expanded Trade Practice

The policy and politics of International Trade have evolved rapidly over the past few years. Presidential politics led to the demise of the once-bipartisan Trans-Pacific Partnership, and out of its ashes has risen a new landscape of America’s global engagement. Yesterday’s language of partnership and economic cooperation has given way to efforts of renegotiation, tariffs and other forms of retaliation.

Throughout this transformation, American businesses, consumers and workers are recognizing both new challenges and new opportunities. The Trump Administration has used carrots and sticks to bring countries to the table and work to further its trade agenda, including its renegotiation of NAFTA, ongoing trade talks with China, trade discussions with Japan and the European Union, and more.

In addition, the Administration has shown a willingness to use similar methods with domestic industries, as it works towards its goals in the trade space. Rapid change is occurring in the steel and aluminum industries, farmers face retaliation and restricted market access, the auto sector is kept in suspense, and myriad industries are discovering the challenges of navigating tariff exclusion processes.

Meanwhile, many argue that there are benefits to be had in certain sectors, should some of the Administration’s goals come to fruition, such as passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). For example, dairy farmers would gain better access to Canadian markets, intellectual property protections would be modified, and our digital trade laws would finally enter the 21st century. But, in divided government and a Presidential election year, the path forward is tricky.

That is why Cornerstone Government Affairs is announcing an expansion of its Trade Practice—because the rapid pace of change in the global economic arena has left many stakeholders trying to react, catch up, and anticipate the next trade tremor (or worse, earthquake). Cornerstone has always been active in the trade space but is now proud to announce the addition of capacity and expertise in this area. Our expanded Trade Practice Group includes congressional experts on trade from both sides of the aisle, published authorities on international affairs, and former staff from the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

We are here to help stakeholders secure the results they need in the negotiation, implementation, and modernization of trade agreements, and stay informed on trade policy developments. Examples of our work include filing comments with the International Trade Commission and testifying before USTR on the impact of tariffs; analyzing historical duty levels to inform stakeholders of product-specific impacts; and designing and executing legislative and regulatory strategies to resolve problems and promote interests. Additionally, on behalf of domestic agricultural producers, Cornerstone engages on matters impacting strategic export markets, including Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

Cornerstone is here to help navigate this new trade world, and to ensure that our partners are at the forefront of these rapid changes, while identifying opportunities along the way. For more information on Cornerstone’s Trade Practice Group, see https://www.cgagroup.com/services/trade/