Symposium To Explore Foreign Commercial Lawmaking

Irina Baranova

The 71st annual international law symposium at the University of Virginia School of Law will examine the evolving field of foreign commerce from both a legal and business perspective.

“The Future of Foreign Commercial Lawmaking” will be held Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. in Caplin Pavilion. The event is hosted by student organizations the John Bassett Moore Society of International Law and the Virginia Journal of International Law, and sponsored by the law firm White & Case. 

Business leaders, academics and government officials will examine complex issues in the field through discussions of a variety of international law topics, including trade, security and supply chains. These experts will explore challenges facing legal practitioners and businesspeople alike.

Third-year law student Margaret Shin, editor-in-chief of the Virginia Journal of International Law, said inspiration for the symposium came from a forthcoming article written by University of Miami School of Law professor Kathleen Claussen.

“Executive board members of VJIL and J.B. Moore found that this area of law would provide an opportunity for rich, bipartisan discussion,” Shin said. “Significant issues of foreign commercial lawmaking arise from the public sector’s efforts to negotiate and renegotiate major trade agreements as well as the private sector’s ongoing supply chain challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”


10:30-11 a.m.

Coffee and Pastries

11-11:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

  • Kathleen Claussen, Associate Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Panel 1 | The Next Generation of Trade Agreements

  • Jamieson L. Greer ’07, Partner, King & Spalding
  • Sally Laing ’09, Chief International Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
  • Ricardo Ramírez, Founder and Partner, RRH Consultores
  • Jamila Thompson, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Moderator: Pierre-Hugues Verdier, John A. Ewald Jr. Research Professor of Law; Director, Graduate Studies Program, University of Virginia School of Law

12:30-1:30 p.m.


1:45-3 p.m.

Panel 2 | Digital Trade and Security Concerns in Transborder Commerce

  • Cristina Brayton-Lewis, Partner, White & Case
  • Simon Lester, Co-Founder,
  • Nazak Nikakhtar, Partner, Wiley Rein
  • David Weller, Director of Economic and Trade Policy, Google Inc.
  • Moderator: Thomas B. Nachbar, Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

3:15-4:30 p.m.

Panel 3 | Designing and Managing Supply Chains

  • Amanda Blunt, Counsel, Legal Affairs & Trade, General Motors
  • Celeste Drake, Director, Made in America, Office of Management and Budget
  • C.J. Mahoney, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. International Trade and Azure, Microsoft Corp.
  • Arun Venkataraman, Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce
  • Moderator: Paul B. Stephan ’77, John C. Jeffries, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law; David H. Ibbeken ’71 Research Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

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