Trends in dispute resolution between exporters and their international buyers seem to suggest that the entire process is in the middle of a shift toward the informal. Emerging markets are where the opportunities are, and so exports continue to flow to these countries, but their legal systems remain far less sophisticated than those in the US or the European Union. As such, alternatives to resolving a dispute in court have become more and more popular among international business partners.
"I don't think arbitration is as efficient as it used to be, but I think we're moving away from litigation to arbitration," said Robert Brown, an attorney with Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC, at this week's FCIB New York Roundtable, hosted at the offices of Lowenstein Sandler PC. "I think trade is always moving in that direction, toward easier transactions."
A look into the shift in international dispute resolution was just one of the many insights shared by presenters at the Roundtable. Brown, in addition to discussing international dispute resolution, also delved into the intricacies of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and US anti-money laundering regulations, warning attendees to remain vigilant or face the steep fines, or even possible jail time, for non-compliance.
"Money laundering is a bigger problem for you than the FCPA. The federal government is shifting over more of its resources to the money laundering division and they will charge that FCPA violation as a money laundering violation because they can charge foreign officials under the Money Laundering Control Act (MLCA), but not under the FCPA," Brown said. "They're also more likely to get cooperation from a foreign government under the MLCA because they share the proceeds," he added, noting that violations of the MLCA often carry much more severe penalties, including possible prison time. "This is great leverage for when people are asking you for a sale and it gives you red flags that you need to be worried about," he said. "You now have the authority to say 'I need more information' or you can say 'I'm just trying to keep you from going to jail.'"
Yuki Fujiyama, ICCE, trade finance specialist with the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA), was also on hand to illustrate the many ways that his agency can help US exporters make the best of foreign markets. Fujiyama provided just a brief overview of the ITA's vast resources and industry connections that can help any company, large or small, determine how the US government can help them advance their business through financing for new exports to key markets, and then fielded specific questions from attendees about how their companies can get on board. Fujiyama also discussed ITA's rich history of collaboration with organizations like FCIB, which allows each party to more effectively support every exporter's efforts to grow their business, and the US economy through international sales.
To learn more about FCIB and how we can help your company expand internationally, visit www.fcibglobal.com. For more coverage, check out this week's edition of NACM's eNews and the next issue of Business Credit.
- Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer