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    03.08.18 In an NBC News Story, Professor Julian Arato Weighs in on Looming Trade Wars
    Brooklyn Law School - Assistant Professor of Law Julian Arato

    Professor Julian Arato, an expert in international economic law and co-director of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law, was quoted in a March 8 NBC News story exploring the potential impact of the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. Arato commented on the potential for litigation under existing trade law, explaining what might happen if the proposed tariffs trigger a trade war.

    "It has not been litigated, ever," said Arato. "If you push this far enough, you risk undermining the system."

    Past administrations have cited trade provisions allowing them to respond to shifts in imports. The Trump administration, however, is invoking national security issues—a departure from past U.S. responses.

    The proposed tariffs come in the wake of a Commerce Department report citing elevated levels of steel and aluminum imports as a threat to national security and recommending tariffs and quotas “to protect the industries at home.” The White House can address such threats under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, but it has been invoked only rarely to confront oil crises in the '70s and '80s, according to NBC News.

    Arato has written extensively on the law of treaties and treaty interpretation, the law of international organizations, and the law of foreign direct investment. He is currently working on a long-term project on the private law dimensions of international investment law.

    Arato also serves as a Co-Chair of the Junior International Law Scholars Association (JILSA); as Vice Chair for the American Society of International Law (ASIL) International Economic Law Interest Group; and as a member of the International Law Association Study Group on the Content and Evolution of the Rules of Interpretation. Before teaching, he worked as an associate in the international arbitration group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where his practice focused on international investment disputes and international commercial arbitration.

    Read more:
    U.S. vs. the world: Here’s what a trade war looks like