World Trade ‘Supreme Court’ Chair Speaks
Chair of the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body James L. Bacchus (right, with International Trade Law Program Director Steve Powell) spoke at the law school last Thursday (Oct. 3) on the “supreme court of world trade,” the WTO Appellate Body — which uses a dispute resolution system that since its creation in 1955 has been vital in resolving worldwide commercial conflict, including multiple cases involving Florida agriculture and business interests. The session was sponsored by the International Trade Law Program, Florida Journal of International Law, and International Law Society. Bacchus is managing partner of the Orlando office of Greenberg Traurig, specializing in international trade and business law, and was appointed by the U.S. President and Congress as a founding member of the Appellate Body. He served in congress from Florida’s 15th District. Among Bacchus topics: discussion of a current dispute of great interest to Floridians — Brazil’s challenge to the state citrus tax, which Brazil claims violates the WTO’s non-discrimination provisions by charging a higher tax on imported oranges than on those grown in Florida. Brazil also claims the state’s use of the tax money — to promote sale of Florida citrus products — violates WTO requirements that imported goods be treated no less favorably than similar U.S. domestic goods.