United Law Company

World Trade Organization

ULC is widely recognized as one of the premier international law firms advising clients on matters before the World Trade Organization (WTO). ULC routinely advises sovereign and commercial clients on a wide array of dispute settlement, market access, and trade policy matters arising under the WTO Agreements.

World Trade Organization stands for freer and predictable trade between countries. It aims to abolish trade distorting practices between countries such as quotas and subsidies in a phased manner. It does not however, aim at zero tariffs. WTO has GATT, GATS and TRIPs as the main agreements. Agreement on Agriculture and Agreement on Textile and Clothing come under GATT. Pakistan has been the founding member of GATT 1948 as well as WTO.

Almost the entire international trade of Pakistan is conducted on multilateral basis rather than under any Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or other preferential basis such as those available to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). At present our exporters have to pay an average of over 10% duty on exports to the United States and Europe whereas most of our competitors enjoy preferential rates either because they have FTAs with those economies or because they have LDC status. Also our farmers suffer because of huge amount of subsidies paid to farmers in rich countries. Moreover, our skilled and semi-skilled people find it hard to move to other countries where they may be in demand because of labor shortages in those countries because of various kinds of restrictions.

Although developing countries vary significantly in terms of trading profiles, they generally face three primary challenges if they are to participate effectively in the WTO dispute settlement system. These challenges are:

(i)   A relative lack of legal expertise in WTO law;

(ii)  Constrained financial resources, including for the hiring of outside counsel; and

(iii) Fear of political and economic pressure. We can roughly categorize these challenges as constraints of law, money, and politics.

Our WTO law practice advises on all legal aspects of barriers to trade and investment in world markets. These include:

EU customs law

Export controls such as sanctions and EU Dual-Use Regulations

International disciplines regarding the protection of international investments

Market access strategy

Product classification

Rules of origin

Trade in goods (GATT)

Trade in services (GATS)

Trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS)

Trade related aspects of environmental law / climate change policies

WTO dispute settlement

WTO substantive law concerning:

WTO/EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy law

Practice Spotlight:

Advising on Documentation as Matters Concerning WTO

Assisting Industries to Establish a Trade Monitoring System

Assisting Industries to Investigate Trade Barriers

Legal Consultation on WTO Issues

Providing Legal Services in WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).

Area of Practice

22 bills introduced in NA
As many as 22 bills were introduced to National Assembly on a private...
Body for amendments to Nizam-e-Adal Regulation
The NWFP and federal governments’ joint committee...
Cabinet approves draft Anti-Dumping Duties (Amendment) Ordinance, 2008: Anti-Dumping Appellate Tribunal Proposed
The Federal Cabinet of Pakistan has approved the draft Anti-Dumping Duties
FBR considers decentralizing Sales Tax Registration
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may delegate powers to regional collectors
SNGPL challenges ECC raw material price escalation formula in the Lahore High Court
The Federal Cabinet of Pakistan has approved the draft Anti-Dumping Duties
Pakistan seeking from US consular access for Dr Afia
Pakistan is seeking from United States consular access and medical
Heroism of Pakistani Lawyers and Judges to be Honoured by the American Bar Association
The bravery of Pakistani lawyers who faced down baton-wielding police over
Foreign investors to invest USD $25 billion in Punjab Province, particularly Lahore, in the next 3 years
Foreign Investment According to the Department for Trade and Investment, Government of the Punjab
Supreme Court issues notices to Geo and Jang
The Supreme Court has directed the print and electronic media neither to publish

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