FAQs and Disclaimer

1. Who am I?

I am an American international trade lawyer, serving as the managing partner of the Singapore office of Appleton Luff, an international trade specialty firm with other offices in Brussels, Geneva, Warsaw and Washington, DC.  I practice in the areas of trade remedies (antidumping, countervailing duties and safeguards), customs and other aspects of free trade agreements (FTAs) and the WTO.  I have represented Japanese, Chinese, European, American and ASEAN companies in dealing with the legal and policy aspects of ASEAN economic integration, including the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), ASEAN Industrial Cooperation (AICO) scheme and other aspects of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).  I also have assisted government ministries in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia in drafting and implementing trade remedy legislation, negotiating FTAs, defending trade remedy cases brought by the US and EU and organizing compliance with the the WTO.  I recently worked on an EU-funded assistance project for the ASEAN Secretariat in dealing with rules of origin in the ATIGA and on an Australia/New-Zealand funded project on rules of origin in ASEAN.  As an adjunct associate professor, I teach a course on the Law and Policy of the ASEAN Economic Community at the National University of Singapore Law School.  

On a personal level, I have lived in Singapore since 1997 and my father's family has lived in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia since our ancestors migrated from China hundreds of years ago.  Thus, by "regional value content" I would be of ASEAN origin, but by "substantial transformation" (e.g., being born in New York) I am an American.  I am married to Lin, a Singaporean lawyer, and we have two boys, Ryan and Jordan, who attend the Singapore American School.

2. Why maintain this blog?

The AEC is a tremendous exercise, involving more than 600 million people in 10 countries, and is supposed to take shape by 2015.  Yet the AEC is very misunderstood and not much is known about how it operates.  I hope to help explain how the AEC will come into being and how it will operate.  I teach a course at National University of Singapore Law School on the Law and Policy of the ASEAN Economic Community, and I hope to spread the teaching of this area of law and policy throughout ASEAN and elsewhere.    The focus will remain on the AEC, although I will comment on other aspects of ASEAN, such as the ASEAN institutions, when and where they impact on the AEC. 

3. Who are you speaking for (e.g., is this the disclaimer)?

The opinions and views expressed in this blog are solely mine, and do not reflect the views and opinions of my law firm Appleton Luff, the National University of Singapore or my clients.  The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take, or refrain from taking, any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Appleton Luff.

4. Why do you refer to both Myanmar and Burma?

This blog refers to the self-identified name of Myanmar in discussing internal ASEAN matters, because the other ASEAN members use this name.  However, for purposes of discussing extra-ASEAN matters involving this country, such as the sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU, this blog will refer to the country's former name of Burma.