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Review the scenario and complete the activity below. This scenario can also be found in the “Questions & Problems” section of Ch. 6, “International and Comparative Law” in Dynamic Business Law.
QUESTIONS & PROBLEMS
- Spain divided unroasted nondecaffeinated coffee into five separate classifications. A 7 percent tariff was imposed on three of these classifications. The other two classifications were duty free. Brazil, the principal supplier of the coffee subject to the tariff, alleged that the Spanish classification regime failed to extend most-favored-nation treatment to like products originating from Brazil, thus violating GATT. Spain defended the classifications on the basis that the products were not like products due to differences resulting from geographic factors, cultivation methods, processing, and genetics. The GATT panel rejected these arguments. The panel noted that most coffees are blends, coffee is universally regarded as a well-defined and single product intended for drinking, and no other state maintained a similar classification scheme. The panel thus concluded that the classification system Page 156discriminated against like products in violation of GATT’s most-favored-nation requirement. Do you agree with this decision? Is coffee a single universal product regardless of where it is grown, how it is processed, or what the cost is to consumers? [Spain—Tariff Treatment of Unroasted Coffee, 1981 GATTPD LEXIS 5 (1981).]
- Two North Carolina teenagers were fatally injured when the bus upon which they were riding overturned on a roadway outside Paris, France. The parents of the decedents brought a lawsuit in North Carolina state court against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and its subsidiaries based in Luxembourg, Turkey, and France, alleging that the accident was caused by negligent design and production of the bus tires. The plaintiffs alleged that the subsidiaries placed their tires into the stream of commerce and some of these tires ended up in North Carolina. The subsidiaries alleged that there was no personal jurisdiction as the mere placement of a product in the stream of commerce is an insufficient basis for the assertion of personal jurisdiction, especially when the accident had no connection with the forum other than the residence of the decedents. The North Carolina state courts disagreed and exercised personal jurisdiction over the subsidiaries. The subsidiaries appealed to the US Supreme Court. Do the North Carolina state courts have personal jurisdiction over the defendants in this case? Why or why not? [Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 131 S. Ct. 2846 (2011)].
- Nicastro was severely injured at his workplace in New Jersey by an industrial metal-shearing machine manufactured by J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd., an English company. Nicastro filed a product liability claim against McIntyre in New Jersey state court. McIntyre denied that the New Jersey state courts had personal jurisdiction. McIntyre had no office in New Jersey, and it did not pay taxes, own property, advertise, or maintain employees in New Jersey. McIntyre’s only contact with New Jersey was the presence of the metal-shearing machine at Nicastro’s workplace. The New Jersey Supreme Court held that state courts could exercise personal jurisdiction with respect to Nicastro’s claim. McIntyre appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Do the New Jersey courts have personal jurisdiction over McIntyre arising from Nicastro’s injuries? [J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, 131 S. Ct. 2780 (2011).]
- Michael Ghannoum, a resident of Texas, was hired to work as a pilot for Qatar Airways which is wholly owned by the Qatari government. Ghannoum’s employment was based in Qatar, where he resided under a resident permit. Qatar Airways terminated Ghannoum’s employment and refused to pay him for previously performed work. Ghannoum’s residency permit was canceled, which prevented him from leaving the country to interview for jobs with other airlines. Ghannoum was subsequently deported and was unable to return to Qatar. Ghannoum filed a lawsuit against Qatar Airways for interference with prospective business relations, infliction of emotional distress, invasion of priv