Akosua has called you, Pharma Heal Corporation’s valued business consultant, for help in getting ready to meet with a United States senator. She requested a meeting with the senator because of actions taken by the European Union Council of Ministers, which may prove to be devastating to Pharma Heal Corporation’s business plan to import less costly pediatric HIV drugs manufactured by Pharma Heal Corporation into the European Union. These are intended for distribution to the over 20,000 African, sub-Saharan, and Asian undocumented immigrants who arrive in Southern Europe each year. The EU measure imposes a 100% tax on pediatric HIV drugs of whose country of origin is other than one within the European Union for a former colony of an EU member in Africa or Asia. Despite advance warning that such an action was under consideration by the EU, Akosua went ahead with her recommendation to the Pharma Heal Corporation board of directors to undertake substantial investments in facilities and personnel in the EU. She reasoned that EU would never go through with this measure because no World Trade Organization (WTO) member, she reasoned, would enact a measure that blatantly violated an international trade treaty. In particular, Akosua believes this is a blatant violation of the antidiscrimination provision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) known as the national treatment rule, and she asserts the aim-and-effect of the EU tax is to discriminate against non-European immigrants. She has assembled a briefing book for the senator to review during their meeting. One integral item that she wants to present to the senator is a WTO ruling in a case that she believes shows unacceptable use of an internal tax in violation of GATT, WTO Appeal Report, and Article III: Japan – Taxes On Alcoholic Beverages (Report of the WTO Appellate Body, 1996). The senator is a former political science professor, but he is not a lawyer. Because Akosua’s time with the senator is limited, she has asked you to write a brief of the case (a synopsis that breaks the case down into important elements and translates them into language understandable to an individual who is not a lawyer). Akosua plans to insert your brief into the briefing book to permit the senator to review it and grasp the case quickly during her meeting with him. She has also asked you to include an impartial critique of the business decision to go forward with the project on her conviction that no WTO member would enact a measure that blatantly violated an international trade treaty.
Read the WTO report regarding Japan – Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages in the Willis text or in course materials. Prepare a case brief. Use course materials for more information on how to write a briefing. Most case briefs include the name of the case, the tribunal that decided it, a statement of the issue or issues to be decided by the tribunal, a statement of the relevant facts (in a way that helps to understand the context of the case and how it became the subject of litigation), a statement of the relevant rule(s) of law needed to resolve the issue, a statement of the court’s holding on each issue, and a statement of the steps of the court’s reasoning in applying the rule(s) to the facts to resolve each issue.
At the end of the brief, add a section entitled Observations, in which you evaluate for the senator how the WTO ruling may or may not apply in support of Akosua’s view of the EU’s actions in adopting the 100% tariff on pediatric HIV drugs whose country of origin is other than one within the EU or a former colony of an EU member in Africa or Asia. In the Observations section, you will also provide the critique of her recommendation of the EU project to the Pharma Heal Corporation’s Board.
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