As the world turns

USC Gould School of Law • August 4, 2023
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Center for Transnational Law and Business keeps pace with global changes in policy, education

By Leslie Ridgeway

International trade docksSince its founding in 2016, the Center for Transnational Law and Business’ mission has hinged on policy research, thought leadership and education with a focus on competition policy, innovation and intellectual property, international trade, and transnational business regulatory challenges. Led by Executive Director Brian Peck, CTLB develops and hosts symposia, panel discussions and webinars aimed at cross-border issues, including its signature event, the annual Global Competition Law Thought Leadership Conference. Its location within the USC Gould School of Law adds heft to CTLB’s reputation as an influence in global issues.

Brian Peck
Brian Peck

“California is the fourth largest economy in the world, and the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports are among the highest volume for trade in goods of all ports in the U.S.,” Peck says. “USC Gould is the perfect base for CTLB, and as a top 20 law school, it has the status to have a global impact.”

D. Daniel Sokol
D. Daniel Sokol

Under the guidance and support of CTLB’s faculty director D. Daniel Sokol, CTLB also demonstrates leadership through its research and policy analysis work, maintaining ongoing evaluations and study groups focused on global competition and antitrust policies in the tech sector and digital competition in the Americas and Asia. Educational opportunities established and overseen by CTLB include an LLM in International Business and Economic Law, a Master of International Trade Law and Economics, offered jointly with the USC Dornsife College of Arts, Letters and Sciences Department of Economics; and a Transnational Law and Business Certificate for JD and LLM students.

As priorities in the world change, CTLB changes along with them. Recognizing the challenges facing developing nations to maintain viable economies against a backdrop of technological, environmental and social upheaval, CTLB highlights inclusivity of markets, encouraging opportunities for the micro, small and medium sized businesses emerging as potential drivers of progress. That nimble focus makes CTLB unique among law schools.

“I’m not aware of many such centers at other law schools, especially not as comprehensive as ours,” says Peck. “Very few have the global perspective we do and engage in global activities and discussions within the World Trade Organization, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which is something new for us this year.”

Last year, Peck and Fangfei Dong, associate director for policy, research and programs were invited to present a panel discussion at the WTO Public Forum in Geneva on concerns of developing nations about discriminatory environment-related trade measures. Peck and Dong presented at the WTO for the first time in 2019, leading a panel discussion on harmonizing procedural standards for antitrust regulatory actions in different countries.

Peck looks forward to the upcoming annual meeting of APEC leaders in San Francisco in November, focusing on trade inclusivity-related topics including expanding export opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises, gender equality in international trade and global rules for digital trade. CTLB plans to propose a pre-meeting workshop in August.

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