For almost a hundred years, the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has been on the front lines of creating a world system of rules to govern trade, investment, finance and commercial relations.
Most recently — on Tuesday of this week (Feb. 2) — it applauded the last-minute deal between the European Union and the United States to keep transatlantic data flowing. Its more than six million members from 130 countries had lobbied the negotiators to swiftly conclude an agreement.
The revelations of Edward Snowden prompted the European Court of Justice in 2015 to invalidate the “safe harbour” agreement, in place since 2000, enabling the uninterrupted flow of data between the two continents.
The EU-U.S. agreement is just the most recent in a long line of global commerce initiatives that the ICC has supported dating back to overseeing reparations and war debt following World War I, holding back the tide of protectionism unleashed by the Smoot-Hawley tariff of the 1930s and establishing the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (Incoterms) used by banks all over the world to finance trade.
The Georgia State University-based Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation also chose Feb. 2 to announce that it had entered into its own deal with the ICC.
The center, which is located on the fourth floor of the Georgia State College of Law, has agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the ICC to provide hearing space to the ICC’s International Court of Arbitration at a 40 percent discount off its published rates.
Ben Greer, president of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society and formerly the head of the international law practice at Alston & Bird LLP, said in a news release that “the alliance between the new Atlanta center and the venerable ICC signals the growing significance of the southeastern United States as an international commercial hub.”
Andrea Carlevaris, secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and director of Dispute Resolution Services of the ICC, said that the memorandum marked the ICC’s continued interest in expanding its services in the U.S. It opened an office administering ICC arbitration in New York in 2013.