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A lawyer/diplomat — that’s how Andrew Shoyer describes his ideal job. Happily, he has found it as head of Sidley Austin’s 50-lawyer trade practice, where he focuses on the use of treaties and international law to help corporate clients. Whether via preferential trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties, the World Trade Organization, or other vehicles, “the time has come that businesses can get real benefits from treaties,” says Shoyer, 47. “We represent the interests of private stakeholders.” Take his work on behalf of Caterpillar Inc. in Chile. The company makes large industrial engines, and when the engines wear out, Caterpillar ships them back to the United States, remachines each piece, and sells them at a discount. The problem is that Chile slaps a 50 percent tariff on used goods. But Caterpillar’s refurbished engines run like new. Armed with that fact in his talks with Chilean and U.S. negotiators, Shoyer was able to arrange for the insertion of a provision exempting Caterpillar’s engines from the tariff into the 2003 bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. “He has incredible knowledge,” says Shinobu Garrigues-Pula, an attorney with Caterpillar. “He’s able to think of good, interesting solutions and alternatives when we might hit a barrier.” Another client is American Electric Power Co., which hired Shoyer to make sure a proposed piece of climate change legislation would be WTO-compliant. As Congress weighs laws to restrict emissions of greenhouse gases, one concern is that the cost of compliance will place domestic industries at a competitive disadvantage. An eco-friendly solution is to impose the same restrictions on carbon-intensive imports, such as steel, iron, cement, and paper. “The key question on the Hill is whether this would be consistent with the WTO,” explains Shoyer, adding, “There is a way to do it.” To date, his language has been adopted in two pending bills. In a written statement, American Electric Power credits “Shoyer’s expertise” on the WTO and “his ability to think �out of the box.’” Global warming is not Shoyer’s only controversial brief these days. He’s also counsel to a large U.S. company (he asks that the client not be named) in a WTO case challenging the European Union’s import ban on genetically modified foods and crops, aka the Frankenfoods case. “The law is novel here,” says Shoyer, combining issues of “food, health and safety, WTO rules, and how it applies to biotech.” Shoyer has worked closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the case, which was filed in 2003. Canada and Argentina are likewise challenging the ban. Last year, a WTO panel ruled that the European Union’s moratorium was inconsistent with WTO rules. Europe has until November to comply with the decision. Shoyer is also representing Goldman Sachs in pushing the WTO for better cross-border access for U.S. brokers selling securities to institutional investors. Many countries now require brokers to route all transactions through a local intermediary. But when it comes to sophisticated investors — say, a hedge fund in France — Shoyer argues that this serves no purpose and only adds to the cost. Another client is Monsanto Co. Deputy general counsel Brian Lowry calls Shoyer “perhaps the most responsive lawyer with whom I have ever worked, and his ethics are beyond reproach.” Lowry says Shoyer has represented the company on “a range of complex international trade issues,” and Monsanto has been “delighted with his work.” In 1986, Shoyer earned a joint J.D. and master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. He spent four years as an associate at Arnold & Porter, then landed a job in the general counsel’s office at the U.S. Trade Representative in 1990. “It was a great time to be there,” he recalls. Indeed, Shoyer was sent to Geneva to serve as the legal adviser to the U.S. mission in 1993. “I was present at the birth of the WTO and the dispute settlement mechanism,” he says. He went on to represent the United States in the first-ever case appealed under the new WTO dispute resolution process. Venezuela and Brazil were challenging U.S. regulations for reformulated gasoline. As Shoyer explains it, “We lost. But we lost on terms we were relatively comfortable with, and in the end, we complied. . . . It was a good beginning in a lot of ways, because it showed developing countries they could benefit from the process.” Shoyer returned from Geneva in 1997 to join his friend and former colleague Daniel Price, who had launched a treaty-based trade practice in the D.C. office of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy. In 2002, their 33-lawyer group jumped to Sidley, where other high-profile colleagues include Stanimir Alexandrov, Richard Belanger, and Amelia Porges. Price was appointed deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs this past May. As for Shoyer, he’ll just keep making international business easier for his clients. As Caterpillar’s Garrigues-Pula puts it, “He has a great calming effect. . . . I always feel confident when I talk to him.”

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