Since Garvey Schubert Barer’s founding in 1966, China has been a major focus of the firm’s practice. In 1979, Stan Barer and other GSB attorneys developed the legal strategy that led to the resumption of shipping between the U.S. and China after a thirty-year hiatus. The first Chinese ship to arrive in the United States sailed into the Port of Seattle, and the first American-flagged ship to sail to China was owned by a GSB client.
This strong alliance, forged and fostered by GSB, has led to Seattle’s importance in trade relations with China. China is Washington State’s major trade partner: in 2017, Washington State exported $18 billion in goods to China. The University of Washington and Tsinghua University have established a joint cross-disciplinary technological institute. President Xi Jinping visited only two locations in the United States: Seattle and Washington, D.C.
GSB became the first U.S. law firm to represent a Chinese state-owned enterprise doing business in the United States when it was engaged to assist China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (“COSCO”), which it represents to this day. In 2004, the firm opened a Beijing office to better serve U.S.-China trade. GSB has a continued tradition of providing cutting edge legal services on issues affecting commerce between the U.S. and China.
To honor this relationship, GSB is co-hosting a celebratory event with the Washington State China Relations Council, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, and the Northwest Seaport Alliance, commemorating the 40-year anniversary of the resumption of trade between the U.S. and China, and celebrating Stan Barer for his role in the process.
Foster Garvey’s International practice group comprises a cross-disciplinary group of attorneys practicing in areas ranging from business transactions, immigration, maritime, government regulatory work, transportation and logistics and estate planning. The group members include bilingual and multicultural attorneys who are well-versed in handling these subject matters in a cross-border context. A number of attorneys have been actively practicing in the international arena since the early 1970s.