James Holbein



James R. Holbein is a specialist on NAFTA and international trade law. He is President of Global Trade Consulting, LLC working on diverse issues from investing abroad to cyber security and bio processing. He has been an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law since 1993. He teaches seminars on NAFTA, Regional Integration, Negotiation and Dispute Settlement. He has been appointed as a panelist for several binational panels since 2004 under NAFTA Chapter 19 to resolve several antidumping (AD), countervailing duty (CVD) and material injury disputes. Since 1992, he has served as editor of an eight volume looseleaf series on NAFTA published by Oxford University Press. He also edits looseleaf series on NAFTA Chapter 11 Investment issues and is a frequent contributor to the Oxford Press looseleaf series on the World Trade Organization.

Mr. Holbein was a government official for nearly 20 years. He was the U.S. Secretary of the NAFTA Secretariat from its inception in 1989 under the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement, until 1999. In that role, he managed five member panels of experts who issued binding legal decisions in over 100 AD/CVD disputes affecting over $25 billion in regional trade. He managed the Mexico desk at the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1988 and was a trade negotiator for the U.S. Department of State in 1986-87. Mr. Holbein was a Foreign Service Officer from 1980 to 1987 and received a Meritorious Honor Award and USTR Special Certificate of Appreciation in 1986 for his participation in the U.S. - Canada free trade negotiations. He also served in the U.S. embassies in Norway and South Korea.

He began his career in government with the U.S. Small Business Administration as an attorney for a disaster loan program in south Texas. Subsequent to his government career, Mr. Holbein was Of Counsel to a law firm specializing in international trade matters for three years. He also worked as a manager in three start-up firms in the electric motor, bio-processing and cyber security industries.



Currently Teaching

There are no classes currently associated with this professor.

Areas of Specialization

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Space Law

Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., University of Arkansas 1979
  • B.A., University of California at Santa Barbara 1975

  • + Selected Publications

    • Books

    • James Holbein & Nick Ranieri, North American Free Trade Agreements (James Holbein & Donald J. Musch, eds., Oxford U. Press 2007, updated annually).
    • James Holbein, 9/11 Commission, Proceedings and Analysis, (Holbein, ed., Oceana Publications 2005).
    • James Holbein, The EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement (James Holbein & Nick Ranieri, eds., Transnatl. Publishers 2002).
    • James Holbein, American Bar Association, Year-in Review, Mexican Law Committee Submissions, International Lawyer (James Holbein, ed., ABA 1999 - 2001).
    • James Holbein, North American Free Trade Agreement ( 1994).
    • James Holbein, P. Ross Weber & Filip Reich, Analysis of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Matters Decided by the WTO and the GATT, in Law and Practice of the World Trade Organization (Joseph Dennin, ed., Oxford U. Press Sept. 2007).
    • James Holbein & Nick Ranieri, Balancing Investors’ Rights with Public Policy in the NAFTA Context, in North American Free Trade Agreements (James Holbein & Donald J. Musch, eds., Oxford U. Press Sept. 2006).
    • Other Publications

    • James Holbein, An Analysis of Agricultural Disputes under NAFTA, 3 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 639 (Fall 2002).
    • James Holbein, Is the WTO Dispute Resolution System Serving the Developing World’s Interests?, in Latin America, Its Future in the Global Economy (Patricia Gray Rich, ed., Palgrave 2002).
    • James Holbein, Juan Francisco Torres Landa & Omar Guerrero, The Mexico-European Community and Member States Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, 2 Intl. Law. 35 (Summer 2001).
    • James Holbein, Federal Government Careers in International Law, American Society of International Law Guide to Careers in International Law (Fall 1999).
    • James Holbein, NAFTA Chapter 19, the U.S. Secretariat’s Perspective, in The Commerce Department Speaks on Trade and Investment (Practising L. Inst. 1998).
    • James Holbein, The Administration of Chapter 19 Binational Proceedings Under NAFTA, 5 U.S.A.-Mex. L. J. 57 (1997).
    • James Holbein & L. Hicks, Convergence of National Intellectual Property Norms in International Trading Agreements, 12 Am. U. J. Intl. L. & Policy 769 (1997).
    • James Holbein, NAFTA Organizations and Dispute Settlement, Georgetown University Law Center Conference, ‘Resolving International Trade Disputes,” (Nov. 1995).
    • James Holbein & Alicia Greenidge, NAFTA Code of Conduct Provides International Guidelines for Ethical Behavior,, 1 NAFTA: L. & Bus. Rev. of the Americas 50 (Spring 1995).
    • James Holbein, NAFTA Code of Conduct to Ensure Integrity of Dispute Settlement, Office of Government Ethics NEWSGRAM (Summer 1994).
    • James Holbein, G. Carpentier & E. Grebasch, Trade Agreements and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms in the Western Hemisphere, 25 Case W. Res. J. Intl. L. 531 (Summer 1993).
    • James Holbein, An Analysis of Dispute Settlement under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Am. Society of Intl. L., Intl. Econ. L. Forum (Mar. 1993).
    • James Holbein & Nick Ranieri, Comparative Analysis of Specific Elements in U.S. and Canadian Unfair Trade Law, 26 Intl. Law. 873 (Winter 1992).
    • James Holbein, The Case for Free Trade, 15 Loy. L.A. Intl. & Comp. L.J. 19 (Dec. 1992).
    • James Holbein & Nick Ranieri, • Comparative Analysis of Specific Elements in U.S. and Canadian Unfair Trade Law, 26 Intl. Law. 873 (Winter 1992).