Matthew Yeo advises sovereign and non-sovereign clients in matters arising under the agreements of the World Trade Organization. He is among the small number of lawyers in private practice who appear on behalf of Member governments in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Matthew has litigated a wide range of issues relating to the interpretation and application of the WTO agreements and has been involved in all stages of WTO dispute settlement, including consultations, appearances before dispute settlement panels, and appearances before the WTO Appellate Body.
In addition to his dispute settlement work, Matthew counsels clients on trade policy and market access issues. He has advised governments in connection with bilateral trade negotiations and the implementation of existing trade commitments; and has helped commercial clients evaluate the use of international trade rules to achieve their strategic objectives. Among the areas in which he has counseled clients is the application of international trade rules to new technologies and markets.
- District of Columbia
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 1994, magna cum laude
- London School of Economics, 1989-1990, Marshall Scholar
- A.B., Brown University, 1989, magna cum laude
- Representing the government of China in ongoing compliance proceedings in relation to one of the most comprehensive trade remedy challenges ever launched at the WTO. The challenge involved 18 separate countervailing duty determinations issued by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) against China over five years. China asked the panel to apply the landmark legal victories Steptoe previously achieved on China’s behalf before the Appellate Body to certain recurring legal issues in the 18 determinations under challenge, including the DOC's treatment of state-owned enterprises in China as "public bodies."
- Representing the Canadian softwood lumber industry in United States – Softwood Lumber VI, a decades-old dispute over imports of lumber from Canada, the largest and most complex CVD case ever litigated. The US lumber industry filed new AD/CVD investigation against imports of softwood lumber from Canada in 2016, and Steptoe is playing a prominent role in this investigation.
- Representing the government of Brazil before the WTO dispute settlement body in response to complaints brought by the European Union and Japan. The disputes are of systemic importance to Brazil, because virtually all elements of its industrial policy were challenged by the complainants as discriminatory taxes or prohibited import-substitution subsidies.
- Represented the government of China in United States –Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Products from China, when it challenged the consistency of US legislation retroactively authorizing the imposition of countervailing duties on imports from so-called "non-market economies" (including China) with the transparency requirements in Article X of the GATT. China disagreed with the panel’s central legal finding, and the Appellate Body reversed this finding and agreed with the interpretation that had been advanced by China.
- Represented the government of China in China – Electronic Payment Services in its defense of a challenge by the United States under the GATS in relation to certain alleged "restrictions and requirements maintained by China pertaining to electronic payment services for payment card transactions and the suppliers of those services." The panel rejected the US claim that China had established a monopoly for the processing of domestic payment card transactions, which was the principal claim at issue in the dispute.
- Representing the government of Argentina before the WTO dispute settlement body in response to complaints brought by the European Union, United States, and Japan regarding Argentina’s import regime. The elements of Argentina’s trade policy at issue are of crucial importance to the Argentine administration, both economically and politically.
- Assisted the government of China in obtaining landmark Appellate Body rulings in United States – Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Products from China that the parallel imposition of antidumping and countervailing duty measures against certain Chinese imports amounts to the application of a “double remedy” that is inconsistent with Article 19.3 of the SCM Agreement, and that state-owned enterprises in China are not "public bodies" under Article 1.1(a)(1) solely by virtue of their majority government ownership.
"WTO Implications of a Border Adjustable Tax," NYU School of Law/KPMG Lecture on Current Issues in Taxation, New York, NY, March 10, 2017
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Chambers Global, International Trade, China (2013-2016)
Chambers USA, International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy, Nationwide (2014-2019)
Chambers Global, International Trade/WTO (2012, 2016)
Who's Who Legal for Trade & Customs (2018)
Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution: International Trade (2016-2018)
Legal 500 US, Litigation: International Trade (2008, 2012, 2015)
Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Leading International Trade Lawyers (2007, 2008, 2010)