China and the Rise of Electric Vehicles




On Thursday, August 3 panelists looked at how Chinese companies, led by BYD, are making significant inroads into auto markets all around the world, including Europe with their low priced, high quality electric vehicles that have benefitted from massive subsidization. Discussants provided their perspective on what the rapid growth of the Chinese automotive industry mean for the global automotive market and trade policy, how governments should respond, and how environmental factors should be considered.


This event was held in partnership with the Asia Society Policy Institute.


Featured Speakers:

Michael Dunne, CEO, ZoZoGo

Brian Janovitz, Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Jeffrey I. Kessler, Partner, WilmerHale

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director of European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)

Moderator: Wendy Cutler, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) Washington, DC Office


Speaker Biographies:

Wendy Cutler is Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the managing director of the Washington, D.C. office. In these roles, she focuses on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade, investment, and innovation, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she also served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. During her USTR career, she worked on a range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S.-China negotiations, and the WTO Financial Services negotiations. She has published a series of ASPI papers on the Asian trade landscape and serves as a regular media commentator on trade and investment developments in Asia and the world.

Michael Dunne is an entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker. In 2018, Dunne founded ZoZoGo to deliver world-class advisory services on global electric and autonomous vehicle markets. Company leaders in the United States, Europe and Asia engage Dunne for expert knowledge, keynote talks and board level briefings.

Brian Janovitz currently serves as the Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Brian previously served as Director for International Economics at the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where his responsibilities included the U.S. trade and economic posture toward the People’s Republic of China, economic and clean energy economy priorities at the G7, and deepening cooperation with the European Union through the Trade and Technology Council. Prior to that, Brian served as Senior Associate General Counsel at USTR, where he litigated disputes before World Trade Organization (WTO) panels and the WTO Appellate Body, including the three disputes related to Boeing and Airbus subsidies. He also represented the United States in trade agreement negotiations, served on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and acted as the attorney responsible for energy and raw materials issues. Brian started his career as an international trade attorney at a Washington, DC law firm. Brian is originally from Orlando, Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Harvard Law School.

Jeffrey I. Kessler is a partner in WilmerHale’s International Trade Practice, where he handles some of the most high-profile work in the international trade arena.  Mr. Kessler originally joined the firm in 2011 and rejoined in 2021 after serving for two years as Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance at the US Department of Commerce, the chief trade enforcement official for the US Executive Branch.

As Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, Mr. Kessler headed the 360-person office that enforces the US antidumping and countervailing duty laws, monitoring foreign compliance with trade agreements, supporting the negotiation and implementation of international trade agreements to open foreign markets, administering the Foreign-Trade Zones program, and evaluating Section 232 steel and aluminum tariff exclusion requests. Mr. Kessler was the decisionmaker in hundreds of trade remedies cases, renegotiated a series of politically charged trade pacts with foreign countries and producers, and spearheaded the largest overhaul of Commerce’s trade enforcement regulations in decades. His tenure as Assistant Secretary represents a high-point in Commerce’s trade enforcement activity, with the most ever trade remedy investigations in a single fiscal year (104), as well as several self-initiations of circumvention proceedings, and the first-ever countervailing of foreign currency undervaluation.

At WilmerHale, Mr. Kessler represents US manufacturers in high-profile trade remedy cases, including those related to fertilizer products, softwood lumber, and chemicals and plastics products. Mr. Kessler advises on both the legal and the political aspects of such cases. He regularly appears before the US Department of Commerce, the US International Trade Commission, and the US Court of International Trade. Mr. Kessler has also been involved in successfully litigating several precedent-setting cases before WTO panels and the Appellate Body, including US – Large Civil Aircraft (2nd complaint) (Article 21.5 – US), EC and certain member States – Large Civil Aircraft (Article 21.5 – US), US – Tax Incentives, Argentina – Import Measures, and Brazil – Certain Measures Concerning Taxation and Charges.

A particular area of emphasis for Mr. Kessler’s practice is China. Mr. Kessler has assisted leading US companies and industry associations—especially those in innovative, IP-intensive industries—to understand and navigate Chinese trade and investment barriers. Mr. Kessler has advised companies on issues such as China’s sector-wide subsidy programs, IP policy and enforcement, cyber sovereignty and related policies, technology transfer requirements, national security–related technical standards, and restrictions on the supply of foreign services.

Mr. Kessler advises clients on a wide range of other trade issues, including: recent US and foreign sanctions measures against Russia; the consistency of such sanctions with WTO and other international rules; the EU’s digital sovereignty agenda (including the Digital Markets Act, the Digital Services Act, the Data Act, etc.); strategic challenges that global companies face in doing business both in the US and China; compliance with issues related to forced labor, including the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act; possible de-listing of Chinese companies from US stock exchanges pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act; recent developments in global competition law; climate change policy, including proposals for a carbon border adjustment measure; the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework; the US proposed outbound investment screening mechanism; Section 301 tariffs and exclusions; and international trade-related aspects of large corporate transactions. 

Mr. Kessler is a frequent speaker on international trade topics, including at leading law schools and industry associations. Mr. Kessler earned his BA magna cum laude (Philosophy and Classics) from Yale University in 2005, an MA (Philosophy) from the University of Chicago in 2007, and a JD and MA (Economics) from Stanford University in 2010, where he was an Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review and a John M. Olin Law and Economics Fellow. Mr. Kessler is a member of the American Bar Association and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama is the director of European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and a leading author on trade diplomacy, EU-Far East relations and the digital economy.

He is regularly consulted by governments and international organisations on a range of issues, from trade negotiations to economic reforms. He appears regularly in European, Chinese and US media, and is noted for his involvement in WTO and major free trade agreements. He was also named “One of the 20 most influential people for open internet” by the readers of the Guardian UK in 2012. He was the first author to argue for a WTO case on internet censorship in China.

Prior to joining ECIPE, he was an independent counsel on regulatory affairs, competition and communication, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representative of Sweden and the EU member states towards the WTO and the UN, including WIPO and UNECE. Lee-Makiyama is also a Fellow at the department International Relations at the London School of Economics, and currently shares his time between LSE and ECIPE.