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Antitrust, Competition, and Trade Regulation: International Trade: CFIUS, Sanctions, and Export Controls

The firm's long-standing international trade regulation and trade policy experience, coupled with its global reach, enables us to assist clients around the world with nearly any type of international trade matter, and in any location.

In particular, we work with clients in matters involving export controls, economic sanctions, customs, trade remedies and unfair trade practices, trade agreements including those of the World Trade Organization (WTO), restrictions on corrupt and improper payments, and controls on foreign investments including the procedures of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Capabilities

International Trade Regulation

Our trade lawyers are experienced in every area of international trade law and regulation, including export control laws, economic sanctions, customs laws, trade remedy laws and trade agreements, and special trade and tariff provisions such as Section 201 and Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The firm’s international trade lawyers represent multinational and regional businesses, including manufacturers, exporters, and importers; governments; associations and other organizations; and individuals from virtually every geographic region. Our lawyers in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia provide assistance in connection with business planning and transactions, regulatory proceedings, national and multinational trade proceedings and disputes, and government investigations and enforcement proceedings. 

Export Controls and Regulations

Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with every type of export control law and all other regulations that impact export trade activities involving the United States, Europe, and other countries. We advise clients regarding the Export Administration Regulations (EAR); the International Traffic in Arms Regulations); the economic sanctions regulations enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control); the anti-boycott provisions of the EAR and Internal Revenue Code; various statutory-based trade restrictions including restrictions involving Cuba, Iran, and Russia; the foreign investment review procedures administered by CFIUS; and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Our practice has considerable experience dealing with export regulatory issues not only in the context of regulatory proceedings, such as applications for licenses and other approvals and requests for commodity classifications and commodity jurisdiction rulings, but also in connection with transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, internal compliance reviews and programs, and government investigation and enforcement matters.

Customs Laws

The firm has a broad and robust practice focusing on U.S. and international customs issues, including classification, valuation, origin rules and country of origin marking, drawback, free trade zones, and bonded warehouses. Our lawyers are also experienced in reduced tariff provisions and special tariff regimes, such as the Generalized System of Preferences the North America Free Trade Agreement, and other free trade arrangements. With the adoption of the harmonized tariff schedule and uniform customs practices, our trade lawyers throughout Europe and Asia also are capable of assisting with many non-U.S. tariff issues. The firm has considerable experience providing assistance on customs issues in connection with business planning and compliance counseling, administrative proceedings, protests (and resulting appeals before the Court of International Trade), and investigation and penalty matters. Our trade regulation lawyers have particular experience in assessing and resolving complex customs compliance risks. 

Trade Remedy Laws and International Trade Agreements

Our lawyers routinely assist clients with trade remedy matters, including countervailing; anti-dumping; and Section 201, 232, 301, 337, and 421 proceedings. Our trade lawyers provide both trade remedy counseling and represent parties in proceedings brought under the U.S. trade remedy laws. In addition, our lawyers in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia counsel and assist clients in market access, compliance, and dispute resolution matters under multilateral trade agreements and bilateral trade and investment treaties. Firm clients reflect the full spectrum of trade interests and include U.S. and non-U.S. based manufacturers, exporters, importers, and foreign governments and trade associations. 

International Trade Policy

Our public policy practice represents foreign governments, private and public clients, and trade associations from around the world on international trade matters before U.S. agencies and courts, non-U.S. tribunals, and multilateral institutions. We have extensive experience in both the legal and political elements of bilateral, regional, and multilateral free trade agreements, international criminal treaties, market access disputes, quotas, and non-tariff barriers. We provide governments and industry with comprehensive counsel in all aspects of negotiations and implementation. 

We integrate lobbying and regulatory implementation, providing clients with a full perspective on the political implications of existing and pending trade legislation and assisting them in developing successful strategies to address these implications. Our methodology is flexible and tailored to the business goals and challenges of each client.

We regularly appear before the United States Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce (International Trade Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security), the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury (Office of Foreign Assets Control, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), the congressional committees of jurisdiction, and the bipartisan leadership of both houses of Congress to represent our clients. Because we are familiar with the operations and key personnel of all these decision-making bodies, we offer comprehensive, seamless advocacy.

CFIUS and Foreign Investment Review

The passage of the Foreign Investment Rick Review Modernization Act of 2018 (has substantially enhanced the power and expanded the scope of national security reviews of foreign acquisitions and investments in the United States by CFIUS. Our lawyers seasoned in CFIUS regularly advise clients across a broad array of industry sectors, including U.S. and foreign companies as well as foreign governments on assessing transactions for potential risk and obtaining safe harbor clearance through the submission of notifications and declarations to CFIUS. Our legal practitioners work closely with the firm’s public policy practice, which includes former presidential administrations officials and members of Congress, to devise a coordinated approach to CFIUS member agencies and other governmental and non-government stakeholders to address all potential national security, political, and commercial concerns with specific transactions and advance solutions where necessary. 

WTO Counseling and Dispute Settlement

The rules set forth in the agreements administered by the World Trade Organization are relevant to virtually all economic sectors, including energy, natural resources, raw materials, commodities of all types, manufactured products, consumer goods, advanced technology, intellectual property, and services. The subject matter of WTO rules and disciplines includes, among others: market access; trade remedies such as antidumping and countervailing duty measures and safeguard actions; subsidies; rules of origin; import licensing; customs; trade in services, including trade in financial services; trade-related investment measures; technical barriers to trade and other regulatory issues, including standards and technical regulations; sanitary and phytosanitary measures related to human, animal, or plant life or health; trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights; and government procurement. 

Companies conducting business in global markets benefit from understanding the scope and effect of WTO rights, obligations, and procedures, and how international obligations intersect with cross-border commercial transactions, global business strategies, government regulatory flexibility, and the resolution of trade disputes. We are well-positioned to advise on the full range of WTO disciplines, as well as WTO accessions, WTO trade policy reviews, and WTO dispute settlement. 

We have experience in representing private sector interests and governments in all phases of WTO dispute settlement, including: assessment of national measures to determine WTO inconsistencies and the viability of WTO challenges and defenses; formal consultations, including the preparation of written requests for consultations and advice and assistance regarding the conduct of government-to-government consultations; panel proceedings, including the preparation of requests to establish a panel, advice and guidance on panel composition, dealing with requests for preliminary rulings from the panel, the preparation of legal submissions and responses to written panel questions, and oral advocacy before the panel; appeals before the WTO Appellate Body, including analysis of panel reports to determine potential bases for appeal, the preparation of notices of appeal and notices of other appeal, the preparation of appellee and appellant submissions, and oral advocacy before the Appellate Body; arbitrations to determine the period of time for a member government to implement WTO rulings based on adopted panel reports and Appellate Body reports; domestic implementation of WTO rulings based on adopted panel reports and Appellate Body reports; compliance proceedings (when there is a dispute as to the existence or WTO consistency of measures taken to comply with WTO rulings); and proceedings to suspend tariff concessions or other obligations (retaliation proceedings in the event that the losing WTO member fails to bring itself into compliance). 

Multidisciplinary Trade Services

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related anti-corruption and money laundering compliance issues confront virtually every business and can arise in connection with the administration of internal compliance policies and procedures, international business transactions, internal corporate investigations, mergers and acquisitions, and enforcement proceedings. Our lawyers are experienced and skilled in implementing rigorous and effective FCPA and business ethics compliance programs, conducting associated internal investigations, undertaking due diligence reviews, and dealing with high-stakes government investigations and enforcement matters. In addition, our London office has substantial experience handling matters under bribery legislation in the United Kingdom, including the recently enacted Bribery Act.

International Competition Law

In an increasingly global marketplace, our antitrust, competition, and trade regulation lawyers are everywhere our clients are, helping them minimize antitrust and competition risk so they can focus on their strategic business objectives. Our antitrust, competition, and trade regulation lawyers have decades of experience representing clients in both criminal and civil antitrust and competition law matters before the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), various state attorneys general, the ITC, the UK Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission, and the European Commission (EC). Our European-based competition lawyers, including in London and Berlin, provide advice regarding a variety of issues under UK and other national and EC competition laws, including merger notifications and challenges, competition aspects of commercial transactions and agreements, and dominant market position issues. In addition, our lawyers provide advice and coordination regarding compliance with and remedies under the EC treaty applicable to members of the European Union as well as each member state’s individual competition laws. Also, our competition lawyers in Asia provide advice relating to the relevant laws in China and other countries.

International Dispute Resolution

We are committed to assisting its clients in employing dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to bring about the best and most cost-effective resolutions to disputes. Consistent with our longstanding commitment to ADR, for many years the firm has been a member of both the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) and the United Kingdom’s leading proponent of ADR, the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). Many of our lawyers are trained and certified as mediators and serve as American Arbitration Association, CEDR, CPR, or court-appointed dispute resolution specialists and on dispute resolution boards. Our lawyers also have substantial experience dealing with ADR issues in connection with cross-border transactions.

International Business Transactions

Recognized as one of the global go-to firms for international and domestic transactions, our transactional lawyers are equipped to handle drafting, negotiating, and implementing any type of agreement in connection with trade and investment activities, including sales and supply contracts, distributor and agency agreements, the establishment of branches and subsidiaries, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions. 

Europe

With offices located in key commercial cities throughout Europe, we provide comprehensive assistance in connection with trade activities in Europe, including transactional counseling and assistance, dispute resolution, and regulatory and other legal compliance issues. Our London office often performs the function of European counsel for clients wishing to maintain a single point of contact for the management and coordination of legal services for their European business ventures.

 Asia

With a full complement of offices in Asia, the firm provides comprehensive assistance in connection with the Asia trade activities of clients based outside of that region, including structuring and implementing trade and investment activities, dispute resolution, and dealing with regulatory and other legal compliance issues. Our lawyers in Asia also assist in efficiently delivering services relating to U.S. trade policy and regulatory issues for clients based in Asia. 

Cross-Border Canada

Our lawyers have extensive experience advising Canadian clients in international and cross-border transactions from our offices along the East and West coasts of the United States. We currently serve as general U.S. legal counsel to a number of public and private Canadian companies operating in the United States. Our lawyers also represent individuals and businesses owning property and conducting business in Canada. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing major Canadian financial institutions in complex international credit transactions. 

Real Estate Transactions

We have extensive experience in all areas of real estate law and transactions, offering a blend of national coverage in the United States through our U.S. offices and a comprehensive real estate practice in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and key markets in Asia. 

Maritime

The firm has an extensive and wide-ranging maritime practice, offering significant legal, transactional, legislative, and regulatory capabilities to both U.S. and international maritime clients. Our maritime lawyers represent owners and operators in all major sectors of the maritime industry—breakbulk, containerships, liquid and dry bulk cargo vessels, passenger cruise vessels, and specialized vessels. Our maritime clients also include ports, marinas, shipyards, and a variety of industry associations and coalitions, as well as shippers or other industries with maritime-related needs.

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