Stephan E. Becker
Nancy A. Fischer
Christopher R. Wall
Pillsbury's International Trade practice combines a sophisticated knowledge of domestic and extraterritorial trade measures with an understanding of the political, policy and diplomatic context in which such measures are implemented.
Pillsbury's International Trade practice is nationally ranked by 2015 Chambers USA, a leading independent guide that interviews clients to compile its rankings. Chambers notes, “This firm has an impressive stable of clients…clients are particularly impressed by the team's work in export controls and sanctions, where attorneys possessing sector-specific expertise advise on the full range of issues, including ITAR.” Chambers USA and Chambers Global rank partners Stephan Becker, Nancy Fischer and Christopher Wall as leading lawyers in the area of International Trade.
Pillsbury provides a full range of legal services to its clients related to international trade regulation. Our International Trade practice includes counseling, regulatory compliance and enforcement, transactions, litigation, and arbitration. We combine a sophisticated knowledge of domestic and extraterritorial trade measures with an understanding of the political, policy and diplomatic context in which these measures are implemented.
We assist clients with international trade matters, including: export controls and embargoes; regulation of foreign investment; customs compliance and enforcement; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance; the interpretation of international trade agreements and litigation or settlement of trade disputes; trade remedy proceedings (such as antidumping investigations); and trade issues that arise in transactions. We represent clients in a wide range of industries, including computer hardware and software, aerospace, defense, semiconductors, financial institutions, satellite services, energy, agriculture, chemicals, steel, travel, automotive, and electronics. Our in-depth understanding of our clients’ industries and technologies allows us to deliver effective solutions that reflect the client’s long-term goals. To this end, we regularly team with lawyers in the firm’s other practice areas. Our experience with a multitude of trade-related problems allows us to offer practical advice on implementation strategies.
Pillsbury’s lawyers bring their extensive experience to bear in all aspects and fields of International Trade, including:
Customs Compliance & Enforcement
Our experience encompasses virtually all aspects of the administration of the U.S. customs laws, including tariff classifications, country of origin marking, the valuation of imports (including intra-company transfer pricing) and rules of origin. We represent clients in requesting rulings from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (formerly the U.S. Customs Service) and, in appropriate cases, obtaining private relief measures enacted by Congress with respect to the liquidation of specific entries. We assist clients in designing internal customs compliance programs, advise them in responding to Customs audits, and defend them in seizure, enforcement and penalty proceedings.
Economic Sanctions & Embargoes
Pillsbury lawyers have deep experience advising clients on compliance with economic embargoes imposed by the U.S. government under the International Economic Emergency Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act, including sanctions regulations administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) with respect to countries such as Cuba, Iran and Sudan, as well as terrorists, drug traffickers and other designated entities.
Export & Technology Transfer Controls
The U.S. government regulates exports of products and technology from the United States, re-exports of U.S.-origin products and technology from foreign countries and, in some cases, shipments of foreign products incorporating U.S. content. The U.S. government also controls the release of technology to foreign nationals within the United States and export licenses that may be required to hire foreign national employees.
Pillsbury assists clients in interpreting the often complex requirements of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to determine if proposed transactions require prior approval from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) or the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). We help companies classify their products on the Commerce Control List (CCL) and the U.S. Munitions List (USML), and assist in the preparation of license applications and commodity jurisdiction requests. We advise clients on voluntary disclosures of export control law violations, conduct investigations, negotiate settlements, and defend companies in both administrative enforcement proceedings and criminal prosecutions.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance
Companies that do business in foreign countries must ensure that they comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Recently, several factors have led to a marked increase in FCPA enforcement activity, stressing the need for a legal team that can provide a full range of FCPA-related services, from general compliance and advice on specific transactions to investigations and representation before government agencies when potential issues are uncovered. To better serve our clients, Pillsbury has created a cross-practice team dedicated to providing exceptional guidance on the complex legal and regulatory issues involved in doing business abroad.
Our team monitors U.S. court decisions, the terms of DOJ and SEC settlements, and policy statements of enforcement officials and regulators. Pillsbury offers full-service solutions for companies by helping them establish effective FCPA compliance programs and respond to potential violations when they arise.
International Trade Agreements
International trade agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other bilateral and multilateral agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have greatly expanded the scope of domestic government regulation that is subject to international obligations. Trade agreements now extend to areas such as financial services, environmental regulation, intellectual property, product standards, telecommunications, transportation and distribution, and certain aspects of foreign investment.
In our role as advisors to both governments and companies, we have been involved in a number of completed and pending investor-state arbitrations, WTO dispute settlement proceedings and appeals, and other cases arising under the WTO, NAFTA and other trade agreements.
Regulation of Foreign Investment & Industrial Security
Pillsbury advises both domestic and foreign clients on the regulation of foreign investment in the United States. The firm’s lawyers have represented companies in submitting dozens of notifications to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) under the Exon-Florio Amendment and FINSA, and have been involved in complex, high-profile investigations. We have worked on a variety of matters involving government control, highly sensitive technologies and countries, transportation, communication and energy infrastructure, and cleared companies.
Companies providing goods and services to the U.S. government may require security clearances to obtain access to classified information or, in the case of foreign acquisitions, for an acquired company to continue working on classified U.S. government contracts. The Defense Department’s Defense Security Service regulates security clearances through its National Industrial Security Program (NISP). We assist clients in determining how the NISP may affect their operations, including implementing measures to comply with the NISPOM’s “foreign ownership, control, or influence” (FOCI) rules.
Trade Remedy Proceedings
Pillsbury’s lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in trade remedy proceedings before the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission, including antidumping, countervailing duty and safeguard proceedings. We have been involved in many of the most complex topics raised in these proceedings. These include antidumping issues, anti-circumvention, hyperinflation and non-market economies, as well as the countervailability of subsidies granted to government-owned entities before those entities were privatized. Our firm also represents clients in appeals to the Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.