International Trade

Global Business

Blank Rome provides practical and innovative solutions to problems arising in international trade.  Our clients are global, trading both ways across borders, and include a wide range of entities from Fortune 500 companies to independent traders operating in a variety of industries and in agriculture. 

We bring to our clients an unusual blend of regulatory, transactional, tax, intellectual property, and litigation experience, combined with trade policy knowledge.  This combination allows us to advise clients with respect to the most difficult regulatory and transactional issues, as well as assess the impact of trade policy considerations on their ability to conduct business internationally.  As detailed below, Blank Rome provides advice on all aspects of international trade regulation, including customs, antidumping and countervailing duty laws, export controls, economic sanctions, global compliance issues, and trade agreements and treaties.

Trade Remedies and ITC Practice

The trade group actively participates in proceedings brought under U.S. trade remedy laws, including the antidumping and countervailing duty statutes, Sections 201 (safeguards provisions), 301 (retaliation authority), and 337 (unfair import practices) of the Tariff Act of 1930. 

The group’s lawyers have represented industry and agriculture in trade cases involving a wide variety of products, including automobiles and auto parts, rubber and tires, television sets, glass, chemicals, cameras, electronic components, ball and roller bearings, steel, ferroalloys, pipes and tubes, ironing boards, wood and wood products, paper and paper products, leather, textiles, hand tools, lemon juice, and fertilizer.  Our clients have included U.S. producers, importers, and exporters.

In addition to trade remedy proceedings, Blank Rome's attorneys participate in fact-finding studies conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission under Section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

Customs and Border Protection

Blank Rome has in-depth experience in the whole range of matters that arise under the jurisdiction of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including administrative proceedings before Customs and judicial proceedings before the federal courts.  These areas include tariff classification and valuation; country-of-origin determinations and marking matters; claimed trademark infringements and seizures; compliance assessments and regulatory audits; penalty and forfeiture proceedings; and drawback claims, entry/departure, security, coastwise trade, and vessel repair duties.

In addition, our team assists clients in establishing and improving their internal customs compliance programs, including the development of prophylactic measures designed to eliminate or minimize exposure to antidumping duties.  We help firms identify and manage risk, develop policies and procedures to meet their compliance needs, and audit the effectiveness of their compliance programs.  Our comprehensive compliance systems encompass both U.S. import and export regulations. 

The trade group also advises clients with respect to their participation in tariff preference programs such as NAFTA, the Generalized System of Preferences, and other special regimes, as well as with provisions establishing preferential tariff treatment for U.S. goods exported and returned to the United States.

Export Controls and Economic Sanctions

Blank Rome provides a range of services related to the export of goods, services, and technology.  We work with all regulatory offices, including the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls of the Department of State (ITAR Regulations), the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury (Executive Orders and economic sanction laws and regulations), the Bureau of Industry and Security of the Department of Commerce (Export Administration Regulations), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the Department of Justice regarding the manufacture, import, and exports of certain military weapons.  Our services include working with clients to obtain commodity jurisdiction determinations, product classifications, and export licenses; representation in connection with export violations and Government investigations, voluntary and directed disclosures, internal compliance audits, export and defense security compliance training, and due diligence for corporate transactions.  We also provide clients with comprehensive systems to ensure compliance with both U.S. export and import regulations. 

Trade Agreements and Treaties

We also closely track global events that may affect our clients’ interests, including the various Free Trade Agreement negotiations the U.S. has undertaken with a number of countries.  We regularly provide advice and assistance to clients in connection with NAFTA, the Customs Modernization Act, and various agreements within the WTO Agreement.

International Business Transactions and CFIUS

We have extensive experience in negotiating and structuring international business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing agreements, distributorship and sales agency arrangements, and cross-border secured-financing transactions. 

In structuring our clients’ cross-border transactions, we seek to achieve their business goals while providing mechanisms that protect them in the sometimes uncertain international market.  We also ensure that such structures satisfy the requirements of the jurisdictions connected to the transactions and that the effects of the relevant tax laws have been taken into account.

We have experience in advising and representing clients in connection with transactions that may be subject to review by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  Such experience includes evaluating whether a voluntary submission to CFIUS should be made, and if so, developing and implementing a strategy to seek a successful conclusion of the review process on an expedited basis.  We also represent clients in connection with facilities working on classified contracts and with strategies to mitigate foreign ownership, control, and influence (FOCI), including negotiations with the Defense Security Service of the U.S. Department of Defense.

In connection with our clients’ international transactions, we advise on the appropriate type of corporate entities required for their projects and coordinate the formation of those companies in the relevant jurisdictions in the United States and throughout the world.  To ensure that our clients’ management goals are met in their companies’ international operations, we regularly advise on corporate governance issues for U.S. and international companies.  Further, we provide due diligence review and assistance with respect to proposed acquisitions and sales of importing and exporting companies.

We also provide ongoing advice to our clients in their foreign business operations.  We have developed a global network of international counsel with whom we consult on local commercial, investment, tax, and other laws to ensure that clients receive advice that is correct from a local law viewpoint and that is consistent with the clients’ overall goals.