Commerce & Trade

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Our Commerce and Trade group works in conjunction with the Foley Litigation Department. The Export Controls and National Security team provides our clients with highly experienced counsel on government investigations and enforcement proceedings involving international and national security matters.

Whether it is defense articles and technical data governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), dual-use items controlled under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), or economic sanctions enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), our attorneys untangle the complex web of regulations for U.S. and foreign companies.

Our NAFTA lawyers, based in Dallas and Mexico City, are well-versed in assessing the advantages of using this treaty and many similar free trade agreements around the world. With recognized Customs attorneys in both the U.S. and Mexico, Foley’s international trade practice is unique in its ability to offer seamless cross-border advice on NAFTA. Our team has deep experience handling reviews and audits by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and by Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT).

Export Controls and National Security

Our team has extensive experience in all aspects of U.S. export controls and economic sanctions. We regularly provide counsel on controlled goods, information, software, and technologies, including commodity classifications, deemed exports, and technology transfer issues. We also advise on the rapidly changing rules governing transactions with sanctioned countries and persons. Most significantly, the Export Controls & National Security Practice crafts compliance programs, implements internal controls, and performs compliance audits designed to help clients manage the risks created by the aggressive enforcement of these laws. When compliance breaks down, we conduct internal investigations, prepare voluntary disclosures, and represent clients in enforcement actions before the relevant agencies.

Our attorneys offer a rich understanding of antiboycott regulations, restrictions on conflict minerals, and special Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rules governing the export of nuclear materials and technologies. We also represent clients in proceedings before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and in other matters involving Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI). Whether we are defending multinational corporations, conducting internal investigations, or creating comprehensive compliance programs, our sophisticated insight into law, policy, and politics can help clients control risks and achieve strategic objectives.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Our team of NAFTA lawyers and compliance professionals is experienced in NAFTA trade compliance and enforcement in the U.S. and Mexico, and can guide importers, exporters, and producers on NAFTA compliance to maximize duty savings. We have represented companies on NAFTA matters in multiple industries, including food, apparel, oil and gas, retail, aerospace, and automotive. From Customs penalty matters to country of origin analyses and tailored internal controls and procedures, our team has the expertise needed to guide a company through complex NAFTA matters efficiently.

We have extensive experience advising clients on multiple NAFTA compliance issues, including the validity of certificates of origin and supporting documentation. We regularly perform internal audits, reviews, and training for clients in the U.S. and Mexico to ensure they are complying with NAFTA eligibility and recordkeeping requirements.

It is important to recognize that preferential duty treatment only applies where properly claimed. False NAFTA claims can quickly subject importers to steep Customs penalties, seizures, and even fraud charges. To help our clients claim NAFTA correctly, we conduct a thorough, technical analysis of the countries of origin of parts and components. Under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and the Tariff Schedule of Mexico, we carefully verify whether goods qualify for tariff shifts or Regional Value Content where applicable.

Lastly, Foley’s immigration law attorneys provide dedicated advice and assistance to NAFTA Professionals who are applying for their TN visa. With many members of the team being fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, French, Chinese, and a number of other foreign languages, we are able to effectively communicate with clients in what may be their native tongue. Our team is committed to not only making the TN visa application process more manageable, but we are also diligent in educating our clients about NAFTA and TN visas, as well as providing applicable context related to how the process works and can be expected in terms of both time frame and success in obtaining the desired immigration benefit.