Overview

We assist clients with a myriad of complex international law and regulatory matters relating to cross-border corporate transactions and investigations, from representing U.S. lenders in negotiating export credits supporting manufacturing plants on five continents to defending a U.S. steel products manufacturer in the first successful investigation of duty evasion pursuant to the Enforce and Protect Act.

Who We Represent

Vorys counts among its clients both U.S. and international companies and nonprofit organizations engaged in or affected by the movement of goods, services, ideas and payments across international borders. 

We have deep experience advising U.S. and foreign manufacturers, trading companies, importers, exporters, industrial consumers and trade associations.

Our clients include:

  • More than 600 middle market and global consumer brands
  • Manufacturers of steel, metal, chemical, and food products in more than 20 countries, including the United States
  • Eighteen of the largest international trading companies in the steel and metals sectors
  • Major automotive manufacturers and suppliers

What We Do

We advise our clients on the full spectrum of issues regarding trade remedy and import relief proceedings, customs laws and import compliance, export controls and sanctions programs, export finance and trade policy.

We have decades of experience representing clients in proceedings before an array of government agencies, including:

  • Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)
  • U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • U.S. Department of State (DOS)
  • U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Our international group has substantial experience arguing before the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

Key Areas of Focus

Customs Laws and Imports Compliance

Our international group has deep experience advising clients on all matters involving the importation of goods into the U.S., including the impact of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations on corporate opera­tions and global supply chain activities. 

We assist clients with designing and implementing compliance and assessment programs administered by CBP.  We also regularly conduct customs audits and internal investigations for clients involved in penalty proceedings, liquidated damage claims, seizure and forfeiture proceedings, and administrative protests. 

We provide counsel on the proper tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), valuation, country of origin and marking of imported merchandise. Our work also includes matters relating to the establishment and regulation of foreign-trade zones (FTZ), Temporary Importations under Bond (TIB) and bonded warehouse operations. Additionally, we advise clients on the availability, requirements and benefits of preferential trade programs, including free trade agreements with Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Chile, Peru, Australia and Singapore, as well as:

  • Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)
  • African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
  • Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA)

Our experience includes:

  • Representing a U.S. manufacturer before CBP, resulting in the eligibility of our client's imported product for preferential duty treatment and the exclusion of that product from the assessment of antidumping duties
  • Representing a U.S. distributor in the release of its merchandise from detention by CBP and a subsequent written ruling confirming the merchandise’s eligibility for admission into the U.S. under a special statutory provision
  • Securing a favorable classification of merchandise on behalf of a U.S. automotive supplier
  • Representing an international steel trading company in persuading CBP to substantially reduce proposed penalties on imported products
  • Representing a U.S. steel products manufacturer in obtaining a favorable classification of imported merchandise

Export Controls and Sanctions Programs

Our attorneys have broad experience representing clients before a range of government agencies, including the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of State. We advise on the widespread impact certain laws and regulations may have on the exportation of goods and services, as well as international business operations.

We counsel our clients on establishing corporate compliance programs relating to the spectrum of laws and regulations governing exports, including:

  • Export Administration Act (EAA)
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
  • Foreign Assets Control Regulations (FACR)
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • U.S. antiboycott laws

We also advise on the proper export classification of products, assist in obtaining export licenses and classification rulings prior to engaging in export transactions, and evaluate whether particular items or transactions are subject to U.S. government export regulations.  

With an understanding of the sweeping impact that OFAC’s international economic sanctions programs have on export transactions and global operations, we help our clients develop export management and compliance programs to ensure their internal procedures and external activities are compliant with U.S. government laws and regulations. 

Additionally, we advise on U.S. anti-terrorism restrictions; counsel clients subject to investigation, license revocation proceedings and penalty assessments; and assist clients in making voluntary self-disclosures. 

Our experience includes:

  • Advising an aircraft company on a BIS export license exception on its encrypted software product, including counseling the company on various reporting requirements related to license exceptions 
  • Counseling a high technology trade association on BIS and ITAR export considerations for its proposed technology website 
  • Advising an international trading company on the effect of OFAC regulations on its overseas subsidiaries 
  • Counseling a metals distribution and engineering company on its foreign affiliates’ ability to obtain materials from countries subject to OFAC restrictions
  • Advising a U.S. corporation on OFAC regulations’ potential impact on its acquisition and operation of foreign subsidiaries conducting business with or in embargoed countries 
  • Representing a U.S. university in licensing matters involving educational programs in jurisdictions subject to OFAC restrictions

Export Finance

Vorys has represented clients in hundreds of export finance transactions and assists clients in every step of the process – from application to credit documentation to assistance with claims. 

With deep knowledge of the financial products and credit enhancements offered by U.S. and multilateral agencies, Vorys represents U.S. lenders, exporters and foreign borrowers in structuring, negotiating and documenting export finance transactions. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling transactions involving credit enhancements by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO).

Our work in this area often involves:

  • Pre-export working capital facilities
  • Short-term revolving buyer credits and loan facilities
  • Medium and long-term loans and credits
  • Receivables financing facilities
  • Bank-to-bank credit guarantee facilities

We also advise on structured limited recourse project finance transactions involving large turnkey plant and infrastructure projects abroad. 

Our experience includes:

  • Representing a Central American regional development bank in negotiating and documenting an EXIM Bank-supported master credit guarantee facility and the subsequent negotiation of individual facility agreements with regional banks
  • Representing a U.S. national bank in financing the design, development and construction of a solar power plant in Korea – the first ever transaction completed under EXIM Bank’s 15-year guarantee program for renewable energy, water and hydroelectric power projects
  • Representing a U.S. lender in an EXIM Bank guaranteed credit transaction for the purchase of U.S. construction equipment by a Saudi company utilizing Sharia-compliant financing 
  • Representing a U.S. subsidiary of an Austrian bank in financing the purchase of wastewater treatment equipment for export to Hungary, utilizing loan guarantees from EXIM Bank and Canada’s export credit agency 
  • Representing U.S. national banks located on the U.S.-Mexico border in negotiating and documenting revolving short-term credit facilities to Mexican borrowers and accounts receivables financing to U.S. exporters, utilizing EXIM Bank short-term credit insurance 
  • Representing U.S. lenders and exporters in negotiating and documenting export credits and loans to foreign borrowers for the export of U.S. capital goods, transportation equipment and turnkey manufacturing plants on five continents
  • Representing lenders in the sale and participation of EXIM Bank insured and guaranteed transactions to PEFCO and the refinancing of such transactions on behalf of exporters through enhanced assignments obtained from EXIM Bank

Trade Remedy and Import Relief

Vorys counsels importers, exporters, domestic manufacturers, foreign producers, inter­national trading companies and trade associations on all aspects of U.S. trade laws.

We have represented clients around the globe and across industries, with deep experience in the following sectors:

  • Automotive
  • Building construction
  • Chemical
  • Fire protection
  • Food products
  • Office supplies
  • Steel and nonferrous metals

We represent clients before the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in original antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations and proceedings, as well as administrative, new shipper, sunset and changed circumstances reviews, and anti-circumvention and scope inquiries. We also regularly advise on safeguard investigations (Section 201), national security investigations (Section 232), investigations of unfair trade policies and practices (Section 301), the special China safeguard provision (Section 421), and other trade remedy procedures. 

To minimize exposure to potential AD and CVD assessments resulting from original investigations and administrative reviews, we regularly conduct audits and advise clients on the effects of such assessments on their products and global supply chains. 

Additionally, our attorneys have substantial experience litigating trade-related matters before the U.S. Court of International Trade (USCIT) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

Our experience includes:

  • Representing a U.S. steel products manufacturer in the first successful investigation of duty evasion conducted by CBP pursuant to the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA)
  • Representing a foreign producer in a precedent-setting decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding the standard of injury and causation analysis in AD investigations
  • Representing domestic steel products manufacturers in successful AD proceedings against imports from various countries.
  • Representing a Greek aluminum products manufacturer in an AD investigation resulting in a negative dumping determination and dismissal by the DOC
  • Representing the U.S. branch of an international trading company in a successful appeal to the CIT, resulting in the reimbursement of AD duties


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