Morris Manning & Martin, LLP

International Trade

Named International Trade Group of the Year by Law360

Morris, Manning & Martin’s International Trade Practice represents clients on a broad range of issues arising under U.S. law and international trade agreements. We work with clients across the globe to provide representation, advocacy, analysis, and advice on all aspects of international trade regulation matters. Our team offers a full range of legal services and public policy representation before the federal agencies, U.S. courts, U.S. Congress, and multilateral trade bodies. We also represent clients involved in significant trade disputes--many involving important political implications.

Our attorneys and professionals are among the industry’s most respected and experienced in matters of international trade law. As a result, the MMM International Trade Practice is ranked in the Global edition of Chambers and Partners, a leading professional services publication.

Trade Policy and Trade Remedy Proceedings

The International Trade Practice Group represents clients in trade negotiations and trade actions before:

  • the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”);
  • the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative;
  • the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC);
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP);
  • the U.S. Court of International Trade; and
  • the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Our attorneys have been involved in hundreds of U.S. trade remedy proceedings over the last 25 years, including antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, suspension agreements, unfair import practices (Section 301 and Section 337), and "escape clause" or "safeguard" (Section 201) actions, on behalf of domestic and foreign corporations, state-owned enterprises, and foreign governments. Recent cases include:

  • Representation of Borusan Mannesmann in Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.  Our client received a negative antidumping determination. On appeal, we obtained the reversal of a U.S. Department of Commerce countervailing duty determination holding that the market in Turkey for hot-rolled steel was “distorted” by government ownership of less than 50 percent of the industry.
  • Representation of U.S. importer of Oil Country Tubular Goods from China in scope inquiry proceeding.  On appeal, we obtained the reversal of a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce that oil country tubular goods (OCTG) finished in Indonesia are subject to antidumping duties on Chinese OCTG.
  • Representation of U.S. importer we obtained a ruling that a demand by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for single-entry bonds on imports from Vietnam to cover potential antidumping duties applicable to Chinese goods was unlawful in the absence of evidence of actual transshipment.
  • Representation of Korean, Italian, and Taiwanese producers and exporters of Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products in the ITC investigation. 
  • Representation of Korean and Brazilian producers of Cold-Rolled Steel Products and Hot-Rolled Steel Products in ITC investigations.
  • Representation of Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) in the countervailing duty investigations of Uncoated Paper and 53-Foot Domestic Dry Containers at the U.S. Department of Commerce;
  • Successful representation of the largest producer of welded carbon pipe in the United Arab Emirates in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe.  We obtained the lowest dumping and subsidy margins for any producer in the investigations, and then won the injury case before the ITC, resulting in the cases being dismissed without the imposition of duties.
  • Representation of a major U.S. importer of Galvanized Steel Wire at the ITC which resulted in a negative injury determination.

Our activities have included both counseling and litigating with respect to trade-related matters, including proceedings in several landmark international trade cases on behalf of major multinational corporations. In particular, members of the International Trade Practice Group have counseled U.S. corporations, foreign corporations, and foreign governments on trade agreement negotiations. These include: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), and the Uruguay Round negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Members of the International Trade Practice Group have also appeared before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to testify regarding trade matters involving various industries. The group advises clients on NAFTA-related opportunities, including detailed analyses of issues on rules of origin, tariff concessions, maquiladora operations, drawback and other key issues in the context of NAFTA's effects on North American facilities of multinational businesses.

China Experience

The International Trade Practice Group has the following representative matters involving China:

  • Represented BOFT in the first section 129 proceeding following a successful challenge by China to four Commerce CVD decisions. Section 129 is the U.S. law that governs the implementation of adverse World Trade Organization (WTO) decisions. The primary issue in the 129 proceeding was Commerce’s treatment of state-owned enterprises (“SOEs”) as government authorities capable of providing direct subsidies. The case is very important given the prevalence of SOEs in China and the fact that many subsidies in Chinese cases are found from the provision of raw material inputs by SOEs to Chinese companies. In its final section 129 determinations, Commerce continued to treat SOEs as government authorities. The case will likely now return to the WTO for further legal challenges by China.
  • Represented BOFT in GPX Int’l Tire Corp. v. United States, 666 F.3d 732 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (“GPX”). This seminal case involved the issue of whether Commerce could lawfully apply the countervailing duty law to non-market economy (NME) countries such as China. Prior to 2006, Commerce had never applied the CVD law to NME countries on the theory that subsidies were not measurable in the context of an NME country because the government controls the entire economy. This changed in 2006 when Commerce applied the CVD law to China and continued to do so in over twenty subsequent cases. In GPX, the Court of Appeals held that Commerce did not have the legal authority to apply the CVD law to NME countries such as China. Immediately following this decision, Congress acted swiftly to overrule the GPX decision by passing a law specifically stating that the CVD law could be applied to NME countries. The case has been remanded to the Court of International Trade based on a challenge to the constitutionality of the new CVD law and is still pending.
  • Represented the entire Chinese Glyphosate Industry and the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC) in a case before the ITC brought by U.S. producers, which resulted in the withdrawal of the petition and total victory for our clients.
  • Represented MOFCOM in the countervailing duty investigation of Uncoated Paper from China
  • Represented MOFCOM in the countervailing duty investigation of 53-Foot Domestic Dry Containers.  The ITC reached a negative determination and therefore no order was instituted.
  • Successfully defended the largest Chinese chemical producer of the industrial and food grade chemical “STPP” before the ITC in a dumping and countervailing duty case brought by U.S. producers. The ITC terminated the case at the preliminary stage which is extraordinary and highly unusual particularly in cases involving China.
  • Successfully negotiated the withdrawal of a critical circumstances petition filed by the U.S. industry against the import of an industrial and food grade chemical “DKP” by a large chemical producer in China.
  • Defended the CCCMC and the Chinese Citric Acid Industry before the ITC which resulted in a split vote.
  • Represented BOFT in the countervailing duty investigation of Wire Decking from China. We received CVD duty rates which were among the lowest ever received by Chinese companies. The ITC reached a negative determination and therefore no order was instituted.
  • Frequently prepare legal and policy analyses (“White Papers”) for the Government of China and private parties regarding trade issues, including the recent proposals by Commerce to strengthen enforcement of U.S. trade laws and WTO consistency of currency legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Represented BOFT in the countervailing duty investigation of Galvanized Steel Wire at Commerce. In addition, our representation of a major U.S. importer of Galvanized Steel Wire at the ITC resulted in a negative injury determination.
  • Represented companies in antidumping cases and countervailing duty reviews (see List of Trade Cases).

World Trade Organization Negotiations and Proceedings

Our International Trade Practice extends to all aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including negotiations and Panel and Appellate Body proceedings regarding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and other WTO agreements. Our attorneys have represented and counseled governments in a host of WTO Panel and Appellate Body proceedings.

We have litigated several important WTO cases, including cases conducted in the official WTO languages of English and Spanish. We have represented or advised: the Republic of Korea in its successful challenge to the U.S. safeguard measures on steel; the Republic of Argentina in its successful challenge to Chile's price-band mechanism and safeguard measures on certain agricultural products; and the Republic of Korea in its successful challenge to the U.S. safeguard measures on line pipe.

Morris, Manning & Martin also advises companies, industry coalitions and governments on rights and obligations under the various WTO agreements. Our attorneys provide assistance ranging from commenting on draft submissions to constructing and implementing strategies for entire proceedings to conducting oral argument on behalf of client governments before the WTO Panels and the Appellate Body. Customization is key in WTO dispute settlement representations; we work as part of a team established by the client government, tailoring each representation to the specific matter and any related budget constraints.

Multilateral and Bilateral International Trade Negotiations and Dispute Settlement

Our International Trade Practice Group has expertise in representing and advising governments and industries in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. We have been active in negotiations with the United States government on behalf of foreign governments, industries and multinational corporations. Our experience has garnered unique insights into the strategies and approaches of different nations around the world.

In addition to negotiations, we can help clients resolve disputes arising under agreements. Our attorneys have successfully represented and counseled governments, industries and multinationals in trade disputes under key multilateral and bilateral agreements. We have assisted in achieving our clients’ goals in a variety of disputes, including dumping, subsidies, customs and intellectual property in a wide range of sensitive industry sectors, such as textiles, steel and automobiles.

Customs Issues

The International Trade Practice Group provides advice and counsel to U.S. importers with regard to a wide variety of matters before U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) including classification, valuation, country of origin marking, investigations and rulings, homeland security regulations, "gray market" goods, requests for classification, as well as valuation rulings. Morris, Manning & Martin attorneys represent large international manufacturers in enforcement and penalty actions commenced by CBP and have litigated disputes before the U.S. Court of International Trade. Members of the International Trade Practice Group also counsel clients on other customs matters such as applications for special treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the establishment and operation of foreign trade zones and bonded warehouses. We have been involved in several scope proceedings before Commerce regarding the coverage of AD/CVD cases.

Section 337 Intellectual Property Investigations

The International Trade Practice Group has substantial experience representing clients directly and assessing cases for their impact on related industries in Section 337 Investigations before the ITC.

Public Affairs

In addition to advising clients on technical aspects and applications of U.S. trade and export control laws, our International Trade Practice Group provides clients with guidance on all aspects of political and policy developments in Congress and the Executive Branch related to trade and transportation. Our attorneys have diverse backgrounds and experience, but have one thing in common - they know how Washington, D.C. works and how to advance a client's objectives and business goals. Members of the International Trade Practice Group maintain extensive contacts with key government officials and staff members which allow for quick and meaningful access to influential policy makers.

Export Licensing and Controls

Members of the International Trade Practice Group assist clients with trade regulation matters before the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Defense. This representation includes counsel and advice on necessary appropriate governmental reviews and approvals and compliance with U.S. export and import laws, including the Arms Export Control Act, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Act of 1979, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and other matters under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS), and the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA). We also counsel clients on country-specific trade sanctions/trade embargo regulations and provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Our attorneys have worked closely with clients to implement corporate compliance programs covering the transportation of goods, services, or technology to or from the United States.

Other Related Areas

The International Trade Practice Group serves clients in conjunction with the firm's substantial international practice in other areas, including international elements of the firm’s Asia Practice, Intellectual Property and IP Litigation Practice, Timberland Practice, and Corporate Practice. The Group regularly advises clients with respect to transnational investments and financings, international taxation, foreign investment and national security clearances, intellectual property, and international arbitration.