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Robert L. LaFrankie

Counsel

Robert L. LaFrankie regularly advises manufacturers, exporters, and importers in all aspects of international trade proceedings before various government agencies, courts, and international tribunals. He focuses on trade remedy proceedings, including antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and related enforcement issues arising under the U.S. customs laws. Mr. LaFrankie has successfully defended numerous clients located throughout Asia and the Americas that produce or import a diverse range of products, including steel, lumber, frozen and canned food products, motor vehicle parts and components, disposable lighters, plastics and resins, petrochemical and renewable fuels, anti-friction bearings, and other manufactured products. In addition to litigation counseling, Mr. LaFrankie engages in strategic trade remedy and customs planning activities for clients, particularly for companies with global sourcing, manufacturing, and export/import operations. He also advises companies with regard to export controls, including related audits of client facilities. 

Mr. LaFrankie also has significant government experience in international trade. He served as a Senior Attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for Import Administration at the U.S. Commerce Department, where he defended the agency’s international trade decisions from legal challenge before U.S. Courts, the World Trade Organization dispute settlement bodies, and NAFTA bi-national panels. In that capacity, he also acted as legal counsel in government-to-government negotiations addressing various cross-border trade disputes, and advised agency and congressional staff on legislative and regulatory proposals affecting international trade.

Professional Activities

Prior to attending law school, Mr. LaFrankie worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Economic Affairs section of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, D.C. He also spent a year abroad teaching English and international trade law at the Guilin Institute for Electronics Technology in Guilin, China.​

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit​

Practice Groups and Other Information

Education Information

  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1989
  • College of William and Mary, B.A., 1984

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1991
  • District of Columbia, 1992

Highlighted Matters

  • Regularly conducts/assists internal “audits” of client facilities, including data systems, accounting records/procedures, and sales, cost and correspondence files
  • Lead counsel in numerous antidumping proceedings involving a range of manufactured products; Supervised more than 20 U.S. Commerce Department on-site “verification” audits of client facilities in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, China, and the United States
  • Advised major global steel producer on customs and trade remedy aspects of integrated sourcing, manufacturing, and import/export operations on three continents
  • Advised governments and manufacturers in connection with ongoing and threatened WTO trade litigation and disputes
  • Advised manufacturers, exporters, and importers on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirements applicable to imported goods, including entry, classification, valuation, bonding, and country-of-origin issues, as well as compliance with Foreign Trade Zone rules and audits
  • Advised energy and petrochemical companies on NAFTA and Foreign Trade Zone provisions applicable to the international transport of oil and natural gas, including related advice on U.S. “sanctions” laws, “anti-boycott” requirements, foreign investment reporting obligations, and U.S. Energy Department export licenses
  • Acted as agency counsel in high profile “interlocutory” appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving consolidated challenges to multiple antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imported uranium from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom
  • Advised firearms manufacturer on various statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the importation and distribution of non-military firearms and ammunition, including requirements of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Commerce Department
  • Advised U.S. biodiesel exporter in strategic defense counseling in EU trade remedy investigation of U.S. biodiesel.
  • Implemented effective strategies to minimize antidumping liability, including annual review planning, and successful “three zeros” revocation

Highlighted Publications

Highlighted Lectures

  • “Antidumping and Trade Remedies - What it Means to Asia” (Panelist explaining steel-related trade remedy proceedings to various business executives at annual Platts SBB Steel Markets Asia Conference 2012, Hong Kong, China, November, 2012).
  • “How U.S. Antidumping Policy Undermines U.S. Competitiveness: A Pro-Reform Perspective” (Panelist addressing “targeted dumping and zeroing,” The CATO Institute, Washington, DC, June, 2011).
  • Seminar On “Safeguards” (Featured speaker at government-sponsored seminar addressing trade remedy aspects of international and bilateral safeguards remedies, The Department of Foreign Trade, Royal Thai Government, Bangkok, Thailand, September, 2011).
  • “An Overview of EU Antidumping Orders Affecting Thai Plastic Bags” (Featured speaker explaining EU antidumping proceedings to the Thai plastics industry, The Federation of Thai Industries, National Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand, September, 2011).
  • "Dealing with Antidumping Duties" (Featured speaker at seminar explaining antidumping planning and trade remedy strategies to representatives of the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo (FIESP), Sao Paulo, Brazil, May, 2012.
  • "Antidumping Overview - Seminar for the Brazilian Department of Trade Remedies (DECOM)" (Featured speaker at detailed seminar and workshop explaining U.S. antidumping practices to Brazilian Government officials at DECOM,m Brasilia, Brazil, May, 2012).

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