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Robert L. LaFrankie


Bob LaFrankie regularly advises manufacturers, exporters, and importers in all aspects of international trade and customs proceedings before various government agencies, courts, and international tribunals. He focuses on trade-related litigation and counseling, including trade remedy proceedings and U.S. Customs compliance and enforcement issues. Bob has successfully defended numerous clients located throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas that produce or import a diverse range of products, including flat-rolled and specialty steel products and components, chemicals and plastics, frozen and canned food products, paper products, motor vehicle parts and components, specialty valves and valve systems, disposable lighters,  petrochemical and renewable fuels, anti-friction bearings, and other manufactured products. In addition to litigation and compliance counseling, Bob 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 NAFTA compliance issues and related audits of client facilities. 

Bob 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, Bob 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.
  • College of William and Mary, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • District of Columbia

Highlighted Matters

  • Lead counsel in numerous antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and related court appeals involving a range of manufactured products sourced from multiple countries; supervised more than 25 U.S. Commerce Department on-site “verification” audits of client facilities in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, China, and the United States.
  • Advise major global steel producers on customs and trade compliance aspects of integrated sourcing, manufacturing, and import/export operations on multiple continents.
  • Advise numerous manufacturers, exporters, and importers on U.S. Customs compliance 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.
  • Regularly conduct/assist internal trade-related “audits” of client facilities for trade and customs compliance purposes, including review of data systems, accounting records/procedures, and sales, cost and correspondence files.
  • Regularly assist U.S. and foreign manufacturers with multi-country sourcing, manufacturing and import/export operations, including related Customs and NAFTA compliance issues.
  • Advised governments and manufacturers in connection with ongoing and threatened WTO trade litigation and disputes, and implementation of remedies.
  • Currently representing major European manufacturer in a multi-faceted trade remedy dispute involving the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of International Trade.
  • Currently representing the Indian shrimp industry in ongoing trade dispute with the U.S. Government and U.S. domestic seafood industry, including multiple administrative proceedings and court appeals. 
  • 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.
  • Consistently implemented effective strategies to minimize antidumping liability, including annual review planning, and successful revocation proceedings.
  • Actively engaged in challenging so-called “targeted dumping” methodologies before the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. Court of International Trade, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 
  • Regularly challenge existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders at the U.S. International Trade Commission during “sunset” proceedings.

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).
  • "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, Brasilia, Brazil, May, 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).

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