Asia Trade & Investment

We provide expert advice and assistance to investors, importers and exporters involved in Asia-US trade to: 1) ensure export controls, CFIUS and import compliance, 2) develop effective business strategies, 3) facilitate various commercial transactions and cross-border investments, and 4) engage in dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you with your import/export, CFIUS and investment challenges. We’re based in Washington, DC but serve clients throughout the country and internationally.

Don’s Experience and Background

  • Advised American and Asian companies on overseas business projects
  • Lived and worked in Seoul as an international legal advisor for the leading law firm of Kim & Chang
  • Represented the Embassy of Korea in Washington and the Korean Government in achieving Congressional ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement
  • Helped develop and implement US policy toward Asian countries while serving as a senior policy adviser in the State Department, US Arms Control Agency and as Director of Legislative Affairs at the White House National Security Council
  • Published a critically acclaimed book on US-China relations as well as broader US-Asia relations
  • Managed the Korea Practice Group at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington
  • Admitted to practice before the United States Court of International Trade
  • Advised the SK Group and Samsung on international investments
  • Advised the East Asia Foundation
  • Serve as a certified arbitrator for FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
  • Admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia and New York
  • Graduated with honors from Cornell University and the University of Chicago Law School

Export Controls

We advise clients on export control requirements enforced by the US Commerce Department, State Department, Treasury Department and Defense Departments as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission – agencies that control US exports of equipment, software, commodities and technologies with potentially sensitive military and security applications.

We can assist you and your company by:

  • Advising at all stages of the export licensing process to minimize the risk of violating US export controls by exporting controlled products and services to sensitive countries and regions
  • Designing and implementing effective export control compliance programs and training to ease the burden of compliance
  • Providing advice on technology control plans, customer screening procedures, “deemed exports” and global supply chain issues
  • Carrying out internal investigations, voluntary disclosures and negotiation of settlements to minimize potential fines and penalties for non-compliance

Customs and Import Compliance

We advise importers, logistics firms, customs brokers and other companies on import and US Customs issues. Our focus is minimizing duties and maximizing compliance. We help clients obtain business opportunities through trade preference programs under numerous US trade agreements. Our services include assistance with:

  • Classification of products and services, valuation, origin determinations, marking and duty drawback
  • Designing and implementing Customs compliance programs and training
  • Obtaining reduced tariffs under US trade preference programs, including the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Korea-US FTA, the US-Japan Trade Agreement, the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, the Central America FTA, and the US-Israel FTA
  • Applications to establish foreign trade zones, including related inventory control and Customs documentation
  • Representing companies in enforcement proceedings, prior voluntary disclosures and verifications, requests for binding rulings and focused assessment auditsAssisting company participation in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) to maximize benefits for clients under this critical program enhancing trade security

We assist importers in meeting a full range of US import and Customs requirements including:

  • Customs and import compliance laws and regulations enforced by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal and state agencies
  • National security laws and regulations
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) requirements
  • Anti-money laundering
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) requirements and violations

CFIUS Clearance

Over the last year, the US Government has tightened its restrictions on foreign companies seeking to invest in or acquire US companies in sensitive business sectors, including emerging technologies, biotech, energy, software and logistics.

With increasing scrutiny of business transactions to identify suspicious activities and the new mandatory notification requirement, it is wise to seek Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) clearance before being contacted by the government. This approach often puts a company in a more advantageous position to reach agreements with the government that mitigate potential national security risks and allow a transaction to move forward.

We advise companies on overcoming the regulatory obstacles to their US investments through direct engagement during CFIUS review and through implementing win-win strategies that entail:

  • Providing political risk assessments, regulatory counseling and strategic national security advice
  • Gaining congressional and state-level political support for client investments
  • Identifying and overcoming potential CFIUS roadblocks in the deal planning stage
  • Preparing all necessary CFIUS filings and carrying out all related advocacy during CFIUS review
  • Negotiating with CFIUS national security agreements, frameworks for mitigation, industrial security arrangements, co-investor participation and related agreements with both profit and philanthropic organizations

Commercial Agreements & Economic Development Projects

Complementing our expertise in regulatory compliance, we offer guidance on a variety of commercial transactions, cross-border investments and business disputes. We represent clients at many points in the supply and distribution chain, including manufacturers, suppliers, resellers, distributors, agents, financial institutions and end users.

We structure, draft and negotiate commercial agreements while also engaging in dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation in many areas:

  • Export and import agreements
  • Outsourcing, licensing, supply and distribution agreements
  • Cross-border investment
  • Marketing agreements
  • Joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • Joint development agreements
  • Manufacturing agreements
  • R&D collaborations
  • Commercial leases of retail, office and industrial properties
  • Purchase and sale of commercial properties
  • Land use, environmental and zoning issues

On behalf of clients involved in economic development projects within the United States, we:

  • Secure incentive packages from local and state governments
  • Structure public-private partnerships
  • Identify a site location that is most profitable for the client
  • Negotiate contracts with utility companies for the provision of water, sewer services, electricity, gas, and telecommunications
  • Advise on environmental compliance and permitting
  • Draft and negotiate supply contracts

Contact Us to Discuss How We Can Help You

Schedule a Consultation