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USMCA: Insights, Perspectives and What to Expect

Speaker(s): Aaron R. Hutman, Cindy Owens, James McCall Smith, Kecia J. Reynolds
Recorded on: Mar. 30, 2020
PLI Program #: 297120

Cindy Owens helps clients from various industry sectors on customs compliance, supply chain structuring, and international trade matters.

Ms. Owens has expertise with customs classification, valuation, country of origin, duty deferral programs, duty preference programs, and free trade agreements. She regularly represents clients before U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other government agencies. She joined the firm after working as an associate for another international law firm in Washington, DC and in the Singapore office where she worked with clients throughout Asia Pacific. While in Singapore, Ms. Owens focused on the laws and regulations governing cross-border movement of products, technology, and services including customs, export controls, and free trade agreements.

Prior to her work in Asia, Ms. Owens worked as an attorney for CBP for approximately 10 years. During her time with CBP she handled a variety of customs and import compliance matters that included drafting ruling decisions, deciding penalty petitions, and handling general entry procedures and duty refunds matters. She also trained CBP agents, officers, and specialists throughout the United States on a variety of customs topics. During her time at CBP, Ms. Owens was detailed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Jay Smith is special counsel in the Washington office. He joined the firm after several years as a professor of political science and international affairs, during which he specialized in international trade policy and international dispute settlement. His practice in the International and Litigation groups draws on this academic and policy experience.

He is currently helping clients develop and implement strategies with regard to the Trump Administration’s recent trade actions, including pursuing country exemptions and product exclusions to the recent steel and aluminum tariffs imposed under Section 232, and product exclusions to the proposed Section 301 tariffs.

Kecia Reynolds has participated in more than 50 ITC investigations and has a wealth of knowledge and keen insights into ITC litigation strategy.

Kecia, a partner in Pillsbury’s Intellectual Property Litigation practice, represents clients before the International Trade Commission (ITC) and district courts, where her experience includes the Eastern District of Virginia, Middle District of Pennsylvania and District of Delaware. She is also an active speaker, both domestically and abroad, on matters involving strategies and practice at the ITC, the domestic industry requirement at the ITC, and discovery in U.S. district courts.

Mr. Hutman is an attorney in the law firm's International Trade practice and is located in the Washington, DC office. He focuses his practice on the intersection of international law, business and U.S. policy. He has worked in the United States, Latin America and Asia, conducted trade research in Africa and studied in the Middle East. With experience in 50 countries on 5 continents, he understands the bigger picture of international business and the cultural nuances of different countries and regions. In Washington, DC, he has established authority in some of the most important legal areas affecting international trade and investment. These include:

  • Sanctions. Mr. Hutman advises clients in trade, finance and investment matters impacted by U.S. and foreign sanctions regimes. This includes the several regimes maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Mr. Hutman liaisons regularly with the Treasury Department and State Department on policy, licensing and investment reporting issues. He also advises on the impacts of sanctions regimes and policies around the world, including EU, UK, Canada, Japan and Australia as well as United Nations Security Council resolutions. He has advised multiple companies regarding the new Russia/Ukraine sanctions regimes.
  • Anti-Corruption. Mr. Hutman counsels companies, individuals and U.S.-Government finance agencies on anti-corruption matters under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act, including compliance planning, investigations and transactions.
  • Anti-Money Laundering. Mr. Hutman provides guidance to the increasing number of financial institutions, companies and professions subject to U.S. anti-money laundering regulations implemented by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under the USA PATRIOT Act and Bank Secrecy Act. He also advises on U.S. criminal anti-money-laundering statutes (18 USC §§ 1956 & 1957) which can provide significant liability for U.S. and international businesses as well as potential jail time for individuals. Strong anti-money laundering rules are increasingly common around the world as countries seek to bring their rules in line with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) "Recommendations." Mr. Hutman is able to advise clients on the trends of this key inter-governmental organization and its impact in jurisdictions around the world.
  • Export Controls. Mr. Hutman represents clients involved in the manufacture, trade and use of military items and dual use goods and technologies. These products are regulated, respectively, by the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Mr. Hutman provided guidance on licensing, classification of items and technologies, investigations and disclosures. He also advises on the creation and improvement of compliance plans and can provide in-house training for business and governments.
  • Cybersecurity. Mr. Hutman advises companies in the defense, aerospace, energy and other industries in regard to the protection of sensitive information. This includes compliance, risk management, response to data losses or breaches, reporting and other elements of crisis response. He advises on a variety of cybersecurity standards, including NRC, FERC and NIST. His practice also covers data privacy, USA PATRIOT Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act and related National Security Letters.
  • Opening Markets. Mr. Hutman advises companies and investors on entry into opening and frontier markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Currently, Mr. Hutman has a focus in Myanmar/Burma and is a leader of Pillsbury's special practice team for this opening economy. He has recent experience on the ground in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw and an established network of law firm, accounting/financial, diplomatic and local government contact in the country. Mr. Hutman offers clients a rare command of U.S. and international sanctions policy for Myanmar/Burma, knowledge of the legal issues specific to investment, business and intellectual property in the market, and the relationships in-country needed to guide clients and execute legal and business strategies.
  • Latin America & Mexico: Mr. Hutman has significant experience in Latin America and Spanish-language capacity, having provided international legal and business consulting services to companies and individual clients. He has worked in Mexico to support investments, transactions and business projects. He has traveled extensively in all Spanish-speaking countries in the continental Americas plus Brazil. Mr. Hutman has acted as an outside international counsel and development consultant for a large resort project in Mexico; prepared investment documents and offering memoranda for investment in Mexico; advised Mexican businessmen on U.S. / Canadian foreign direct investment; and supported the purchase of a Mexican property at risk of default to a U.S.-based lender.
  • Trade Rules and Remedies. Mr. Hutman has represented clients in matters before U.S. regulatory tribunals, NAFTA panels and the WTO dispute resolution process. This includes experience on anti-dumping (AD), countervailing duty (CVD), safeguard and 337 matters. Mr. Hutman can also advise on bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade negotiations.
  • Investment in the United States. Mr. Hutman can advise international clients investing in the United States. Such investors can face an unfamiliar regulatory environment and need to be aware of both protections, such as SEC rules applying to private placement offerings and broker-dealer regulations, and strategic hurdles such as review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) under the Exon-Florio Amendment.

Mr. Hutman also has academic experience teaching international law for a Georgetown University post-graduate program with a specially-developed curriculum covering international public law, the Bretton Woods system, treaty and customary law, international business law, outer space and internet law.

Mr. Hutman is fluent in Spanish and speaks conversational Portuguese, French and Thai, and currently is studying Mandarin.

District of Columbia
State of Maryland

J.D., Harvard Law School, 2001
B.S., Cornell University, 1997
with Honors