Eric McClafferty chairs the firm’s International Trade group. He has substantial experience in counseling, compliance programs, internal investigations and enforcement matters related to economic sanctions and denied parties, export controls, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), customs, antidumping and countervailing duties, and reviews and investigations before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Eric guides senior company officers and compliance personnel involved in international transactions through the restrictions imposed by evolving U.S. economic sanctions on Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Sudan and Syria, and other rules administered by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He is dedicated to ensuring that his client’s transactions are properly screened to exclude the involvement of the various types of denied parties under U.S. law. Eric has advised hundreds of large and small companies (and their foreign subsidiaries and joint ventures) on establishing compliance programs that reduce the risk of potential violations connected to U.S. sanctions. In addition, he advises on export licensing and classification; performs due diligence export compliance reviews; establishes company and product-specific compliance and training programs for product, software and technology exports; and guides clients through export enforcement investigations and penalty negotiations related to exports of military, dual-use and nuclear items.
Eric’s clients include exporters of industrial, aerospace, high-technology and agricultural products and technology, such as chemicals, chemical processing equipment, pharmaceuticals, software, electronics, unmanned vehicles and military items, including aircraft and related components, computers, satellite software and components, semiconductors, nuclear power plant components and specialty metals, powders and alloys. He works with all export control agencies of the U.S. government, including the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS); Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC); and counterparts at the Department of Defense (DOD), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE). Eric has managed hundreds of export control internal and external investigations, bringing a large number of voluntary self-disclosures and other export enforcement matters to successful conclusions.
Moreover, Eric represents businesses and individuals in enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission under the FCPA. He conducts internal investigations, advises on company-run investigations, helps companies improve their FCPA compliance programs, and conducts investigations of possible FCPA violations and other potentially improper foreign country-based financial transactions in an M&A context.
Eric has many years of experience representing domestic producers and importers in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the International Trade Administration (ITA) and International Trade Commission (ITC). These matters have included work on hand tool cases, multiple steel industry cases, DRAMS, agricultural cases and a variety of other proceedings.
Furthermore, Eric has worked with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on foreign market access issues, section 301 actions, and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) petitions and reviews. His skills extend to representing clients in World Trade Organization (WTO) matters, including WTO dispute settlement issues. Eric also advises corporations and other importers concerning a wide variety of issues before the U.S. Customs Service, and has appeared numerous times on behalf of clients before the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Eric regularly conducts complex CFIUS reviews, as well as working with the Defense Security Service (DSS) to put outside directors and FOCI mitigation programs in place to prevent unauthorized releases of classified data. He holds a “Secret” clearance from the U.S. government, and has participated in CFIUS review processes involving non-U.S. company purchases of U.S. manufacturing and services entities that handled classified data and highly sensitive defense and dual-use products and technologies. Such cases involved continuing contact with the Departments of Treasury, Defense and Commerce. Notably, Eric was involved in the recent purchase of a U.S. manufacturing company for approximately $1 billion, where the U.S. entity handled classified information and was a sole-source manufacturer of critical nuclear missile components. The company’s products were also controlled for export by the U.S. Department of State under the ITAR, and other items were controlled by the U.S. Department of Commerce as dual-use items. The review went through a full statutory CFIUS investigation, but was successfully concluded and led to a timely acquisition.
Early in his career, Eric served as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer stationed in The Hague, the Netherlands, Geneva, Switzerland and the United States.
Step Up, Inc., an international development organization based in Africa, board of directors and general counsel
University of Michigan Alumni Association
University of Virginia Alumni Association
Provided counseling to a large publishing house regarding the implementation of a denied party screening process, dealing with “hits” against denied party screening lists, and understanding the scope of the informational materials provisions of the OFAC regulations.
Assisted an international professional sports league with sanctions counseling, sanctions licensing and the use of exceptions related to their activities and broadcasts.
Counseled international travel providers and related service companies by providing assistance related to changing U.S. sanctions programs and licensing requirements, particularly in Cuba.
Assisted a large financial institution with a major internal investigation and voluntary self-disclosure related to transactions with potentially denied parties.
Assisted trustees and financial institutions with issues related to stock transfers, dividend payments, interest payments and related activities under U.S. sanctions.
Assisted numerous U.S. manufacturers and their foreign subsidiaries in establishing policies and procedures for exporting products legally to Iran under the new OFAC General License H.
Assisted numerous U.S. petrochemical equipment companies with proposed transactions under the new OFAC and Commerce Department, BIS sanctions on Russia.
Assisted a large manufacturer of fluid handling equipment in achieving a successful settlement related to a voluntary self-disclosure to OFAC of numerous violations.
Export Control and Compliance
Provide counseling to numerous unmanned vehicle companies and to a leading industry association regarding export controls on drones and unmanned vehicles.
Provided counseling relating to new sanctions on Russia and Crimea to numerous exporters.
Providing export compliance training, counseling and licensing assistance to a high-technology company with more than 20,000 monthly export shipments of electronic products, software and related technology, including a high percentage of exports containing encryption.
Assisting the international subsidiaries of a large U.S. company with more than 24 foreign affiliates in the review of all products for export and re-export license requirements and related exports.
Advising an international manufacturing company with $4 billion in annual revenue concerning numerous potential export control violations, analysis of potential voluntary disclosures, document retention policies and processes, improvements to their compliance system and related issues. Coordinated 35 site visits to conduct on-site export compliance reviews and training. Conducted in-person advanced export compliance training seminars for compliance managers.
Prepared, customized, implemented and provided training for a compliance system at a large e-logistics provider with international operations.
Assisted with the preparation, customization, implementation and training for a compliance system at a major electronics supply company.
Prepared export compliance manuals for a large company with products having military, dual-use and nuclear applications, and advised the company on a variety of supplementary export control obligations.
Acting as an advisor to U.S. pump and valve industry associations, and as export counsel to a number of U.S. manufacturers regarding export control issues. Also serve as the industry’s primary contact with export control agencies regarding product, technology and enforcement issues.
Drafted content for the Commerce Department and State Department export compliance modules for a major e-learning training provider.
Advised a large manufacturing conglomerate regarding the proposed acquisition of a European manufacturer alleged to be involved with payments to Latin American national petrochemical agencies.
Advised a Fortune 50 retailer regarding export compliance and FCPA issues. Drafted and designed web-based compliance training programs.
Conducted significant FCPA internal investigations for several multibillion-dollar international manufacturers.
Developed compliance programs, including policies, manuals and procedures, training, auditing and related program materials for hundreds of companies. Advised those companies on how to roll out and implement those programs successfully.
Responded to hundreds of day-to-day inquiries relating to the proper implementation and execution of global anticorruption programs.
Conducted multiple training sessions at various U.S. ports for U.S. Customs officers regarding import enforcement and circumvention issues on behalf of clients concerned about competitors’ Customs violations.
Obtained several million dollars in Customs duties for a small U.S. manufacturer.
Obtained the release of products from Customs seizure through petitions to Customs and Border Protection.
Represented importers in Customs seizure cases involving allegedly counterfeit products.
Obtained favorable Customs rulings and Harmonized Tariff classifications.
Resolved EXODUS export seizure cases with ICE and Customs port personnel, with EXODUS personnel, and with BIS and DDTC personnel.
Trade Remedy and WTO
Represented clients in multiple antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and reviews, including oral arguments on appeal at the U.S. Court of International Trade and representation before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represented the interests of multiple manufacturing industries involving antidumping and countervailing duties cases brought to the World Trade Organization and through coordination efforts with the USTR.
Ranked as a leading practitioner in the International Trade: Export Controls and Economic Sanctions area by Chambers Global, 2014-2016.
Ranked nationally as a leading practitioner in the International Trade: Export Controls and Economic Sanctions area by Chambers USA, 2013-2017.
The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), International Trade and Finance Law, 2018.
Recommended in US Legal 500 for his work in the International Trade area, 2009-2010 and 2012-2017.
Recognized as a leading attorney in International practice area by Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, 2016-2017.
In December 2006, Mr. McClafferty was appointed by former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to serve on the Materials Technical Advisory Committee. In this role, Mr. McClafferty advises the Commerce Department regarding export controls on chemicals, biotechnology items, metals, exotic materials, materials processing equipment including pumps, valves and other fluid handling equipment, and other materials issues. Mr. McClafferty is serving his third term on this Committee.
The Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA)
National Council on International Trade Development (NCITD)
American Bar Association, Section of International Trade