As chair of the firm’s nationally recognized International Trade practice group, Eric McClafferty guides clients and industry groups through a wide range of international trade challenges and helps them devise strategies to succeed in a global economy. Eric’s substantial experience includes trade remedy and trade policy counseling as well as dealing with a wide variety of government enforcement issues in international trade, including those related to economic sanctions, export controls, FCPA, Customs, and reviews and investigations before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), among others.
In addition, Eric represents individual clients, industry associations and coalitions on a wide variety of regulatory and legislative issues, with a focus on international trade. His longstanding work with U.S. and global manufacturing industries that he represents in international trade matters, combined with his insight and experience with federal regulation and enforcement matters, enables him to offer effective counsel and practical solutions for associations’ many and varied legal challenges. He has particular experience working with the U.S. pump and valve industry associations, the unmanned vehicle industry, and metal industry groups and companies over the last 20 years. His membership on the Commerce Department’s materials technical advisory committee provides insight into a wide range of U.S. government activities related to composite materials, metals, and chemical regulatory issues.
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 producers 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 Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). Reported cases include those relating to Chinese hand tools, DRAMS, grain oriented electrical steel, stainless steel products including plate and sheet and strip, hand trucks from China, forklift trucks, and a variety of other products. Eric supported these matters through case analysis and preparation, case prosecution at the federal agencies, on appeal at the U.S. Court of International Trade and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and when cases were brought to WTO dispute settlement panels or the WTO Appellate Body, he worked with Department of Commerce and USTR personnel to support the presentation of the U.S. position on those cases. Eric has also participated in many antidumping and countervailing duty administrative and sunset review proceedings at the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Furthermore, Eric has worked with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on foreign market access issues, section 301 actions, section 232 and 201 matters, 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, including cases relating to government privatization of state-owned enterprises. 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 is renewing his “Top Secret” security 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.
Eric has been ranked as a leading practitioner in International Trade by Chambers Global
and Chambers USA
, as one of the Best Lawyers in America
in the International Trade category, in the US Legal 500
International Trade ranking, and in the Washington DC Super Lawyers
International Practice category. 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
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, Eric was appointed by former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to serve on the Materials Technical Advisory Committee. In this role, Eric 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. Eric is serving his third term on this Committee.
American Society of Association Executives
The Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA)
National Council on International Trade Development (NCITD)
American Bar Association, Section of International Trade