JOHN M. FOOTE
Partner
(202) 342-8413 (202) 342-8413
JOHN M. FOOTE Partner
John Foote concentrates his practice on international trade and customs matters with a particular focus on challenges involving forced labor in supply chains.

John combines an in-depth understanding of U.S. trade policy with extensive practical experience in trade compliance and the realities of global supply chains to help companies analyze and respond strategically to the always-evolving trade landscape.

Whether helping companies seize opportunities presented by new trade agreements (like the USMCA) or helping companies navigate trade enforcement actions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), John’s advice is characterized by this dual policy and compliance orientation.

John advises companies on strategies to mitigate the impact of high tariffs, and advocates for the fair and effective enforcement of U.S. trade laws.  John represents clients in enforcement and compliance proceedings before CBP (including Enforce and Protect Act proceedings, forced labor enforcement actions, seizures and customs audits) and helps companies leverage the building blocks of trade (classification, valuation, country of origin, preferential trade agreements, drawback, tariff exclusions and waivers) to reduce the unnecessary costs of doing business.  John represents clients in customs and trade disputes before the U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

John is recognized as a thought leader on the use of trade tools to address labor conditions in global supply chains, including the U.S. ban on imported goods made with forced labor (19 U.S.C. § 1307), and the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism in the USMCA, and has counseled various high profile brands regarding how these sources of law should inform their sustainable sourcing and responsible supply chain practices.

John also advises on matters relating to the agreements of the WTO and on trade agreements under negotiation.  His advice is oriented toward helping companies understand the rights and opportunities afforded as a result of prior national government commitments under existing WTO law, and in understanding rights and opportunities presented by ongoing negotiations.

In 2019–20, John was a trusted advisor to Facebook on the development and design of the company’s Oversight Board for Content Moderation.

Previously, John was a law clerk for the Hon. Gregory W. Carman at the U.S. Court of International Trade.  He has a strong commitment to pro bono legal work.
 
Advised multiple consumer goods companies on the design of supply chain compliance protocols to ensure that U.S. imported goods were not made, wholly or in part, in Xinjiang or with forced Uyghur labor.

Assisted Facebook in designing and conducting a public consultation with respect to the formation of the company’s proposed Oversight Board for content moderation.

Represented a U.S. consumer goods importer on a tariff classification dispute before the U.S. Court of International Trade, successfully persuading CBP to voluntarily abandon its classification opinion, resulting in multi-million dollar refund.

Represented clients in filing comments on proposed trade enforcement actions (e.g., the proposed coverage of Section 301 tariffs), and in obtaining exclusions from Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs.

Advised a coalition of tech companies on the conformity of a proposed Indonesian regulation with Indonesia’s previous commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

Assisted a company named in a forced labor withhold release order (“WRO”) issued by CBP in obtaining the complete revocation of such order—the only such complete WRO revocation in the modern era of CBP forced labor enforcement.

Advised multiple importers on “first sale” duty savings programs and FTA eligibility reviews.
 
American Bar Association – International Section

Customs and International Trade Bar Association
 

About

John Foote concentrates his practice on international trade and customs matters with a particular focus on challenges involving forced labor in supply chains.

John combines an in-depth understanding of U.S. trade policy with extensive practical experience in trade compliance and the realities of global supply chains to help companies analyze and respond strategically to the always-evolving trade landscape.

Whether helping companies seize opportunities presented by new trade agreements (like the USMCA) or helping companies navigate trade enforcement actions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), John’s advice is characterized by this dual policy and compliance orientation.

John advises companies on strategies to mitigate the impact of high tariffs, and advocates for the fair and effective enforcement of U.S. trade laws.  John represents clients in enforcement and compliance proceedings before CBP (including Enforce and Protect Act proceedings, forced labor enforcement actions, seizures and customs audits) and helps companies leverage the building blocks of trade (classification, valuation, country of origin, preferential trade agreements, drawback, tariff exclusions and waivers) to reduce the unnecessary costs of doing business.  John represents clients in customs and trade disputes before the U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

John is recognized as a thought leader on the use of trade tools to address labor conditions in global supply chains, including the U.S. ban on imported goods made with forced labor (19 U.S.C. § 1307), and the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism in the USMCA, and has counseled various high profile brands regarding how these sources of law should inform their sustainable sourcing and responsible supply chain practices.

John also advises on matters relating to the agreements of the WTO and on trade agreements under negotiation.  His advice is oriented toward helping companies understand the rights and opportunities afforded as a result of prior national government commitments under existing WTO law, and in understanding rights and opportunities presented by ongoing negotiations.

In 2019–20, John was a trusted advisor to Facebook on the development and design of the company’s Oversight Board for Content Moderation.

Previously, John was a law clerk for the Hon. Gregory W. Carman at the U.S. Court of International Trade.  He has a strong commitment to pro bono legal work.
 

Experience

Advised multiple consumer goods companies on the design of supply chain compliance protocols to ensure that U.S. imported goods were not made, wholly or in part, in Xinjiang or with forced Uyghur labor.

Assisted Facebook in designing and conducting a public consultation with respect to the formation of the company’s proposed Oversight Board for content moderation.

Represented a U.S. consumer goods importer on a tariff classification dispute before the U.S. Court of International Trade, successfully persuading CBP to voluntarily abandon its classification opinion, resulting in multi-million dollar refund.

Represented clients in filing comments on proposed trade enforcement actions (e.g., the proposed coverage of Section 301 tariffs), and in obtaining exclusions from Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs.

Advised a coalition of tech companies on the conformity of a proposed Indonesian regulation with Indonesia’s previous commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

Assisted a company named in a forced labor withhold release order (“WRO”) issued by CBP in obtaining the complete revocation of such order—the only such complete WRO revocation in the modern era of CBP forced labor enforcement.

Advised multiple importers on “first sale” duty savings programs and FTA eligibility reviews.
 

Memberships

American Bar Association – International Section

Customs and International Trade Bar Association