John Foote advises companies on international trade and customs law, including US trade policy and agreements, US trade and customs enforcement, customs compliance, and matters relating to the agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
John also represents clients in matters involving customs and international trade litigation before the US Court of International Trade and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He regularly speaks and writes on issues relating to international trade.
Prior to joining the Firm, John was a law clerk for the Hon. Gregory W. Carman at the US Court of International Trade. He has a strong commitment to pro bono legal work.
John’s international trade practice is focused on helping companies navigate the evolving global trade landscape. He provides counsel on US trade policy and priorities, helping companies respond strategically to US trade enforcement actions (such as under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, and the Enforce and Protect Act), and advises on existing, new and renegotiated trade agreements (such as the USMCA). He has particular experience on issues relating to the US ban on imported goods made with forced labor (19 U.S.C. § 1307).
John advises clients on how to minimize the disruptions of supplemental tariffs through valuation- and classification-based strategies, preferential duty programs, and duty drawback. He counsels on customs and trade compliance, including country of origin marking, reducing exposure to antidumping and countervailing duties, and complying with import-related regulatory requirements enforced by CBP, and assists companies in mitigating liability by filing prior disclosures with CBP.
John also advises on matters relating to the agreements of the WTO and on multilateral agreements under negotiation. His advice is oriented around helping companies understand the rights and opportunities afforded as a result of prior national government commitments under existing WTO law, and in ongoing negotiations.
Representative Legal Matters
Represented a US consumer goods importer on a tariff classification dispute before the US. Court of International Trade, successfully persuading CBP to voluntarily abandon its classification opinion, resulting in multimillion dollar refund.
Represented clients in filing comments on proposed trade enforcement actions (eg, the proposed coverage of Section 301 tariffs), and in preparing product exclusion requests 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.
Performed product-line FTA eligibility review for multiple clients.
Manage global regulatory developments trackers, collecting actionable substantive legal and factual developments in a specified legal focus from dozens of jurisdictions.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association - International Section
- Customs and International Trade Bar Association
- New York~United States (2009)
- District of Columbia~United States (2016)
- University of Kansas (MA Economics) (2008)
- University of Kansas School of Law (JD) (2008)
- Miami University (Ohio) (BA cum laude) (2002)
Presenter, Pro Bono Luncheon, Baker McKenzie Annual Meeting, October 2018
Presenter, "Human Rights, Forced Labor and Ethical Supply Chains: Best Practices for Managing Growing Legal Obligations and Risks," January 2018
Presenter, "WTO Compliance of U.S. Proposed Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax / Border Adjustable Tax," February 2017
Op-Ed author, "Americans to be first casualties of Trump’s looming trade war," The Hill, July 2018
Co-author, "U.S. Customs and Border Protection Forced Labor Update & Recommendations," Baker McKenzie, December 2017