What Do International Trade Attorneys Do?

An international trade attorney is a type of lawyer who helps clients to navigate the complexities of doing business in different nations. It's easy to look at a product as something that shows up on a boat and gets shipped to a store, but the reality is that a low more goes into each transaction than that. There are many potential pitfalls in international trade law, and an attorney can help you steer clear of them. Let's take a closer look at what an international trade attorney does.


By far the biggest job of a lawyer in these situations is seeing that their clients don't run afoul of compliance rules. For example, member states of the European Union require that goods shipped into their countries on wooden pallets comply with rigorous rules. This might sound a little absurd, at first, but you might quickly realize that wood pallets can be a source of insects, spiders, fungi, and other invasive organisms that can wreak havoc outside of their natural environments. To stay in compliance with the EU's rules, products have to meet certain specifications and bear the proper stamp.

Filing Complaints

While we typically thinking of international trade as mostly about getting goods into countries, there are situations where blocking imports is the goal. This usually occurs when a company or an industry body believes that someone is in violation of dumping rules. The dumping of products occurs when a country sells large amounts of cheap products onto the international market rather than cutting production. A classic case of this sort of accusation comes from Chinese firms dumping steel into the West. Many complaints can get complicated because firms accused of dumping often use straw man operations to hide their activities, moving products through ports in nations that haven't been sanctioned.


Another rule that can catch people by surprise is ITAR, the International Traffic in Arms Regulation. It covers a lot more than guns. In particular, industrial and electronic components that may be repurposed for military use may fall under ITAR.

Trading under ITAR is rarely flat-out prohibited. In most cases, companies need to register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, a section of the U.S. State Department.

Contract Negotiations

Signing a deal that'll hold up in court in two different countries is complicated. An international trade attorney can help you iron out details between your firm and its partners.

For more information about international trade, get in touch with a law firm such as Braumiller Law Group.