The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on 22 June 2020 voted to adopt regulations codifying its long-standing Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims (Policy Statement). The proposed regulations come after the FTC staff held a workshop in September 2019 to discuss “Made in USA” (MUSA) claims and whether there was a need to update the policy or enforcement approach for such claims. While the proposed regulations make no substantive changes to the “all or virtually all” standard articulated in the Policy Statement, they significantly expand enforcement of MUSA claims to include both offline and online MUSA claims and authorize the use of civil penalties, which could lead to more frequent and enhanced enforcement by the FTC. Comments to the proposed rule are due 60 days after publication of the proposed regulations in the Federal Register.

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Photo of Steve Steinborn Steve Steinborn

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Steven Steinborn literally wrote the book on food labeling as a principal author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) labeling guide. On top of that, he offers clients 28 years of experience in guiding informed business decisions, taking into…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Steven Steinborn literally wrote the book on food labeling as a principal author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) labeling guide. On top of that, he offers clients 28 years of experience in guiding informed business decisions, taking into account food laws and other regulations, as well as the environment in which companies operate. Representing food processors, restaurant chains, foodservice operators, ingredient suppliers, and trade associations, Steven focuses on advertising, labeling, and food safety. He is also a strong advocate in enforcement matters brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the USDA, and state regulators as well.

From small start-ups to established international brands, Steven understands the dynamics of the food industry. He brings this knowledge to bear on cutting-edge issues ranging from claim substantiation to potential food safety situations. He is also regularly consulted in bringing and defending competitor challenges, and represents companies before the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division. Keenly aware of the current litigation climate, Steven works closely with marketers in exploring all avenues to reach important business objectives.

Beyond the food industry, Steven routinely advises consumer product companies on reporting and potential recall situations arising under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. His practice covers a diverse range of industries, including children’s toys, household appliances, infant products, gas grills, furnaces, consumer electronics, computers, printers, handheld devices, and child-resistant packaging.

Steven is a frequent speaker on innovation and legal compliance and has authored numerous articles on a range of subjects, from the latest developments in the regulation of genetically engineered foods to important developments that impact food advertising.

Photo of Craig A. Lewis Craig A. Lewis

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Craig Lewis works with companies in the global economy to keep their international trading activities running smoothly and compliantly. Whether it is defending exporters in high-stakes antidumping and countervailing duty litigation or developing robust import compliance programs, Craig finds creative…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Craig Lewis works with companies in the global economy to keep their international trading activities running smoothly and compliantly. Whether it is defending exporters in high-stakes antidumping and countervailing duty litigation or developing robust import compliance programs, Craig finds creative solutions that meet client needs.

Craig helps companies find opportunities within the maze of regulations and agencies governing international trade, and he works with clients to identify and address risks before they turn into problems. If a matter calls for litigation, Craig can draw on more than 20 years of private sector experience to defend his client’s interests.

Well known internationally for his trade litigation practice, Craig’s career has spanned both government and private practice. Craig regularly defends companies in high-value trade disputes before the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission. Craig’s industry focus on the steel trade has also led to major trade remedies representations across the globe, including Brazil, India, Europe, Ukraine, Mexico, Colombia, and China. Craig has made dozens of appearances before U.S. judicial panels including the Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and in international trade tribunals, including the World Trade Organization and NAFTA panels.

Closer to home, Craig also works with companies to solve their import regulatory compliance problems. With a particular focus on steel, high-tech products, and food, drugs, and medical devices, he leads clients toward beneficial tariff classifications, duty options under free trade agreements, and special import procedures. Craig advises clients in such areas as valuation and transfer pricing, country of origin labeling, and regulatory audits. Where compliance has failed, Craig works to mitigate penalty and liquidated damages claims whether through prior disclosures, settlement, or litigation.

Photo of Jonathan T. Stoel Jonathan T. Stoel

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Multinational companies facing international trade and other complex international disputes look for specific experience in the courtroom and in arbitration. So do investors enmeshed in investment disputes. Jonathan Stoel has the experience to support clients in these challenging circumstances.

A…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Multinational companies facing international trade and other complex international disputes look for specific experience in the courtroom and in arbitration. So do investors enmeshed in investment disputes. Jonathan Stoel has the experience to support clients in these challenging circumstances.

A partner in the firm’s International Trade and Investment and International Arbitration practices, Jonathan handles complex matters involving treaty-based claims, international investment protections, public international law, and international trade and customs issues. He also provides guidance on the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Jonathan helps clients in many industries, including the steel, pharmaceutical, energy, agriculture, and consumer products sectors. He represents claimant investors in investment arbitrations before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and its additional facility, as well as in ad hoc arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Jonathan also develops strategies for clients to avoid protracted and costly investment dispute settlement proceedings.

Jonathan regularly represents companies in international trade administrative proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). He also litigates appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Court of International Trade. Jonathan has resolved international trade disputes through arbitration before panels constituted pursuant to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). Jonathan provides customs law guidance to clients on classification, valuation, tariff preference, and other issues. He has first-chaired client defenses in customs regulatory audits, prior disclosures, and penalty and forfeiture proceedings.

Jonathan also serves as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Thurgood Marshall Academy, a Southeast Washington charter school, and as counsel to the Court-appointed Receiver for Options Public Charter School.

Photo of Chandri Navarro Chandri Navarro

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Chandri Navarro works with companies, multinationals, trade associations, and governments on customs and trade law and policy, trade compliance matters, free trade negotiations, litigation, and legislation. Chandri helps clients resolve trade issues before the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB)…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Chandri Navarro works with companies, multinationals, trade associations, and governments on customs and trade law and policy, trade compliance matters, free trade negotiations, litigation, and legislation. Chandri helps clients resolve trade issues before the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Department of Commerce (DOC), U.S. Congress, and the Court of International Trade.

For over 20 years, Chandri has advised clients on customs and trade issues in many different countries and before foreign trade and customs agencies. She helps clients evaluate risks, identify potential problems, and resolve them in a practical and efficient manner when they do arise. She works with companies to create effective trade compliance programs, and to find business opportunities in their import/export transactions around the world.

Chandri advises clients on tariff classification, customs value, country of origin, labeling, trade preference programs, free trade agreements, and trade compliance programs. She also helps clients respond to CPB and other government agencies on matters affecting imports. She works with companies in reviewing contracts, agreements, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) documents to help protect clients from trade compliance risks and successor liability.

Since her time as a U.S. State Department Security-Cleared Industry Adviser during the NAFTA negotiations, Chandri has helped companies and U.S. and foreign trade associations navigate the intricacies of rules of origin, tariff phase-out schedules, and cumulation provisions in trade negotiations.

Fluent in English, Spanish and French, Chandri is a sought-after speaker around the world on issues affecting importers and exporters.

Photo of Jared R. Wessel Jared R. Wessel

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Jared Wessel is a pioneer in handling critical matters involving international trade issues, international investment protections, public international law, and the intersection of trade and national security.

Jared has represented clients before U.S. federal agencies that regulate international trade matters…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Jared Wessel is a pioneer in handling critical matters involving international trade issues, international investment protections, public international law, and the intersection of trade and national security.

Jared has represented clients before U.S. federal agencies that regulate international trade matters, including the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. As a lawyer in trade law matters under U.S. and international law, Jared helps clients in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and other proceedings under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Jared has participated in dispute settlement before the World Trade Organization (WTO) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He also advises clients regarding international economic policy matters, such as the renegotiation of NAFTA, and the intersection of international economic and environmental law.

From 2011 to 2015, Jared served in the General Counsel’s office of the USTR. During that time, he personally argued two cases in front of the WTO Appellate Body, winning both. Jared also served as one of the USTR’s chief negotiators for market access issues with China, as well as the Minamata Convention on Mercury. More generally, Jared provided legal and policy guidance on a range of issues, including environment, labor, energy, sanctions, trade secrets, and trade remedies.

Previously, Jared was a lawyer at a major international law firm in Washington. He also served as an adviser to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Republic of Palau, in New York City, where he handled legal and national security matters. He also clerked for the Honorable Jane R. Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Photo of Mary Lancaster Mary Lancaster

Associate, Washington, D.C.

Mary Lancaster provides practical guidance on complex regulatory issues to help food and beverage companies in all segments of the industry achieve their business goals.

Mary advises clients on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture…

Associate, Washington, D.C.

Mary Lancaster provides practical guidance on complex regulatory issues to help food and beverage companies in all segments of the industry achieve their business goals.

Mary advises clients on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) compliance with current good manufacturing practice (cGMP), advertising and labeling compliance, and food safety issues that arise throughout the entire food supply chain. She also advises on enforcement actions and drafts comments on proposed regulations and agency guidance. Mary also has experience with matters in front of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Prior to law school, Mary was a legal assistant at a Washington, D.C. law firm, where she assisted lawyers in white-collar investigations, pharmaceutical class action litigations, and federal habeas petitions for death row inmates.