International Trade & Investment

Steptoe has one of the largest and most respected international trade law practices in the world, and is consistently recognized as such by the leading reference guides to law firms.  Chambers has called our practice “a market leader that is at the cutting edge of practice in the international trade sector” as well as “the go-to team for trade remedy matters.”  We have been honored five times as an “International Trade Group of the Year” by Law360, and since 2009, Chambers Asia-Pacific has recognized Steptoe for its work in Asia, ranking our practice in its top-tier.

Steptoe lawyers are unparalleled in the scope of our international trade experience.  Many previously served in senior positions in government, and bring insight and substantive knowledge on a wide range of trade issues and policy disciplines in a cost-effective manner.  We have in-depth knowledge of numerous industries with recurring trade policy concerns, and are skilled in many cutting-edge industries that are increasingly confronted with trade policy issues.  We are particularly well versed in assisting our clients with:

  • Market Access Analysis and Advocacy:  We develop integrated market access strategies tailored to our clients’ goals and the special regulatory and cultural environment of the specific markets of interest.  Steptoe combines in one practice technical expertise in a wide range of trade agreements, a wealth of experience in international trade and investment policy matters in the US and globally, direct experience in World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement, on-the-ground experience addressing regulatory barriers in foreign markets, an extensive network of contacts and relationships with US and foreign country trade officials and decision makers, and the knowledge and ability to leverage trade and regulatory developments to the benefit of our clients’ interests.  Chambers Asia 2013 noted in particular our detailed knowledge of the Chinese, Indian, and Korean markets.
  • International Trade Policy and Negotiations:  We have been involved in complex, high-profile trade policy disputes and initiatives to address trade and regulatory barriers to access to foreign markets for decades.  Our lawyers have extensive experience in Europe, key Asian markets (including China, India, Korea, and Japan), Brazil, and the NAFTA countries.  Where necessary and effective to advance our clients’ goals, we have the capability to plan and pursue World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement.
  • WTO Dispute Settlement:  Steptoe is one of only two law firms in the world that received a top-tier ranking from Chambers Global for its WTO capabilities, and the firm is widely recognized as one of the premier international law firms advising commercial and sovereign clients on a wide array of dispute settlement, market access, and trade policy disputes arising under the WTO agreements.  We have represented and advised clients at every stage of WTO dispute settlement, and we are one of the few law firms in the world that have appeared on behalf of WTO members in panel and Appellate Body proceedings.
  • International Trade Litigation:  Over the last several decades, our firm has represented both domestic and foreign companies in antidumping and countervailing duty cases before the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission (ITC).  Many of these matters also involved appeals to the US Court of International Trade, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, binational panels under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and dispute settlement proceedings before the WTO.  Steptoe’s advocacy in such cases has effected fundamental changes in import relief law that have brought major benefits to our clients.  Recently, we litigated the first ever antidumping case before the US Supreme Court in which Steptoe's client prevailed and which produced a historic decision on the scope of the antidumping law.  We have represented clients in over 160 antidumping and countervailing duty cases, in numerous Section 201 cases filed with the ITC, and in representing both complainants and respondents in over 115 section 337 proceedings, in a wide range of alleged unfair import practices.

Additionally, we advise on a wide range of domestic and international clients regarding compliance with the increasingly complex US regulatory regime, including Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection compliance requirements.

Furthermore, we are a leader among US law firms in counseling and assisting clients in handling public international law matters, which often affect trade and investment transactions that transcend national boundaries.  We not only assist clients to resolve complex controversies (such as expropriation and international boundary disputes), but also represent clients before governmental agencies on broad public law issues that affect competitiveness in the global market (such as extraterritorial jurisdiction, conflict of laws, and discriminatory treatment).


  • Chambers Asia-Pacific, International Trade/WTO (Asia-Pacific Region), 2009-2018
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific, International Trade/WTO (China), 2011-2018
  • Chambers Global, International Trade/WTO (Global), 2008-2017
  • Chambers USA, International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy (Nationwide), 2017
  • Chambers USA, International Trade (Nationwide), 2005-2016
  • The Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution: International Trade, 2016-2017
  • The Legal 500 US, Litigation: International Trade, 2007-2015
  • Law360, International Trade Group of the Year, 2010-2013, 2015
  • China Law & Practice, International Firm of the Year: Trade, 2016
  • China Business Law Journal, China Business Law Award: International Trade, 2013-2016

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