International Procurement

Steptoe advises both domestic and non-US companies on international issues related to federal government procurements.  We are frequently asked by non- companies to assist them in understanding the US government procurement laws and regulations.  We have advised several companies on the potential impact of FAR and DFARS flowdowns under subcontracts with US prime contractors, and have assisted non-US companies in acquisitions of US contractors.

We have provided advice to clients regarding the Trade Agreements Act, the Buy American Act, the Berry Amendment and related specialty metals restrictions, and the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programs.  We have also represented clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions involving foreign entities and, together with our colleagues in the CFIUS Foreign Investment Review Team, have advised clients on Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) compliance requirements and on Foreign Ownership and Control Issues (FOCI) under the National Industrial Security Program.  We have also assisted clients in connection with reconstruction and contingency contracting in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, including representing clients in disputes between prime contractors and local, in-country subcontractors; government audits and contractor disclosures.   

 Working with our colleagues in our International Regulation and Compliance Group, we have provided advice to government contractors on compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and with respect to anti-corruption law, including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  In the ITAR area, we have assisted clients in preparing license applications, obtaining Manufacturing License Agreements (MLAs) and Technical Assistance Agreements (TAAs), developing compliance programs, and conducting compliance reviews.  We also have substantial experience representing government contractors with respect to internal investigations and voluntary disclosures and other enforcement matters involving the ITAR.   In addition, we have advised numerous contractors on export-control related compliance and flowdown issues in their supply chains.

In the anti-corruption area, we have prepared numerous policies and procedures for clients, assisted clients with respect to due diligence involving third-party agents or consultants, and conducted compliance reviews and investigations for a number of government contractor clients.   We have also advised clients on issues at the intersection of the ITAR and the FCPA such as brokering and reporting of fees and commissions.   

Representative Matters

  • Steptoe has provided a major foreign industrial company advice regarding FAR flowdowns applicable to subcontracting opportunities and on the risks/benefits of being a US government contractor or subcontractor. 
  • Steptoe provided advice to foreign law firms whose clients were involved in US government contracting or subcontracting, or wanted to acquire US government contractors. 
  • Steptoe has assisted a wide range of aerospace and defense contractors in internal investigations involving potential ITAR violations.  This has included parallel advice regarding compliance program enhancement and remediation, as well as interfacing (when appropriate) with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. 
  • Steptoe represented a foreign subcontractor with respect to change claims against a US prime contractor arising out of work in Iraq, and have represented a major US prime contractor in in defending litigation brought by a subcontractor involving contingency operations.
  • Steptoe assisted a client in responding to an Inspector General audit of, and findings relating to, costs charged to Federal grants for the performance of work in Iraq and Afghanistan, including challenges to costs charged for private security contractors.
  • Steptoe advised several private security contractors on export control and economic sanctions issues incident to their work. 
  • Steptoe has represented a number of government contractor companies in World Bank enforcement proceedings. 

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