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Robert L. LaFrankie

Senior Counsel
Phone: +1 202.624.2868
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Robert L. LaFrankie is a senior counsel in Crowell & Moring's International Trade Group and resident in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Bob regularly advises manufacturers, exporters, and importers in all aspects of international trade and customs proceedings before various government agencies, courts, and international tribunals. He focuses on trade-related litigation and counseling, including trade remedy proceedings and U.S. Customs compliance and enforcement issues. Bob has successfully defended numerous clients located throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas that produce or import a diverse range of products, including flat-rolled and specialty steel products and components, chemicals and plastics, frozen and canned food products, paper products, motor vehicle parts and components, specialty valves and valve systems, disposable lighters, petrochemical and renewable fuels, anti-friction bearings, and other manufactured products. In addition to litigation and compliance counseling, Bob engages in strategic trade remedy and customs planning activities for clients, particularly for companies with global sourcing, manufacturing, and export/import operations. He also advises companies with regard to NAFTA compliance issues and related audits of client facilities.

Bob also has significant government experience in international trade. He served as a senior attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for Import Administration at the U.S. Commerce Department, where he defended the agency’s international trade decisions from legal challenge before U.S. courts, the World Trade Organization dispute settlement bodies, and NAFTA bi-national panels. In that capacity, he also acted as legal counsel in government-to-government negotiations addressing various cross-border trade disputes, and advised agency and congressional staff on legislative and regulatory proposals affecting international trade.

Highlighted Matters

  • Lead counsel in numerous antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and related court appeals involving a range of manufactured products sourced from multiple countries; supervised more than 25 U.S. Commerce Department on-site “verification” audits of client facilities in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, China, and the United States.
  • Advise major global steel producers on customs and trade compliance aspects of integrated sourcing, manufacturing, and import/export operations on multiple continents.
  • Advise numerous manufacturers, exporters, and importers on U.S. Customs compliance requirements applicable to imported goods, including entry, classification, valuation, bonding, and country-of-origin issues, as well as compliance with Foreign Trade Zone rules and audits.
  • Regularly conduct/assist internal trade-related “audits” of client facilities for trade and customs compliance purposes, including review of data systems, accounting records/procedures, and sales, cost, and correspondence files.
  • Regularly assist U.S. and foreign manufacturers with multi-country sourcing, manufacturing, and import/export operations, including related Customs and NAFTA compliance issues.
  • Advised governments and manufacturers in connection with ongoing and threatened WTO trade litigation and disputes and implementation of remedies.
  • Currently representing major European manufacturer in a multifaceted trade remedy dispute involving the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of International Trade.
  • Currently representing the Indian shrimp industry in ongoing trade dispute with the U.S. Government and U.S. domestic seafood industry, including multiple administrative proceedings and court appeals.
  • Agency counsel in high profile “interlocutory” appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving consolidated challenges to multiple antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imported uranium from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
  • Consistently implemented effective strategies to minimize antidumping liability, including annual review planning and successful revocation proceedings.
  • Actively engaged in challenging so-called “targeted dumping” methodologies before the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. Court of International Trade, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • Regularly challenges existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders at the U.S. International Trade Commission during “sunset” proceedings.

Prior to attending law school, Bob worked as a legislative assistant in the Economic Affairs section of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, D.C. He also spent a year abroad teaching English and international trade law at the Guilin Institute for Electronics Technology in Guilin, China.


  • College of William & Mary, B.A.
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, New York, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of International Trade

View More

"The Month in International Trade – August 2018," International Trade Bulletin (September 11, 2018). Contacts: Jeffrey L. Snyder, Frances P. Hadfield, Edward Goetz, Daniel Cannistra, Robert Holleyman, Robert L. LaFrankie, Spencer Toubia, Ru Xiao-Graham, Cherie Walterman, Melissa Morris, Evan Yu, Michelle J. Linderman, John B. Brew, Aaron Marx, Adelicia R. Cliffe, Alan W. H. Gourley, Paul M. Rosen, Maria Alejandra (Jana) del-Cerro
Client Alert/Newsletter
"The Month in International Trade – July 2018," International Trade Bulletin (August 6, 2018). Contacts: Jeffrey L. Snyder, Frances P. Hadfield, Edward Goetz, John B. Brew, Spencer Toubia, Aaron Marx, Cherie Walterman, Robert Holleyman, Daniel Cannistra, Robert L. LaFrankie, Ru Xiao-Graham, Alan W. H. Gourley, Maria Alejandra (Jana) del-Cerro, David (Dj) Wolff
Client Alert/Newsletter
"The Month in International Trade – March 2018," International Trade Bulletin (April 11, 2018). Contacts: Jeffrey L. Snyder, Frances P. Hadfield, Edward Goetz, Carlton Greene, Ian A. Laird, Eduardo Mathison, Dalal Hasan, David (Dj) Wolff, John B. Brew, Wing Cheung, Alexander H. Schaefer, Robert L. LaFrankie
Client Alert/Newsletter
"USTR: China Discriminates Against U.S. Firms Related to Tech Transfer, IP, and Trade Secrets," International Trade Bulletin (March 23, 2018). Contacts: Melissa Morris, Daniel Cannistra, Robert L. LaFrankie, Robert Holleyman, Cherie Walterman, Amanda M. Simpson
Client Alert/Newsletter
"President Exempts Certain Countries from Section 232 Tariffs Until May 1, 2018," International Trade Bulletin (March 23, 2018). Contacts: Melissa Morris, Daniel Cannistra, Ru Xiao-Graham, Robert L. LaFrankie, Robert Holleyman
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Commerce Publishes Forms and Instructions for Section 232 Exclusions," Crowell & Moring's International Trade Law (March 19, 2018). Authors: Robert L. LaFrankie, Yun Gao and Ru Xiao-Graham.
"President Trump Signs Section 232 Proclamations – Tariffs Start March 23," International Trade Bulletin (March 9, 2018). Contacts: Daniel Cannistra, Robert L. LaFrankie, J. Chris Haile, Cherie Walterman
Client Alert/Newsletter
"President Opts for Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports," International Trade Bulletin (March 2, 2018). Contacts: Daniel Cannistra, Robert Holleyman, Robert L. LaFrankie, Cherie Walterman
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Commerce Recommends Tariff/Quotas on Major Steel and Most Aluminum Products," Crowell & Moring's International Trade Law (February 21, 2018). Authors: Daniel Cannistra, Robert L. LaFrankie, Charles De Jager and Cherie Walterman.
Gov't Meets Skeptical Fed. Circ. In Defending Steel Duties Law360 (February 12, 2018)
In the News

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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