With international trade policy and trade law experience gained serving in the general counsel offices of the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce and in private practice (with internationally renowned law firms), Brenda provides strategic and legal guidance to clients based in the U.S. and abroad, including manufacturers and service providers, U.S. retailers and importers, trade associations, non-profits, and governments. Her practice focuses on U.S. trade remedies and customs laws, trade policy, trade compliance, trade litigation, trade agreement negotiations, economic sanctions, product safety, and lobbying. She is also a licensed customs broker.
Brenda represents clients before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce (International Trade Administration and Bureau of Industry & Security), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of the Treasury, including the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Labor, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She also represents clients before the U.S. Congress, including lobbying the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Brenda led a team of attorneys that successfully defended a Pakistan PET resin producer subject to a U.S. antidumping investigation, one of many trade remedy proceedings in which she has been involved. In addition, in 2019, with Brenda’s guidance and expertise, gained through her extensive experience with administrative proceedings under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, the company defeated a petition by U.S. PET resin producers to remove duty-free treatment for imports of PET resin from Pakistan under the GSP program.
She is representing importers in litigation challenging Section 232 national security duties on steel nails and Section 301 duties imposed on imports of Chinese-origin products. She has provided strategic advice to companies and trade associations seeking exemptions from those Section 301 duties, including obtaining favorable U.S. CBP rulings classifying goods outside the scope of those duties. She also advised U.S. importers impacted by the global safeguard investigations against solar cells/panels and washing machines. Brenda guided U.S. rug importers to obtain a temporary reduction in duties under the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. She also advises governments on the trade implications of political developments and has advised companies on free trade agreement negotiations, helping to craft agreement provisions and origin rules. She is also advising clients on issues related to CBP’s implementation of Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which prohibits the importation of goods made in whole or in part with forced labor.
Brenda also advises U.S.-based entities on due diligence and compliance with evolving U.S. economic sanctions programs and has prepared and shepherded licensing applications and voluntary disclosures before OFAC. Further, she advises companies on product safety requirements and on incorporating evolving corporate social responsibilities into their compliance programs.
Brenda is consistently ranked among the nation’s top international trade and customs lawyers by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Chambers Asia Pacific, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who of Trade and Customs Lawyers (“Leading Individual” 2018), and The Legal 500 US. In Chambers Asia Pacific, Brenda is listed as “a leader in the field” of International Trade.
Brenda served from 2016 through 2020 as President of the Trade Policy Forum (TPF), a non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and cooperation among top level women professionals involved in international trade. She remains on the Board of TPF. She is a past president of Women in International Trade, Washington, D.C. chapter.
Member, District of Columbia Bar
The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1980 (with honors)
Cornell University, 1977
Admitted to practice before the:
U.S. Court of International Trade
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court