Robert’s practice involves all aspects of international trade and trade remedy proceedings. He has particular expertise in both U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and export control matters before the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In addition, Robert has represented numerous clients in both the Section 232 Aluminum investigation before the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Commerce Department and in the Section 301 investigation of China before USTR. Robert has also actively assisted in World Trade Organization (WTO) matters, providing advice regarding WTO obligations and dispute settlement proceedings for various clients and governments. Clients represented in these proceedings come from industries such as primary aluminum, aluminum extrusions, petrochemicals, steel, semiconductors, renewable energy, and consumer goods, involving products from diverse economies such as China, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Turkey.
- Represented a coalition of U.S. aluminum extruders before the DOC and the USITC in a trade remedies investigation covering aluminum products in all segments of the U.S. economy from automobiles and appliances to windows and doors.
- Advised clients regarding the Bureau of Industry and Security’s regulations regarding the export of lease condensate and crude oil.
- Represented an internet security start-up before the Bureau of Industry and Security in obtaining an export classification for its exports of encrypted products.
- Represented a group of steel producers before both the Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in one of the seminal appeals of a USITC determination in recent memory.
- Represents numerous U.S. manufacturers in matters involving Section 301 and Section 232 investigations.
- Advised companies in diverse industries, including aluminum extrusions, steel, shrimp, outboard engines, and semiconductors in complex antidumping and countervailing duty investigations before the DOC and the USITC.
- Represented an outboard engine manufacturer in one of the largest consumer products antidumping investigations before the USITC.
Advises and represents complainants and respondents in dispute settlement proceedings before the WTO.
- Advised several clients and foreign governments before both the Panel and the Appellate Body WTO appeal.
- Participated in government contracts litigation involving an agreement to supply the U.S. forces in Kuwait and Iraq.
- Examined customs issues and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations regarding importation and distribution of ethanol.
- Lobbied before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on various trade-related matters.
- Assisted clients in navigating the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) new continuous bond requirements for agricultural products.
- Assistant Adjunct Professor, International Trade Law and Regulation, George Mason University School of Law (2007-Present)
- Law Clerk, U.S. International Trade Commission, Office of the General Counsel (Summer 2000)
- Law Clerk, Bureau of Export Administration, Office of the General Counsel (Fall 1999) (now Bureau of Industry and Security)
- American Bar Association (ABA), Section of International Law
- Senior Advisor, International Trade Committee (2016-Present)
- Co-Chair, International Trade Committee (2012-2014)
- 2014 Outstanding Committee Award
- Court of International Trade Judicial Conference Committee (2016-Present)
- Included in The International Who's Who of Trade & Customs Lawyers (2019)
- Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for International by Super Lawyers magazine (2014-2020)
- Named by The Legal 500 US a "next generation lawyer" (2017-2020) and a "recommended lawyer" in International Trade (2013-2019)
- Recognized by Law360 as a "Rising Star" in International Trade (2013)
J.D., cum laude, American University Washington College of Law
B.A., The University of Georgia; Presidential Scholar
Associate Articles Editor, American University Law Review
Bar and Court Memberships
- District of Columbia Bar
- Maryland Bar
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of International Trade
Related News & Insights
- Media MentionRobert DeFrancesco Comments on ITC Victory for U.S. Chassis ManufacturersTransport TopicsSeptember 16, 2020
- Press ReleaseInternational Trade Commission Makes Affirmative Preliminary Determination in Trade Cases on Chassis from ChinaSeptember 11, 2020
- Media MentionRobert DeFrancesco Discusses New Tariffs on Canadian Aluminum Imports in Trade Association Online ForumThe Canadian PressSeptember 3, 2020
- Press ReleaseInternational Trade Commission Makes Affirmative Final Determinations in Critical Trade Cases on Utility Scale Wind Towers from Canada, Indonesia, Korea, and VietnamJuly 31, 2020