Areas of Focus
Admissions & Certifications
Brenda A. Jacobs provides strategic and legal guidance to multinationals, trade associations and governments on customs and trade law and policy, compliance, negotiations, litigation, and legislation. She represents clients before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Congress.
Among Ms. Jacobs’ clients are: trade associations representing U.S. importers and retailers of consumer products, major U.S. apparel retailers, as well as multinational manufacturers and governments and industry associations in Asia and the Western Hemisphere.
Projects recently handled by Ms. Jacobs include: coordinating Vietnam's bid for designation under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program, negotiating a compromise between U.S. importers and environmental interests on implementation of a plant declaration requirement established under the 2008 Farm Bill, securing approval for a waiver of the competitive need limit for Indian-made carpets under the GSP program, obtaining a preliminary injunction in the U.S. Court of International Trade delaying the implementation of safeguard measures against U.S. imports of Chinese products; advising the Government of Colombia on legal issues arising during the negotiation of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement; assisting companies in identifying and reducing their exposure to antidumping and countervailing duties and drafting comments on issues related to the treatment of products manufactured in non-market economies; and advising firms on compliance with U.S. export controls and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Ms. Jacobs also lobbied for enactment of an enhanced Andean Trade Preferences Act, worked extensively on drafting provisions that became part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, to provide preferential access to the U.S. market for products of Caribbean Basin, Central American and Sub-Saharan African countries, and advised Vietnam’s apparel industry during negotiation of the U.S.-Vietnam textile agreement and Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization. She also has worked on the development of best practices guidelines on internationally recognized labor rights.
Ms. Jacobs has extensive experience assisting U.S. and foreign manufacturers in meeting recordkeeping requirements and preparing for CBP production verification visits. She assists foreign manufacturers and U.S. companies in obtaining Customs rulings, preparing protests and responding to penalty proceedings, including intellectual property rights violations, and in drafting contracts, including vendor-purchaser and licensing agreements, and internal compliance programs. She also advises on rules of origin and valuation issues and on matters pending before the WTO, particularly the Dispute Settlement Body, assisting industries and governments in identifying viable claims and litigation strategies under WTO agreements.
Ms. Jacobs previously served as Senior Counsel for Trade Agreements at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was one of the primary U.S. Government negotiators of the 1986 Protocol extending the Multifiber Arrangement. Before that, Ms. Jacobs was a legal advisor in the U.S. International Trade Commission’s General Counsel’s office, responsible for legal issues arising during the course of antidumping, countervailing duty, safeguard, and Section 337 (patent and trademark) investigations.
Ms. Jacobs writes on legal and trade issues for a number of industry publications and is a frequent speaker on current trade topics at seminars and conferences around the world.
Memberships & Affiliations