Dave Townsend
PEOPLE

Dave Townsend

Of Counsel
townsend.dave@dorsey.com

Overview

DAVE ADVISES CLIENTS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TRANSACTIONS.

Dave is of counsel in the firm's Corporate Group and its Technology Commerce and National Security Law Practice Groups.  

Dave focuses on advising clients on U.S. economic sanctions, export controls, customs law, and national-security related matters, including matters before the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  He helps clients with export and import licensing, voluntary self disclosures, enforcement matters, developing corporate compliance policies and trade due diligence in mergers and acquisitions.  Dave also assists companies with all import-related aspects of compliance, including classification, country-of-origin and valuation.

Dave has represented both U.S. and foreign clients in trade litigation, including obtaining favorable outcomes concerning import tariff rates from the Department of Commerce and injury determinations from the International Trade Commission. He also represents clients in antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard proceedings as well as matters involving the World Trade Organization (WTO) and U.S. free trade agreements.

Dave has significant experience helping clients that are doing business between China and the United States.  Dave has helped clients determine tariff rates for imports of Chinese goods into the United States and advised on compliance with U.S. export controls that apply to the transfer of goods, technology and software from the United States to China.  He has also represented Chinese clients in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings.

Dave has assisted clients in national security investigations under section 232, matters before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and section 301 proceedings, including advice related to exclusions from tariffs under sections 232 and 301.

Dave’s clients have included those in a variety of industry sectors, including various agricultural products, chemicals, energy, distilled spirits, financial and other services, solar products, and steel.

Dave also is adjunct faculty at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a course on WTO agreements, negotiations and disputes since 2016.

Education & Admissions

The George Washington University Law School (J.D., 2010), with honors; Senior Articles Editor, Journal of Energy and Environmental Law

London School of Economics and Political Science (M.S., International Political Economy, 2007), with honors

University of Minnesota (B.A., Political Science and Sociology, 2004), summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota

Experience

Representative Work

U.S. ANTI-DUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTY PROCEEDINGS

  • CERTAIN ALUMINUM ALLOY SHEET FROM CHINA
    Represented Chinese industry associations in Commerce antidumping proceeding and International Trade Commission injury investigation.
  • CERTAIN STEEL NAILS FROM OMAN
    Lowered antidumping duty rate for foreign exporter and mandatory respondent in administrative review. 
  • CRYSTALLINE SILICON PHOTOVOLTAIC PRODUCTS FROM CHINA AND TAIWAN
    • Represented mandatory respondent in Commerce antidumping duty investigation; represented U.S. importer in International Trade Commission injury determination.
  • DIAMOND SAWBLADES FROM KOREA
    Successful representation of mandatory respondent in antidumping investigation and Court of International Trade and Federal Circuit appeals of the investigation.
  • CERTAIN STEEL NAILS FROM THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    Obtained court-ordered revocation of antidumping duty order with respect to foreign respondent.  
  • CRYSTALLINE SILICON PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS, WHETHER OR NOT ASSEMBLED INTO MODULES, FROM CHINA
    Advised U.S. purchaser regarding Commerce and International Trade Commission proceedings.
  • OIL COUNTRY TUBULAR GOODS FROM CHINA
    Represented respondent-government before Commerce.
  • DIFFUSION-ANNEALED, NICKEL-PLATED FLAT-ROLLED STEEL PRODUCTS FROM JAPAN*
    Advised U.S. purchaser regarding ITC proceedings.
  • GLYCINE FROM CHINA*
    Represented U.S. petitioner in proceedings before Commerce and International Trade Commission.
  • FROZEN WARMWATER SHRIMP FROM CHINA AND VIETNAM*
    Represented exporters in proceedings before Commerce.

EXPORT/IMPORT COUNSELING

  • EXPORT CONTROLS AND SANCTIONS
    • Submitted export license and classifications requests, including for encryption items.
    • Advised clients on voluntary self-disclosures to and enforcement actions by the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security, the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).
    • Drafted and implemented compliance programs relating to U.S. export controls and sanctions.
    • Led export controls and sanctions due diligence arising in mergers and acquisitions, including negotiation of post-closing measures relating to trade liability. 
  • U.S. CUSTOMS
    • Counseled clients on import entry, classification, valuation, marking and the rules of origin.
    • Advised on voluntary self disclosures to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
    • Assisted with customs issues arising in mergers and acquisitions.  
    • Analyze eligibility of imports for lower tariff rates under U.S. free trade agreements and preferential tariff programs.
  • SECTION 232 AND 301 MATTERS
    • Draft comments to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on proposed tariffs under sections 232 and 301.
    • Advise on exclusion requests to BIS and USTR.
    • Review harmonized tariff schedule and country-of-origin for imports to determine applicability of tariffs under sections 232 and 301.
  • FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS*
    Advised on a variety of compliance matters relating to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) and voluntary disclosures to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
    Assisted companies with matters relating to supply chain transparency, such as conflict minerals, human trafficking and prison labor.

News & Resources

Articles

Chemical Industry Update - June 2019
Trump Administration Proposes New Tariffs on Chinese Products Spared from Prior Action
President Trump Authorizes Blocking Information and Communications Technology Transactions as Huawei is Sanctioned
Tariff Increase on Chinese-Origin Goods Signals Continued Impasse in U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, May Trigger Strong Chinese Reaction
US-Mexico-Canada Agreement Faces Uncertain Path Through U.S. Congress
Chemical Industry Update - April 2019
Trump Administration Allows Lawsuits Against Persons Who Have Used Assets Confiscated by the Cuban Government, Imposes More Sanctions on Venezuela and Nicaragua
USTR Proposes New Import Tariffs on European Aircraft, Beverages, Food Items and Many Other Products
The ins and outs of US-Canada cross-border cannabis rules
Chemical Industry Update - January 2019
Canada-U.S. Trade in Marijuana-Related Products is Fraught with Peril
Farm Bill Opens the Door to Federal Aid to Market Agricultural Exports to Cuba
Trump-Xi Agreement Pauses U.S. Tariff Increases and Promises Some Uncertain U.S. Export Gains to China
U.S. Reimposes Economic Sanctions On Iran

News & Press Mentions

Chambers USA 2019 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Dorsey Of Counsel Dave Townsend Comments on China Trade War and Soybean Industry
Dorsey Of Counsel David Townsend Comments on China and Trade Rules
International Trade and Transactions Lawyer David Townsend Joins Dorsey in Minneapolis

Legal Writings

  • Idaho Business Review, Opportunities and Obstacles in International Trade (Aug. 27, 2018) (co-authored with Robert Maynard)
  • ABA Section of International Law, International Legal Developments Year in Review 2017, International Trade Chapter (2018) (contributor)
  • Journal of International Economic Law, Preventing Opportunistic Uncompliance by WTO Members (2011) (co-authored with Professor Steve Charnovitz)
  • Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, Stretching the Dispute Settlement Understanding: U.S. – Cotton’s Relaxed Interpretation of Cross-Retaliation in the World Trade Organization (2010)

Select Presentations

  • Dorsey & Whitney, A Look at U.S.-Cuban Relations: Past, Present and Future (Oct. 22, 2018)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association 42nd Annual International Business Law Institute, Overview of U.S. Export Controls and Economic Sanctions (April 19, 2018) 

Industries & Practices

Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Capital Markets
  • China
  • Corporate Governance & Compliance
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Emerging Companies
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations
  • Healthcare
  • International Trade
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • National Security Law
  • Oil & Gas
  • Technology

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Council Member for the Minnesota State Bar Association International Business Law Section
  • Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

Accolades

Ranked in Chambers USA 2019 Leading Individual

  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy), 2019  
Dave Townsend