Brenda Jacobs provides strategic and legal guidance to multinationals, trade associations and governments on customs and trade law and policy, trade compliance matters, negotiations, litigation, and legislation. She represents clients before the Office of the US Trade Representative, the US Department of Commerce (DOC), US Customs and Border Protection, the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the US Department of the Treasury (Office of Foreign Assets Control), the US Department of State, the US Department of Labor, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the US Congress. She is also a licensed customs broker.
Among Ms Jacobs’s clients are: US importers and retailers of consumer products, multinational manufacturers, governments and industry associations.
Ms Jacobs also serves as Washington legal counsel to an Asian government, focusing on international trade legal and political matters, including trade negotiations.
Ms Jacobs has extensive experience assisting companies in obtaining customs rulings, preparing protests and responding to penalty proceedings, including intellectual property rights violations, in drafting contracts, including vendor-purchaser and licensing agreements, and with internal compliance programmes. She also advises on rules of origin and valuation issues and on matters pending before the WTO, particularly the dispute settlement body, and assists industries and governments in identifying viable claims and litigation strategies under WTO agreements. She advises companies on identifying and reducing their exposure to antidumping and countervailing duties and is the co-author of a report for the World Bank on non-market economy countries. On behalf of various clients, she has appeared before the generalised system of preferences subcommittee and lobbied Congress on behalf of GSP programme beneficiaries.
As counsel to a textile and apparel importer association, Ms Jacobs led a successful strategy to obtain a preliminary injunction from the US Court of International Trade that delayed implementation of US safeguard measures against Chinese imports, altering the course of US-China quota negotiations.
She also played a key role in negotiating a compromise between US importers and environmental interests on implementation of a plant declaration requirement established under the 2008 Farm Bill.
Ms Jacobs previously served as senior counsel for trade agreements at the US Department of Commerce. There, she was one of the primary US government negotiators of the 1986 protocol extending the Multifiber Arrangement. Ms Jacobs was a recipient of the Commerce Department’s General Counsel’s Award for Exceptional Performance during her time as senior counsel for trade agreements. Before that, Ms Jacobs was a legal adviser in the US International Trade Commission’s general counsel’s office, responsible for legal issues arising during antidumping, countervailing duty, safeguard, and Section 337 (patent and trademark) investigations.
WWL says: Jacobs is "an experienced and savvy" trade and customs lawyer.
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Trade & Customs which can be purchased from our Shop.