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U.S. Trade Policy and Convergence of Import and Export Controls: Navigating the Complex International Trade Landscape

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will describe the U.S. trade policy all-of-government approach that has led to a convergence between import, export, and sanction controls so that skills traditionally developed for compliance in one area are now required in the others. The panel will address key areas of convergence as well as the statutory and administrative regulations that have led to this development. The panel will also describe considerations and pitfalls for practitioners and provide best practices for guiding clients through this complex international trade landscape.


With escalating tensions between the U.S. and China and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as other geopolitical concerns, U.S. trade policy has evolved into an all-of-government approach whereby administrative agencies seek to leverage the regulatory structures developed by sister agencies to create rules that meet their own heightened demands.

The effect has been a convergence between import, export, and sanctions controls, so that skills that were traditionally developed for export or sanctions compliance are increasingly important to import compliance activities and vice versa. For example, the classification of products using the harmonized system, the six-digit code system that participating countries use to classify goods, has long been considered primarily an import-related activity. However, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and EU and UK government agencies are increasingly using harmonized system classification to define export controls and misclassification of exported merchandise may result in costly penalties. Therefore, export control professionals must also be familiar with the harmonized system.

Another significant area of convergence is related to supply chain due diligence. Export control practitioners must know how an exported item will be used and have developed substantial know-your-customer due diligence skills to protect items from being routed to prohibited destinations. These procedures must now also become part of import operations for compliance purposes. For example, CBP's increased emphasis on prohibiting the importation of goods produced, in whole or in part, with forced labor has required importers to enhance their understanding and traceability of their supply chains from raw materials to finished goods.

Listen as our expert panel guides practitioners through this complex trade landscape and the convergence between export, import, and sanction controls. The panel will address key areas of convergence, important considerations for practitioners, and best practices for compliance.



  1. Overview of political/geopolitical landscape and evolution of U.S. trade policy
  2. All-of-government approach to international trade
  3. Convergence of import, export, and sanction controls
    1. Export skills now required for import control
    2. Import skills now required for export control
    3. Supply chain due diligence
    4. Geopolitical considerations
    5. Impact on regulated entities
  4. Best practices for compliance
    1. Takeaways for practitioners
    2. Penalties and repercussions for noncompliance


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How has the evolution of U.S. trade policy created a convergence between import, export, and sanction controls?
  • How has this convergence affected the knowledge and skills development required by practitioners for each area in order to remain compliant?
  • What impact does this convergence have on regulated entities and their compliance efforts?
  • What are best practices for guiding clients through this increasingly complex international trade landscape?


Black, Tyler
Tyler Black

Thompson Coburn

Mr. Black is an experienced international trade and regulatory attorney who provides comprehensive guidance to clients...  |  Read More

Shapiro, Robert
Robert Shapiro

Partner, Chair International Trade Practice
Thompson Coburn

Mr. Shapiro counsels clients in all aspects of international transactions with a focus on the trade and shipment of...  |  Read More

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