David R. Hamill

Partner
Dave is a Partner in the International Trade group and chairs the firm’s customs subgroup.
David Hamill, Partner, Washington, DC

Dave's practice focuses on advising clients on cross border trade regulatory requirements, including import and customs compliance, duty preference programs, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, and economics sanctions and export controls.

Client Work

Dave represents US and foreign companies, including manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, and trade associations on trade matters before the US Department of Treasury, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Alcohol and Tobacco Tariff and Trade Bureau (TTB). On customs issues, Dave specializes in duty preference programs, such as NAFTA; duty deferral programs, including drawback and FTZs; customs valuation and transfer pricing; country of origin marking; and intellectual property rights enforcement. Dave has represented importers in defending against customs civil and criminal penalties, including seizures and forfeitures, conducting and managed internal investigations, and preparing customs prior disclosures.

Dave’s portfolio also includes assisting companies with customs audits (known as focused assessments) and importer self-assessments. He has developed tailored customs risk management strategies, import compliance procedures, and special duty and free trade qualification programs for clients. 

Dave also leads a service team at Arent Fox that advises companies on the NAFTA automotive rules, including changes proposed by the NAFTA renegotiations. Dave has represented US, Canadian, and Mexican importers, manufacturers and exporters during NAFTA verifications conducted by US, Canadian, and Mexican Customs officials. In addition to automotive, other industries represented in these matters, include companies in the food and alcohol beverage, agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics, specialty metals, oilfield equipment, and petroleum sectors.

Dave’s practice also includes advising alcohol beverage companies on import and regulatory requirements administered and enforced by CBP and TTB.

Dave advises companies on export controls and economic sanctions issues. His work in this area has included performing internal investigations, drafting voluntary disclosures, responding to administrative subpoenas, developing and implementing export compliance programs, and providing ongoing export compliance advice.

Dave’s recent practice also includes representation of clients in other international trade areas, such as the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs under section 232 of the Tract Act of 1962 and the proposed tariffs on Chinese imports under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

Previous Work

Before joining Arent Fox, Dave served from 1991-2000 as senior counsel and attorney-advisor at the US Department of the Treasury. During his tenure at the Treasury Department, he served as the chief legal advisor to the US chair of the NAFTA Rules of Origin Working Group, where he represented the United States at the trilateral NAFTA Working Group meetings convened to monitor the implementation and administration of the NAFTA concerning rules of origin, country of origin marking, and customs administration. In addition, he served as a legal advisor to Treasury’s Commercial Operations Advisory Committee of the Customs Service (COAC), where he worked to resolve various issues between the private sector representatives and the government. Dave also represented the Treasury Department at the Negotiating Group on Market Access meetings convened under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Dave is active in many trade association and regularly provides presentation and updates on the recent developments in the international trade arena.

  • Co-chair, Customs Committee, American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), 2013-present
  • Speaker, AAEI Annual Conference, “New Trade Legislation Around the World,” June 2018
  • Speaker, Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), 2018 Supply Chain Summit, “NAFTA – Where is it Really Heading?,” Livonia, Michigan, June 2018
  • Speaker, Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association (MEMA). “Section 301 Investigations and Proposed Tariffs,” April 2018
  • Speaker, MEMA, “Process to Exclude Products from the Section 232 Presidential Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum,” March 2018
  • Speaker, The Knowledge Group, “NAFTA Renegotiations: Significant Trends and Developments in US and Canadian Trade Relations,” January 2018
  • Speaker, American Forestry & Paper Association, Washington, DC, “Economic Sanctions under the Trump Administration: Nine Months and Counting,” September 2017
  • Speaker, MEMA, Legislative Summit, Washington, DC, “Trade Panel,” May 2017
  • Speaker, Automotive Aftermarket Supplier Association (AASA), Chicago, Illinois, “Trade Policy: Impact of the Automotive Aftermarket,” April 2017
  • Organizer and Speaker, Arent Fox Policy Forum, “The NAFTA Renegotiated – Winners and Losers,” April 2017
  • Speaker, Precision Metalforming Association Automotive Parts Supplier Conference, Troy, Michigan, “The Administration, NAFTA and the North American Automotive Sector,” April 2017
  • Speaker, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Annual Legal Conference, Arlington, Virginia, “Trade Treaties.” March 2017
  • Speaker, AIAG, “President Trump, the Automotive Sector, and NAFTA 2.0,” March 2017
  • Speaker, North American Grain Export Association, “US Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade,” January 2017
  • Organizer and Speaker, Arent Fox Workshop, “Leveraging and Managing Risk in the Use of Automotive Data Across Import, Export, and Data Privacy Regimes,” October 2016

Dave has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in the area of International Trade and Finance Law.

Life Beyond the Law

Among his outside interests, Dave is a proficient SCUBA diver.