John B. Brew

Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2720
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

John Brew is the co-chair of Crowell & Moring's International Trade Group and a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He has extensive experience in import and export trade regulation, and he regularly advises corporations, trade associations, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations on matters involving customs administration, enforcement, compliance, litigation, legislation and policy.

John represents clients in proceedings at the administrative and judicial levels, as well as before Congress and the international bureaucracies that handle customs and trade matters. He advises clients on all substantive import regulatory issues handled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, such as classification, valuation, origin, marking, tariff preference programs, other agency regulations, admissibility, import restrictions, quotas, drawback, audits, prior disclosures, penalties, investigations, Importer Self Assessment and Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism programs, importations under bond, the Jones Act, vessel repairs, and foreign trade zone matters.

John has assisted clients in a broad array of industries (chemical, pharmaceutical, petroleum, textile, apparel and footwear, food and agricultural, machinery, equipment and electronics, and household goods), providing creative solutions that enable clients to obtain significant duty savings and mitigate draconian customs penalties. 

His practice also includes representation of clients in other international trade areas, such as export controls; sanctions; market access; World Trade Organization-related matters; bilateral, multilateral and regional trade agreements; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; anti-boycott, anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions; short supply proceedings; Section 201; Section 232, Section 301; Section 337; and other import relief actions.

John is a co-editor and author for the ABA's International Practitioner's Deskbook, U.S. Customs: A Practitioner's Guide to Principles, Processes and Procedures, the interview editor for Kluwer Law’s Global Trade and Customs Journal, and was a member of the International Trade Law360 Editorial Advisory Board in 2014. John has been recognized by Chambers USA, in the area of International Trade: Customs; Chambers Global in the area of International Trade, U.S., The Best Lawyers in America in the area of International Trade and Finance Law, Who's Who Legal in the area of Trade and Customs, and Super Lawyers in the area of International. He recently won the 2020 Client Choice Award for International Trade in the U.S.

Representative Experience

  • Assisting clients in implementing global duty recovery programs, obtaining significant duty refunds and savings by obtaining relief through Section 201, 232 and 301 tariff exclusions, Miscellaneous Tariff Bills, tariff engineering, first sale valuation, free trade agreements, tariff remission, antidumping reviews, drawback and free trade zones.          
  • Helping clients establish import compliance and cargo security programs and become C-TPAT and ISA members. 
  • Representing a home textile manufacturer in a favorable classification decision before Customs, the U.S. Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and advising the company on multilateral and bilateral textile agreements. 
  • Counseling U.S. importers on Customs valuation issues, including audits, intracompany transfer pricing, three-tiered transactions, buying agency agreements and assists. 
  • Advising U.S. importers and exporters of aviation, automobile, food, beverage, chemical, construction, pharmaceutical, plastic, textile, apparel, and petroleum products during NAFTA verifications conducted by United States, Canadian and Mexican Customs officials, and advising multi-national clients on other free trade agreement origin verifications in the United States, EU and Asia. 
  • Defending U.S. importers and manufacturers against Customs penalty, liquidated damages, detention, seizure, and forfeiture actions, including obtaining dismissal of $5 million Customs penalty claim against importer by the U.S. Court of International Trade.