David Stepp’s practice spans a variety of customs and international trade issues, including those related to motor vehicles, steel, textile and apparel products, footwear, retailing, electronic products and other consumer goods. Mr. Stepp's practice focuses on customs compliance and counseling, including tariff classifications, valuation, country of origin marking, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) participation and other regulatory requirements. His practice includes global customs and international trade audits of multinationals and advice on improving and benchmarking compliance programs. He also advises clients on local trade and customs options for companies in China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Mr. Stepp began his career in Los Angeles, where he was associated with a major U.S. customhouse broker and advised the company’s importing clients on U.S. customs practices and procedures. Later, he worked in Washington, D.C., where he represented electronics and automotive companies in the negotiation of the NAFTA rules of origin for their products. Mr. Stepp authored a guidebook on NAFTA procedures for a major U.S. electronics trade association and lectured in Japan on the scope and effect of the rules.
Mr. Stepp resumed his L.A. practice in 1997, where he served as chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Customs Law Committee from 1998 to 2000. He is active in the international trade community in Southern California and, on behalf of the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, is the instructor for the association’s semi-annual course preparing students who intend to take the customs brokers licensing test. Mr. Stepp’s legal publications include articles on textile country of origin issues and an analysis of the criminal customs statutes in the United States, Mexico and Canada. He is a frequent speaker on global customs and international trade issues.
Bar and Court Admissions
District of Columbia, 1990
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of International Trade
University of Georgia, J.D., 1986
Duke University, A.B., 1983
Speeches and Seminars
- "Outsourcing To Asia: Export/Import Compliance Issues to Consider When Outsourcing Operations," West LegalEdcenter Webinar, June 26, 2012, Link to Webinar
- Global Legal Customs Association, U.S. President
- American Bar Association
- Los Angeles Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association
- Los Angeles City Bar Association
- Washington Foreign Law Society