David Stepp is the Singapore Office Managing Partner of the firm’s Singapore office. In this role, he focuses on strategic business and professional development in Southeast Asia and represents companies located in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere in Asia. Mr. Stepp advises on a variety of customs and international trade issues for clients in industries such as motor vehicles, steel, textile and apparel products, footwear, retail, electronic products, cosmetics, and other consumer goods. His practice focuses on customs compliance and counseling, including tariff classification, valuation, country of origin marking, free trade agreements, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) participation, and other international trade regulatory requirements. He regularly counsels multinational companies on their e-commerce strategies globally, conducts global customs and international trade audits, and advises on improving and benchmarking compliance programs. Mr. Stepp also counsels on the coordination of international trade compliance for companies operating in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Mr. Stepp’s legal career has been primarily in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Early in his career, he was associated with a major U.S. customhouse broker and advised the company’s importing clients on U.S. customs practices and procedures. While in Washington, D.C., he represented electronics and automotive companies in the negotiation of the NAFTA rules of origin for their products.
Mr. Stepp remains active in the international trade and legal communities in Southern California. He was the instructor for the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association’s semi-annual course for ten years, preparing students 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 also 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. In his new role as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Singapore office, he continues to advise companies on their international trade and customs operations.
Mr. Stepp is a frequent speaker on global customs and international trade issues.