Ph.D., International Trade, Tulane University
LL.M, Inter-American Law, University of Miami
Diplomado, Derecho Mercantil, ITESO (Mexico)
J.D., St. Mary’s University
Licenses & Certifications
Licensed Customs Broker, CBP
Board Certified Specialist, The Florida Bar
Certified Export Specialist, NCBFAA
National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association
American Association of Exporters & Importers
International Compliance Professionals Association
Washington Council on International Trade
Seattle Economic Council
Washington State China Relations Council
Japan-America Society of Washington State
Portland Business Alliance/PNITA
Robert is a Board Certified International Attorney, Licensed Customs Broker, and Certified Export Specialist whose practice centers exclusively on import compliance and enforcement, export control and economic sanction, and trusted traveler program matters. He is a member of The Florida Bar and the State Bar of Texas, in addition to having been admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of International Trade. With over twenty years of cross-border transaction experience, Robert brings seasoned, specialized, and multicultural know-how and perspective to bear on the analysis and resolution of customs, trade, and trusted traveler issues.
As the Managing Member of USCTL, Robert helps a diverse mix of clients minimize customs duties, demonstrate reasonable care, identify and comply with CBP and PGA requirements, obtain export licenses and permits, protect intellectual property rights, navigate import entry/liquidation and export clearance/verification processes, challenge administrative determinations, respond to agency inquiries and communications, disclose violations, and redress issues arising out of trusted traveler programs. On the enforcement side of the equation, he works zealously to blunt the impact of penalty, seizure/forfeiture (merchandise and currency), and liquidated damage claims pursuant to the drafting and presentation of petitions and/or offers in compromise. Robert’s efforts in these regards have been instrumental in enabling clients to conserve scarce temporal and financial resources, import and export with an enhanced degree of transactional certainty, and compete more effectively in the global economy.
Prior to founding USCTL, Robert practiced international business and trade law with firms in Texas, Florida, and Mexico. This practice experience was divided between transactional, regulatory, and alternative dispute resolution (i.e., mediation and arbitration) work. Other professional experience that shapes Robert’s understanding of and approach to import, export, and trusted traveler issues includes work performed as a trade policy analyst under former U.S. Trade Representative William Brock, research consultancies conducted for the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development, fieldwork carried out as an anthropologist specializing in pre-Columbian archaeology, and service rendered as an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines (4th Marine Division).
Robert holds a Ph.D. in International Trade and an LL.M. in Inter-American Law, publishes and presents – from an interdisciplinary and frequently empirical perspective – on the subjects of international trade and development, speaks Spanish fluently, and is learning Mandarin Chinese (Pinyin). These academic interests and endeavors carry over to the classroom where he has lectured on select elements of international commerce as a visiting professor on both law and public administration faculties. When not engaged with clients on customs, trade, and trusted traveler issues, Robert enjoys reading, preserving historic properties, gardening, mushroom foraging, skiing, hiking, scuba diving, sailing, and Airstreaming with his wife.