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David M. Spooner

Of Counsel

David Spooner regularly counsels governments, trade associations, and corporate clients on international trade matters, including trade remedies, trade policy and customs issues. His counsel includes designing and implementing lobbying efforts before Congress and the Executive Branch as well as before foreign governments. David’s counsel combines years of experience as a high-level political appointee in both the Executive Branch and Capitol Hill with the practical perspective of a “hands on” lawyer.

Prior to joining Squire Sanders, David served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. In that capacity, David led US Government enforcement of trade remedy laws, principally the antidumping and antisubsidy laws. He administered the Foreign Trade Zone system; oversaw apparel trade policy and the implementation of laws governing trade in apparel; managed trade remedy negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as dispute resolution proceedings at the WTO; chaired US-China talks on macroeconomic reforms and the steel industry; and supervised the US Department of Commerce’s import safety initiatives. His achievements include the first-ever application of the antisubsidy law to China and the negotiation of an agreement with Russia governing trade in uranium products.

Prior to his Senate confirmation as Assistant Secretary, David served as the Chief Textile and Apparel Negotiator and Transition Coordinator in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). While at USTR, David was a principal negotiator for free trade agreements with Central America, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Panama, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Peru, principally negotiating customs enforcement, apparel and textile, origin and safeguard provisions. He was heavily involved in building support for congressional passage of the Bush Administration’s trade agenda. David also negotiated a comprehensive apparel trade agreement with China and concluded bilateral customs and quota arrangements with several nations.

Before his appointment to USTR, David worked on Capitol Hill, managing the Washington DC office and serving as the legislative director and press secretary for a member of Congress, serving as Communications Director for the US House Committee on Agriculture, and working for the US House Committee on Rules, which manages debate and amendments in the House of Representatives.

David is a regular speaker at industry events, with a particular focus on the regulatory issues facing retailers and apparel brands. He is often quoted in news stories on trade remedy disputes and trade agreement negotiations.

Representative Experience

  • Representing a major retail and apparel association on trade and regulatory matters before both the Executive Branch and Congress.
  • Representing the association of ceramic tile producers on trade and regulatory matters before both the Executive Branch and Congress.
  • Lobbying on behalf of a Latin American government before both the Executive Branch and Congress on trade preference issues.
  • Representing a coalition of manufacturers of building materials on trade remedy and customs enforcement matters.
  • Representing the largest foreign respondent in the only fully-litigated China WTO safeguard case.
  • Counselling Fortune 500 apparel brand clients on trade policy and regulatory issues.
  • Advising a New York-based private equity fund on the potential impact of trade policy decisions on the fund’s portfolio.
  • Assisting an environmental NGO in its efforts to shape the environmental rules in ongoing WTO negotiations.
  • Serving as an expert witness in arbitration proceedings relating to trade remedy and customs matters.
  • Representing a major foreign paper producer in Commerce Department trade remedy proceedings.
  • Assisting a US-based battery manufacturer in the resolution of a customs marking and classification issue.

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Washington DC
T +1 202 626 6612


The College of William & Mary, J.D., 1994
University of Virginia, B.A., 1991


District of Columbia, 2012
Virginia, 1994
U.S. Ct. of International Trade
U.S. Ct. of App., Federal Circuit

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