Eric C. Emerson

Eric Emerson is a partner of Steptoe’s Washington and Beijing offices, where he is a member of the International Trade and China practices.  A member of the firm since 1991, and with over five years’ experience living in China, he concentrates his practice in the following areas:

  • China
  • International Trade Litigation
  • International Trade Policy & Strategy
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Pro Bono


Mr. Emerson advises clients on a wide range of legal and commercial issues facing companies doing business in and with China.

In the area of international trade regulation, Mr. Emerson has advised US companies exporting goods to China subject to antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.  He was closely involved in two of the largest such cases to date, involving exports of poultry products and automobiles.  He regularly counsels clients on strategies to reduce the risk of such cases.

Mr. Emerson also advises companies on key international trade and economic policy issues affecting the bilateral US-China relationship.  In his capacity as General Counsel to the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China (AmCham), Mr. Emerson works closely with members of the US business community in Beijing and with key decision makers in both the US and Chinese governments, and has represented AmCham in its annual visit to Washington to present the views of the US business community in China to US policy makers.

In addition to his work in the international trade area, Mr. Emerson counsels companies doing business in China on a range of regulatory and commercial issues, including Customs entry procedures, pre-merger review under China’s antimonopoly law, and anticorruption compliance.  He also supports his colleagues in the Beijing office on transactional matters.

International Trade Litigation

With more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Emerson specializes in representing US and foreign clients in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the US Department of Commerce (DOC), the US International Trade Commission (ITC), and before US courts.  Over his career, Mr. Emerson has represented clients in Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Trinidad, the Netherlands, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States in a wide range of industries.  His most significant representations include:

Representing the sole US producer of enriched uranium in a variety of antidumping and countervailing proceedings against imports of enriched uranium from Russia and Western Europe, culminating in a 9-0 victory in the first antidumping duty decision ever issued by the US Supreme Court. United States v. Eurodif, S.A., 129 S.Ct. 878 (2009).

Obtaining the lowest dumping margin for any producer in the Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from Thailand antidumping duty investigation and first administrative review.

Representing one of the largest Chinese producers of wooden bedroom furniture in a highly complex non-market economy antidumping investigation.

For companies subject to antidumping or countervailing duty orders or threatened with such cases, Mr. Emerson provides advice on ways in which those companies can remain competitive in the US market while at the same time minimizing their potential liability.  He has helped develop pricing models that allow companies to calculate target US prices so as to minimize their liability.

International Trade Policy & Strategy

Mr. Emerson helps clients advance their international trade interests through means other than litigation.  In these matters, Mr. Emerson works with the US Congress and with Executive Branch agencies responsible for international trade matters, such as the DOC, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the US Department of State.  In these matters, Mr. Emerson works with Steptoe’s Government Affairs & Public Policy practice in developing successful solutions for the firm’s clients.  Mr. Emerson has served as a Legislative Assistant to the late Senator Paul Simon in the area of international trade and manufacturing.

As part of this trade policy practice, Mr. Emerson works with governments, trade associations and companies involved in the negotiation of trade agreements to provide research and develop negotiating strategies.


As part of his trade remedy litigation practice, Mr. Emerson advises clients on their rights and obligations under the various WTO Agreements.  He also participates in the firm’s pro bono representation of the Cordell Hull Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to facilitating and advancing the current Doha Round of trade negotiations and to strengthening the multilateral trading system.

Pro Bono

In addition to his work with the Cordell Hull Institute, Mr. Emerson was involved with the firm’s broad-based effort to assist organizations involved in the fight against child trafficking.  In this matter, Mr. Emerson has participated in efforts to change federal legislation to make it easier for victims of human trafficking to obtain benefits and support from the US government.