International Trade & Cross-Border Business

Over the past 20 years, the U.S./Mexico border region has held great appeal to manufacturers wishing to capitalize on the NAFTA free trade agreement by developing twin-plant “maquiladora” facilities or shelter operations. Throughout this time, companies large and small, local and multi-national, have turned to ScottHulse Law Firm’s international trade attorneys for assistance in navigating the complexities of doing business in a rapidly growing and ever-changing cross-border marketplace.

“We have relied on ScottHulse for all of our legal needs since relocating to the Borderplex more than a decade ago. They have been key legal and strategic advisors on everything from contracts and leases, banking and finance, and labor and employment, to succession and transition planning and transactions. ScottHulse has been a trusted partner in our growth – a contributor to our success.”

Charles A. Sholtis
CEO & Owner
Plastic Molding Technology, Inc.

Testimonial Charles A. Sholtis

We have offices strategically located in El Paso and San Antonio, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, providing a strong presence in the U.S./Mexico international trade corridor. Our International Trade and Cross-Border Business lawyers provide legal services in connection with international mergers and acquisitions, international business transactions, international compliance issues, immigration, and cross-border disputes. The experience of ScottHulse international business attorneys enables the Firm’s International Trade and Cross-Border Business group to provide clients with legal representation not only in U.S./Mexico matters, but also in matters involving other countries around the world, such as China and European Countries.

Our heritage in the Borderplex and our extensive work on behalf of numerous clients engaged in cross-border business have enabled us to develop strong institutional knowledge of Mexico laws and regulations, including customs and import/export laws. Our Mexico Law practice group, which includes attorneys licensed in Mexico, enhances our cross-border capabilities, enabling us to provide clients the convenience, efficiency and effectiveness of single-source, dual representation in both the U.S. and Mexico. Our dual representation in both the U.S. and Mexico enables clients to consolidate and streamline oversight, coordination and implementation of their U.S./Mexico legal activities, thus easing the challenges of doing cross-border business.

International Business Transactions
Outbound Transactions

ScottHulse international attorneys specialize in representing U.S.-based investors and businesses in their efforts to do business in Mexico and other global markets. Attorneys in our International Trade & Cross-Border Business practice group and Mexico Law practice group are experienced in:

  • Advising U.S. companies involved in foreign direct investment in Mexico (and other foreign countries), e.g., establishing foreign entities, maquiladora operations, shelter agreements, international contract manufacturing agreements, and other international agreements
  • Advising U.S. companies and individuals that wish to invest in, purchase, or lease real estate in Mexico
  • Structuring, negotiating and documenting international mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures involving companies from the U.S., Mexico, and other countries around the world
  • Structuring, negotiating and documenting international distributorship, franchise and joint venture transactions
  • Advising U.S. companies in the protection of intellectual property rights abroad
  • Structuring, negotiating, and documenting cross-border lending transactions
  • International tax planning
  • Structuring, negotiating, and documenting international sales of goods and services
  • Working closely with foreign legal counsel, international corporations, and banking and financial institutions worldwide and, when appropriate, with officials and agencies of the U.S. and foreign governments to assist companies involved in foreign or offshore operations

Inbound Transactions

Our International Trade & Cross-Border Business practice group also represents foreign companies and individuals on matters such as:

  • Advising foreign (non-U.S.) companies and individuals wishing to invest in and establish foreign-owned U.S. entities
  • Advising foreign (non-U.S.) companies and individuals that wish to invest in, purchase, or lease real estate in the U.S.
  • Advising and assisting foreign (non-U.S.) companies and individuals in registering U.S. trademarks/service marks
  • International tax planning advice and U.S. tax issues pertaining to foreign (non-U.S.) companies and individuals
  • Structuring, negotiating and documenting international mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures including cross-border transactions involving companies from the U.S., Mexico, and other countries
  • Advising and assisting foreign (non-U.S.) companies and individuals in connection with distribution, licensing, franchising, and joint venture arrangements
  • Advising on and negotiating lending and financing agreements
  • Advising and assisting in various other types of foreign investment structures in the U.S.

International Compliance Issues
Import Compliance
  • Advising on classification, valuation, country-of-origin marking, substantial transformation, preferential duty, and drawback issues dealing with imports
  • Advising on NAFTA issues and on other international trade treaties
  • Representing clients before the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in connection with seizure of goods
Export Compliance
  • Advising U.S. companies and individuals on the complex laws and regulations governing the export of goods and technology (military and non-military) from the U.S.
  • Handling of matters related to export licensing, compliance, and enforcement under the Export Administration Regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), and the regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control
  • Advising on classification, valuation and country-of-origin marking issues related to exports
  • Developing Export Compliance Manuals for U.S. exporters
  • Representing clients before the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Commerce (Bureau of Industry and Security) in connection with seizure of goods and issues with U.S. export laws
Other International Trade Issues
  • Advising foreign and U.S. companies and individuals on international trade strategies
  • Providing extensive policy and legal advice to U.S. and foreign companies with respect to WTO and other international rules affecting trade and investment
  • Advising U.S. and foreign companies on treaties and other international trade laws affecting the companies’ imports and exports
Immigration Practice

The International Trade & Cross-Border Business practice group advises businesses and individuals on a variety of business and family-based immigration issues. Our various international lawyers’ combined expertise in employment, corporate, tax, and immigration enables the firm to advise U.S. companies and individuals on how to:

  • Obtain non-immigrant business visas and immigrant visas, such as work visas and lawful permanent residence for foreign nationals the companies wish to employ
  • Establish family-based lawful permanent residence
  • Achieve U.S. citizenship

Cross-Border Disputes

ScottHulse’s International Practice Group also has attorneys that provide legal counsel relative to cross-border disputes, including international litigation, mediation and arbitration, and international tax issues.


Representative Matters
  • Counsel to U.S. subsidiary of one of the largest electronics company in the world in the establishment of logistics operations in Texas and Mexico
  • Counsel to a U.S. company in the formation of a company in Mexico for the sale of oil lubricants to businesses throughout Mexico
  • Counsel to a U.S. company in the formation of a company in Mexico for the sale of medical equipment in Mexico
  • Counsel to a U.S. company in the establishment of maquiladora (manufacturing) operations in Texas and Mexico
  • Counsel to many U.S. companies in shelter agreements and contract manufacturing agreements to allow the U.S. company to do business in Mexico without establishing direct operations (permanent establishment) in Mexico
  • Counsel to restaurant franchisor from Mexico in establishing and selling restaurants franchises throughout the United States
  • Counsel to large packaging/pallet business from Mexico in the formation of a company in and the establishment of operations in Texas
  • Counsel to a U.S. company in the acquisition of manufacturing plants in Mexico with financing obtained from U.S. lenders.
  • Counsel to Buyer in the acquisition of several multimillion dollar manufacturing, packaging and logistics businesses with operations in the U.S. and Mexico (maquiladora operations).
  • Counsel to Seller in a $71.1 million dollar sale of its business with operations in the U.S. and maquiladora operations in Mexico.
  • Counsel to Seller in a $16 million dollar sale of its packaging business with operations in the U.S. and maquiladora operations in Mexico.
  • Counsel to several Mexican transportation companies on international tax matters, tax treaty questions, compliance issues with U.S. taxing authorities, and legal issues arising from transactions with U.S.-based related parties.
  • Counsel to clients having interests in a Cypriot shipping enterprise on international tax matters and U.S. tax compliance issues.
  • Successfully obtained reductions with respect to Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) withholding on multi-million dollar dispositions of U.S. real property by foreign nationals and corporations from Panama and Mexico.
  • Counsel to foreign clients on choice-of-entity and tax issues for inbound U.S. investments, and organizes their business entities in Texas and other states.
  • Counsel to a U.S. Company on the acquisition of foreign aircrafts and aircraft component’s and the import into, and export from, the United States of such aircraft.
  • Counsel to several companies from Mexico on the establishment of a restaurant in the United States.



Legal Updates

Changes to Operation of Maquiladoras in Mexico

Several changes have been made to the operation of Maquiladoras in Mexico including import and export regulations, inventory control regulations, and taxing and declaration procedures. >>> Full Story



“Our goal is to help clients effectively and efficiently navigate the complexities of doing business in our rapidly growing and ever-changing cross-border marketplace. We also provide clients the convenience of single-source, dual representation in both the U.S. and Mexico.”

Jose Luis Carbonell
Chair – International Group

Testimonial Jose Luis Carbonell