Elsa Manzanares

Co-Chair, International Trade
Partner, Corporate
2021 McKinney Avenue
Suite 1600
Dallas, Texas 75201
t 214.999.4172 f 214.999.3172
1000 Louisiana Street
Suite 2000
Houston, Texas 77002-2099
t 713.276.5172 f 214.999.3172

Elsa Manzanares is an experienced international trade and compliance partner who advises clients on U.S. and international regulations governing export of dual-use commodities, defense articles, software and technology, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the U.S. Foreign Trade Regulations, and the various embargo and sanctions programs administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). With Export Control Reform (ECR) in place, clients are concerned about consistency in their compliance with the new rules. Since the effective date of ECR, Elsa has regularly assisted companies plan for and implement procedures to mitigate the risks arising in the transition.

In addition, as companies continue importing more products into the United States, Elsa works to get clients up to speed on the regulations administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including valuation, classification and country of origin/marking issues and seizures at the border. Elsa also advises clients on antidumping/countervailing duty matters before the U.S. Department of Commerce and trade litigation in the U.S. Court of International Trade.

She also frequently advises U.S. and foreign clients on U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance and has represented clients on covered transactions before the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Clients headquartered around the U.S. and abroad hire Elsa and her international trade lawyers because of their broad experience in all aspects of moving people and goods across borders. For example, few FCPA lawyers in the Southwest have export controls, ITAR, OFAC  and EAR experience – but Gardere’s team is consistently hired and referred because of this deep experience and coverage addressing these issues in tandem, especially when clients are facing the highest risk transactions. Few trade compliance lawyers also handle customs and trade-related litigation in the Court of International Trade, district courts, and courts of appeal – Elsa and her team do.

She works across various industry sectors, including:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Chemicals
  • Military training and services
  • Electronics
  • Oil and gas
  • Software and technology
  • Food and beverage
  • Research and development
  • Banking

As a former in-house counsel for a multinational company on trade, corporate and litigation matters covering both Latin America and Canada, Elsa has a unique understanding of how trade and compliance matters can disrupt global business and operations.  She is a sensitive listener of clients’ needs and quick study who has a knack for effectively communicating the best strategy and compliance path for each client.

After law school, Elsa served as law clerk for U.S. District Judge David Briones in El Paso, Texas and law clerk for Justice Ann C. McClure of the Eighth District Court of Appeals of Texas. Elsa also sits on the Firm’s business development and hiring committees. She is fluent in Spanish.

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