In memoriam: Joel R. Junker, Esquire (1951–2019)

With heavy hearts, we inform that colleague and friend, Joel R. Junker, passed away on August 31.  Joel’s contributions to the landscape of international trade law spanned a 48-year career, during which time Joel represented the U.S. government, entities of all sizes, and countless individuals.

Joel was a humanist, a scholar and a man of letters whose life centered on core principles, including integrity and a belief in the essential goodness of the people around him.  These values shaped his practice, marked his life and impacted everyone around him.  We know that many of you knew Joel, not just as your attorney, but also as your friend; we can assure you that he felt the same.  If you have memories or stories of Joel which you might like to share, we would be honored to receive them, and to pass them on to Joel’s loved ones.

When a problem arose in life, Joel would literally roll-up his sleeves and get to work.  We carry his values forward, knowing that Joel’s first concern was to “forge ahead.”  We have been adding new attorneys and new staff to the firm in 2019; it will be our privilege to witness Joel’s values passing to new professionals in the field.



999 Third Avenue, Suite 2525
Seattle, WA 98104

(206) 621-7878 (office)
(206) 621-8220 (fax)

Licensed to practice in both Washington and California.


LL.B. (Honors) – University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall (1978)

J.D., California Western School of Law (1977)

Editor in Chief, California Western International Law Journal

B.A., Valparaiso University

            Student Senate President

International Studies – Cambridge, England (1970) – Reutlingen, Germany (1972)

Bar Affiliations

Washington State Bar Association

California State Bar Association

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of International Trade

Selected Publications

“U.S. Court of International Trade Cases in 2011 in Penalty and Liquidated Damages Collection Actions Under 28 U.S.C. § 1582 and Its First Government Procurement Country of Origin Case Under 28 U.S.C. § 1581(e),”  44 Georgetown Journal of International Law 173 (2012)

“Protective Orders in Exclusion of Corporate Counsel from Access to Confidential Information,” 8 Maryland Journal of International Law and Trade 191 (1984).

“U.S. Regulations of Imports: An Overview of Principal Statutes and Procedures,” 12 Korean Journal of Comparative Law 109 (1984).

 “The Public Policy Defense to Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards,” 7 California Western International Law Journal 228 (1977).

 “Customs and International Trade Law,” Doing Business in Washington State, Chapter 16 (1996).

”U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement: An Overview,” 43 Washington State Bar News No. 3, 27 (1989).

JOEL R. JUNKER is a customs and trade attorney in Seattle, Washington.  Mr. Junker holds over 40 years of experience in the international trade arena, and a Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating.  Mr. Junker holds extensive experience in diverse international trade issues, jurisdictions, industries, products and cultures.  He is recognized as a leading expert in the decades long Softwood Lumber disputes between the United States and Canada.  In 2001, Mr. Junker was short listed and interviewed twice at the White House for the position of Commissioner of Customs and nomination to U.S. Court of International Trade.

Mr. Junker's founded his own specialty international trade law firm in 1991.  That was preceded by significant experience at two 100 year-old Seattle law firms.   Prior to moving into private practice in Seattle, Washington in 1983, Mr. Junker worked for U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. where his last position was the Assistant General Counsel for Litigation and Special Projects where he supervised all litigation before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the Federal District Courts.

Examples of Mr. Junker's experience include:

Unfair Trade Practices Proceedings (Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations)

  • Represented companies in U.S., Canadian and European Commission antidumping investigations of red raspberries from Canada, potash from Canada, fresh potatoes from the U.S., urea from the German Democratic Republic, urea from the Soviet Union, urea from the former Soviet Republics, ammonium nitrate from Russia and Ukraine, softwood lumber from Canada and refined brown aluminum oxide from China.

  • Submitted numerous scope determination requests to clarify exclusions for imported goods under antidumping and countervailing duty orders.

  • Represented numerous clients in connection with Customs audits and penalties on imported goods under antidumping and countervailing duty orders.

  • Advised numerous companies and industries on business planning and contingent liability disclosure requirements related to antidumping and countervailing duties.

  • Lectured widely to business and industry groups on antidumping compliance and business planning.

Customs Penalties, Litigation, Audits and Tariff Engineering

  • Over the years, Mr. Junker has handled innumerable customs matters involving prior disclosures, penalties (both importer and customs broker) and liquidated damages administrative cases and related court litigation, customs audits (including Focused Assessments and Quick Response Audits), and tariff planning (including ruling requests and duty rate studies for a Fortune 500 company). In representing publicly traded companies, the firm has also consulted in connection with disclosure requirements related to contingent duty liability exposure.

  • Import matters have also involved proceedings related to other agencies whose laws are enforced by Customs and Border Protection, e.g. Consumer Product Safety Commission, FDA, Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Department of Agriculture.

Softwood Lumber Industry Matters

  • Mr. Junker represents a large number of mills, re-manufacturers, traders, and importers in the softwood lumber industry in connection with Softwood Lumber Agreement issues and negotiations, the Canadian Softwood Lumber antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and administrative reviews, Customs investigations and litigation, and business planning under international trade regulations and policies.

Apparel/Textile Legislation

  • On behalf of Northwest apparel importers, Mr. Junker organized the Northwest Apparel and Textile Association (NATA), and the Northwest Fair Trade Alliance (which included related industries, e.g., transportation, ports, agriculture, and other exporters) in response to the textile and apparel quota legislation introduced in 1984 and 1986. He developed a legislative strategy in coordination with various Congressional delegations and the administration to defeat the bill.

U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement/NAFTA

  • Mr. Junker was also involved in the negotiations and enabling legislation and regulations for both the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA. Subsequent to the treaties’ adoption, he brought petitions for accelerated tariff elimination under the treaty, which entailed working with both the U.S. and Canadian trade agencies.

  • Mr. Junker has represented companies around the country in FTA and NAFTA country of origin determinations and verification audits, and has served as an expert witness in country of origin litigation.

National Security (CFIUS)

  • Mr. Junker represented trustees given control of a Seattle aircraft parts manufacturer owned by the Chinese government in order to sell the company in accordance with U.S. national security requirements. At the time, was the only action ever taken by CFIUS under the Exon-Florio Act (in which President Bush ordered the Chinese government to divest its ownership in the company because of a threat to national security).

Market Access

  • Mr. Junker represented a United States based food processing company in connection with its market access problems in Japan. Japan had refused to provide import certificates on the grounds of purported health and safety concerns. This representation involved coordination and communication with USTR, the Department of State, and two agencies of the Japanese government.

Counterfeit Goods/International Fraud

  • Mr. Junker has represented a large number of importers accused of importing counterfeit merchandise as well as working with owners of intellectual property rights to protect their interests against counterfeit imports. For example, he jointly represented American Express, MasterCard and Diner’s Club in connection with coordination of investigatory and legal efforts to combat an international credit card fraud ring.

State Government Agency Representation

  • Mr. Junker represented the Washington State Department of Trade and Economic Development in connection with a review of and policies for international trade legal issues with the European Union for preparation of Governor’s trade mission.

  • He also represented the Washington State Department of Agriculture in connection with negotiation of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement for the National Association of Departments of Agriculture.

Tariff Amendments Legislation

  • Mr. Junker has drafted and lobbied numerous legislative bills regarding technical amendments to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

Export License & Penalty Proceedings

  • Mr. Junker has been involved in numerous export license reviews, commodity jurisdiction determinations, and has provided counsel with regard to export compliance requirements and defending companies against export penalty actions.