BDO USA launches new customs & international trade practice


BDO USA has announced the launch of a new Customs and International Trade practice. This practice was formed through the acquisition of the assets of Global Trade Strategies, Inc. (GTS), a leading provider of customs and international trade regulation consulting and previously a BDO Alliance USA member firm. The acquisition expands the resources of BDO’s International Tax Services to provide cross-border global tax advisory services.

BDO’s new Customs and International Trade practice will help multinational companies navigate the complex rules governing the cross-border movement of goods and services, with the goal of minimizing duty, VAT and excise tax payments, while maximizing corporate customs and trade compliance. Damon V. Pike, who will join BDO as a principal, will lead the practice. The personnel of GTS have also joined BDO and will be based in the firm’s South Florida offices.

“Between the pinch of tariffs, escalating trade tensions overseas and uncertainty around Brexit, today’s multinational organizations need a deeper understanding of the impacts on their supply chains and global trade operations,” said Monika Loving, BDO’s national practice leader for International Tax Services. “We are thrilled to have Damon join us to lead our newly-formed Customs and International Trade practice. Combined with our significant international tax experience, Damon and his team will help our clients align customs-related requirements with their broader cross-border tax and business strategies.” 

Pike is renowned for his insights in harmonizing transfer pricing policies and customs valuation requirements as part of designing in-house customs and trade compliance programs. He is an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law, where he teaches “Customs Law” based on the book he co-authored of the same name, the only U.S. law school casebook ever published in this field.  He started his career as a law clerk to Judge R. Kenton Musgrave of the U.S. Court of International Trade and also led  the Customs Services group of a Big Four firm for twelve years prior to starting GTS. He earned a B.A. in political science from Duke University during which time he completed an international studies program at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Pike also completed a postgraduate fellowship from Universität Regensburg in Germany, and received a J.D. from Wake Forest University.

“At GTS, we prided ourselves on the values of integrity, trust and deep experience. Our focus on those qualities make joining BDO a natural fit,” Pike said. “The world is getting smaller through global trade, but regulations are proliferating, and trade tensions are complicating an already complex environment. We’re excited to join forces with BDO’s International Tax Services practice to help clients both manage the risks and identify the opportunities inherent in global business.”

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