NICOLE BIVENS COLLINSON leads the International Trade and Government relations practice of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., and serves as managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office. She is also a member of the firm's Operating Committee and a commentator on trade matters on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC. She is the lead professional on ST&R’s engagement as legislative counsel to the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA).
Ms. Collinson has over 30 years of experience in government, public affairs, and lobbying. She has drafted and guided the successful implementation of several pieces of key international trade legislation positively affecting the bottom line of many U.S. companies. Clients have saved millions of dollars through the successful drafting, guidance, and passage of legislation that reduces or eliminates duties -- crafting creative measures to benefit clients such as blocking changes to the first sale doctrine, miscellaneous tariff bills, specific trade preference legislation, the Generalized System of Preferences, etc. Such a track record demonstrates her ability to effectively move your agenda forward.
Ms. Collinson has been very effective in assisting clients in finding options - through exclusion or other tariff mitigation strategies – to reduce duty liability for goods subject to section 301 or section 232 duties. In addition, she is a leader on the firm’s initiatives to address forced labor concerns via supply chain reviews, due diligence strategies, and proactive remediation to prevent the importation of any goods that may violate section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for goods made with forced labor.
Ms. Collinson prepares countries, companies, and associations for negotiations with the United States on free trade agreements, trade and investment agreements, labor disputes, and preferential trade programs. She is well-known for her ability to foster dialogue among a diverse set of stakeholders to resolve complex issues in trade policy making and implementation. She also works directly with U.S. multinational corporations and associations, as well as foreign companies, associations, and government agencies, to clearly represent their positions in Washington. In doing so she analyzes and monitors cross-cutting trade issues, including labor, the environment, food safety, customs regulations, international development, and others, and helps build strong coalitions to advocate for change.
Further, her work representing clients before Congress has earned her a well-respected position among politicians involved in international and business affairs. She is a well-known international trade authority in Washington, regularly called upon by members of Congress and the administration to help explain complex trade programs. Her decades of work with the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees and the Senate Finance; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations; and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees has established deep and lasting relations with members of Congress and their staffs.
Prior to joining ST&R Ms. Collinson served as assistant chief negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, responsible for the negotiation of bilateral agreements with Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Sub-Continent, and Africa. She also served as a country specialist in the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, where she was responsible for the preparation of negotiations on specific topics between the U.S. and Latin America, Eastern Europe, China, and Hong Kong as well as the administration of complex textile agreements.
Ms. Collinson holds a master’s degree in international relations from The George Washington University and a triple bachelor’s degree in political science, European studies, and French from Georgetown College. She also studied at the Université de Caen in France. She is past chair of the Women in International Trade Charitable Trust, past president of Women in International Trade, an advisory board member of America's TradePolicy.com, treasurer and board member of the Washington International Trade Association, and a member of the Washington International Trade Association Foundation and Women in Government Relations. She serves on the board of trustees for Georgetown College and is the past executive director for the U.S. Hosiery Manufacturers Coalition, the U.S. Apparel Industry Coalition, and the U.S. Sock Distributors Coalition. She is conversant in both French and Spanish.