False Claims Defense TAA Compliance Lawyers - FAR 52.225-5


Sellers, Manufacturers and others doing business, either directly or indirectly with the federal government retain Watson & Associates’ Trade Agreements Act TAA compliance attorneys and government contractor white collar crime lawyers to help with determining if their products are TAA compliant. We help suppliers, manufacturers, sellers, dealers and government contractors within the United States and overseas to assess their processes for determining if they have TAA compliant products and defend against False Claims Act charges.

TAA compliance requires that you carefully evaluate your products’ manufacturing process, where the manufacturing took place, all components, the country of origin for the components, and other relevant information. 

When government contractors are investigated, indicted, or facing criminal exposure for TAA compliance violations, they are usually also facing TAA False Claims Act liability exposure.  The Trade Agreements Acts compliance lawyers at Watson & Associates, LLC  incorporates the decisions by US Customs when making a determination of whether government contractors are trade agreement act compliant or not.

When bidding on Federal government contracts on GSA FSS schedules and otherwise, please be extremely careful to perform your due diligence for Buy American Act compliance versus TAA compliance requirements.

Areas of Trade Agreement Compliance  and Enforcement We Handle

  • TAA compliance for government contractors and GSA schedule holders
  • TAA compliance for manufacturers
  • TAA compliance for  medical equipment
  • TAA compliance for distributors
  • TAA compliance for government contractors
  • TAA compliance for software companies
  • TAA compliance for service providers
  • TAA compliance for importers
  • TAA compliance for distributors
  • TAA compliance for subcontractor
  • TAA compliance for IT software companies
  • TAA compliance for exporters

The United States is a signatory to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement. This is another name for the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and which is governed by FAR 52.225-5. The President of the United States is allowed to waive Buy American Act (“BAA”) requirements for certain goods from specific countries. If, however, a federal government contract procurement is governed by. The TAA, then the Buy American Act will not apply.

What is TAA Compliance?

The Trade Agreements Act (TAA) is a federal law that requires certain products and services purchased by the U.S. government to be of domestic or foreign origin and designated as eligible for preferential trade treatment. It is designed to ensure that U.S. companies receive preference in government contracts, while still allowing imports from countries with which the United States has trade agreements. As such, TAA compliance is essential for businesses wanting to win U.S. government contracts and must be adhered to at all times when bidding on these opportunities.

To understand TAA requirements more thoroughly, many businesses benefit from engaging a qualified lawyer who specializes in TAA Compliance Law. Good government contracts TAA lawyer and attorneys for criminal defense can provide an accurate assessment of whether your business meets TAA requirements and, if not, how to become compliant.

By working with a qualified TAA compliance lawyer who can provide guidance on complying with the Trade Agreements Act, manufacturers, resellers and prime contractors can increase their chances of winning U.S. government contracts while staying within the bounds of federal law.

Being deemed “TAA Compliant” is essential for any business that wants to bid on these types of opportunities and should never be overlooked when preparing for this process. A competent lawyer who specializes in TAA Compliance Law can provide invaluable assistance in helping you understand what it takes to qualify as TAA Compliant and positioning your company to successfully win U.S. government contracts.

The TAA allows government program offices such as buy products for the government through GSA to restrict their buying of goods and services to products that are manufactured or wholly transformed in the U.S. or a specific TAA-designated country.

It is not uncommon for the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), OIG or other federal law enforcement agencies to investigate, indict or try to convict government contracts in an effort to resolve False Claims Act allegations for manufacturing products in countries like China and Malaysia for sale to United States government agencies in violation of the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”). Companies and their CEOs can also face criminal liability for simply submitting invoices to be paid if their products and non-compliant.

What Federal Agencies Oversee TAA Compliance Fraud Cases?

TAA enforcement issues are overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). However, for government contracts, the agency makes the decision. The OIG is responsible for investigating any alleged violations of TAA compliance and has the authority to impose criminal penalties on businesses that fail to abide by its regulations.

At times, TAA fraud cases may also be handled by other federal agencies, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the Federal Trade Commission. It is important to remember that while these agencies may investigate potential TAA fraud, they do not have jurisdiction over the actual TAA enforcement regulations – that is done solely through the OIG or Department of Justice (DOJ).

What Are Noncompliance TAA Penalties?

Because TAA fraud is a federal offense, the TAA penalties imposed for such violations are often severe. Businesses that fail to adhere to TAA regulations can face civil fines of up to $500,000 per violation, and criminal penalties, including imprisonment and debarment from participating in government contracts or programs.

In addition, businesses found to be non-compliant with TAA laws may also have their licenses revoked or suspended and may be subject to other sanctions as well. Therefore, it is essential that all businesses and government contractors take steps to ensure proper adherence with FAR 52.225-5 TAA compliance requirements at all times when bidding on U.S. government contracts.

Engaging a government contract lawyer who can help your company with Trade Agreements Act Compliance Law can help you avoid costly fines or penalties that can result from TAA non-compliance.

The lawyers at Watson & Associates, LLC Law Firm can provide guidance in Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliance laws.

What are Examples of DOJ or FBI Cases Where Government Contractors Were Not TAA Compliance?

In recent years, the DOJ and FBI have taken a very hard line on TAA compliance fraud cases. For example, in 2018, the Department of Justice’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York indicted a government contractor for falsely claiming to be compliant with TAA regulations when bidding on federal contracts. The company was charged with making false statements to obtain property from the United States, wire fraud and money laundering – all violations of federal law that could lead to significant penalties if convicted.

In another case from 2017, an individual who worked as a subcontractor for a government contractor was found guilty of violating TAA regulations when obtaining components for an aircraft engine part from China instead of using U.S.-made items as required by the regulations. The individual was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine for his actions.

These cases demonstrate just how seriously the government takes TAA compliance fraud, and highlight why businesses interested in competing for federal contracts should take extra care to ensure their operations are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

By engaging a Trade Agreements Act Compliance Lawyer at Watson & Associates, LLC your business can avoid costly penalties or criminal charges for non-compliance with TAA regulations when bidding on federal contracts. Watson & Associates’ lawyers practice in this area of federal procurement law and have knowledge of federal contracting rules that can help you remain competitive while staying within the boundaries of the law.

How Do You Obtain TAA Certification?

Although there is no official TAA certification, companies can take steps to ensure they are compliant with the Trade Agreements Act. In order to be considered TAA compliant, businesses must have processes and procedures in place that ensure they only use products from countries that have a trade agreement with the United States, or have received a valid waiver. Businesses should also keep accurate records of all goods and services purchased under GSA schedule contracts in case of an audit.

GSA TAA Compliance – Are GSA Contractors and Manufacturers Required to Comply with the Trade Agreements Act?

Yes, GSA contractors and manufacturers must comply with the Trade Agreement Act. The General Services Administration (GSA) Trade Agreements Act (TAA) Compliance governs the purchase of certain goods and services for the federal government from other countries. The TAA requires that any goods or services purchased by federal agencies must meet a certain standard of “substantial transformation” requirements – meaning that they are increased in value, either through assembly or manufacturing, by either a US company or a foreign producer. GSA TAA regulations ensure that all products and services meet the requirements in order to be eligible for purchase by federal agencies.

GSA has established numerous requirements that must be met in order to comply with TAA rules and regulations. These include obtaining the appropriate Country of Origin. If you are investigated or charged with a crime our GSA TAA compliance lawyers can help.

The TAA requires federal government agencies to purchase goods and services that are made in the United States or other countries that have trade agreements with the United States. This means that GSA contractors and manufacturers must ensure they are using products and components that meet these requirements when bidding on U.S. government contracts.

Businesses should also be aware of any specific country-of-origin rules for certain items sold under GSA schedule, as well as any special requirements for certain types of goods and services. A Trade Agreements Act Compliance Lawyer at Watson & Associates, LLC can help businesses understand their specific obligations under this law so they can remain competitive while staying within the boundaries of GSA TAA compliance laws.

Which Countries Are Not TAA Compliant?

Countries that are not considered TAA compliant countries and therefore goods and services coming from them cannot be sold to the US Government include China, Russia, Iran, Sudan, Vietnam, Syria, North Korea and Cuba. Similarly, products made with materials originating in any of these countries are also not allowed. Companies that wish to sell goods or services sourced from any of these countries must receive a valid waiver before doing so.

At Watson & Associates our team of experienced Trade Agreements Act Compliance Lawyers can help your business understand its obligations under TAA regulations when bidding on U.S government contracts. Contact us today to get started. Call us at 1.866.601.5518 for more information about how we can help you to become compliant.

 What is Substantial Transformation for TAA Compliance?

The Trade Agreements Act regulation looks at your product being substantially transformed when it undergoes certain significant changes (manufacturing, assembly, processing etc.) that result in a distinctive character, name or use of the emerged new product. Under TAA compliance laws, a “substantially transformed” product is considered to originate from the country where those substantial transformations were made. Call our Trade Agreements Act defense attorneys for specific help.

If your assessment of TAA Substantial Transformation is Carefully Done, Your Company Can Avoid Criminal Liability and Fines

Note to manufacturers and government contractors: It is crucial to consider the country of origin, such as China, when conducting a thorough analysis. Failing to do so may give your opponents grounds to challenge your product based on this fact. To navigate this complex terrain, our TAA compliance attorneys will meticulously examine whether the assembly of components originally from China, in the United States constitutes substantial transformation.

In government procurement cases, good judicial interpretations pertaining to substantial transformation under the TAA are unfortunately limited. However, courts often resort to referencing decisions related to other customs matters, like marking, when interpreting similar language as found in the TAA. It is worth noting that the test for substantial transformation is specific to the facts of each case. It assesses whether the article has undergone a process that results in a new and distinct name, character, or use. Courts have primarily focused on changes in use or character as the key factors in determining substantial transformation while considering a change in name as the least compelling factor.

Taking into account these intricate details will help ensure compliance with the TAA and enhance the soundness of your business practices in government contracts.

Let our team help. Call Immediately at 1.866.601.5518.

What Products are Exempted?

Certain products are exempted from the TAA compliance rules. These include medical supplies, food, water and related items needed to alleviate human suffering due to severe shortages in a foreign country, as well as certain consumer goods that are used for recreational purposes. At Watson & Associates, our team of experienced Trade Agreements Act Compliance Lawyers can help your business understand its obligations under TAA regulations when bidding on U.S government contracts for software purchases. Contact us today to get started with your TAA Compliance letter:.

The responsibility of determining the substantial transformation rests solely with you the contractor, and you have two straightforward options. First, you may seek opinions from The Office of Regulations and Rulings within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which are based on tariff laws. Second, you may opt for a third-party opinion or make the determination by yourself. GSA employs Industrial Operation’s Analysts (IOA) to check FAR 52.225-5 TAA compliance, and it’s seriously useful! Non-compliance with TAA regulations in GSA contractors/suppliers’ cases has led them to have hefty settlements with cases brought under the Civil False Claims Act (FCA).

Government Contractor Trade Agreements Act Criminal Defense Attorneys 

At our law firm, our dedicated team of Trade Agreements Act (TAA) criminal defense attorneys brings unparalleled expertise to the defense of clients navigating the multifaceted challenges of trade agreement compliance. Recognizing the intricate legal terrain of the TAA, we offer a comprehensive suite of services that cover every facet of potential litigation.

Whether you’re confronting a government contract investigation, grappling with the complexities of the indictment phase, or in need of robust representation at trial, our seasoned professionals stand ready to advocate fiercely on your behalf. With a track record of navigating these specific legal waters, our commitment is to ensure that our clients are expertly guided and defended at every turn, safeguarding their business interests and reputations.

Why Choose Watson & Associates, LLC for Government Contractor Federal Criminal Defense Cases? 

FEDERAL CRIMINAL CONTRACTOR DEFENSE ATTORNEYTheodore P. Watson, Esquire. Practice Group Lead. At Watson & Associates, with law offices in Colorado and Washington, DC, our top rated federal criminal defense attorneys have experience actually working for federal government contracting agencies. We understand the nuts and bolts of how the investigation comes about and how the DOJ or even the SBA OIG develops a civil or criminal case against you.

A crucial aspect of our practice lies in the fact that many of our federal defense lawyers possess extensive experience as government contracting officials. We also understand how trial lawyers in federal agencies like the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office operate. Drawing on those valuable insights, our job is to deconstruct the government’s case and develop a legal defense that can create leverage in the event of litigation.

Wojciech Kornacki Government Contracts Attorney & Suspension Debarment LawyerWojciech Kornacki, Of Counsel, focuses his practice on federal contract compliance, contract dispute and litigation, and business ethics. He has successfully represented dozens of private companies and individuals as a suspension and debarment lawyer facing debarment and suspension, challenged and defended contract awards at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, filed appeals and litigated claims at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), drafted compliance policies and assisted in due diligence matters and training. Read more.



government contractor defense and procurement fraud lawyersWise D. Allen, Esquire , Counsel is a former Veteran Lieutenant Commander Judge Advocate for the United States Military. He also has extensive knowledge and experience in resolving corporate defense and litigation in vast international and national legal issues.

He brings a wealth of successful experience to government contractors seeking defense counsel in the various areas of procurement fraud, Anti Corruption law, international contracting, False Claims Act defense, BAA and TAA compliance and more.

Mr. Allen’s federal litigation experience as a former appellate attorney representing the United States and federal attorney for defendants in trials that led to his clients receiving overwhelming favorable outcomes in contested issues and obtaining non-contested resolutions. Read  more..


government contracts compliance lawyer

Scott Lovelock , Esquire, joins our team as Of Counsel with a wealth of proven knowledge and experience helping clients address issues of risk assessment, mitigation and regulatory compliance as well as a savvy level of business and military experience that gives him a unique perspective to help government contractors defend against trade agreements act criminal allegations of wrongdoing, succeed and to avoid most of the costly mistakes that are encountered when failing to understand and implement required compliance programs , mergers and acquisitions or understanding the nuances of working with government agencies. 

A retired Air Force officer, with extensive operational experience in both the field , Numbered Commands, Air Force Headquarters and the Joint Staff, he brings a unique and focused perspective of DoD operations in how he serves our clients.  In addition, he has been a Contractor Officer Representative, worked with major defense contractors on large weapon systems..Read more…

TAA Does TAA Compliant Mean?

Goods and/or service is TAA compliant if manufactured or substantially transformed in the United States or in a TAA-designated country. A TAA-designated country is a nation with which the U.S. maintains a trade agreement and regards as a reliable or acceptable procurement source. To be TAA compliant, you must perform your due diligence when selling to the federal government.

What does TAA compliant mean: To be Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) compliant, your products sold to federal government agencies must come only from countries with which the United States has a trade agreement. This is where Watson’s Trade Agreements Act and far 52.225-5 Defense defense lawyers can help. We help by:

  • Conducting extensive investigations for TAA compliance
  • Representing companies involved in TAA requirements investigations
  • Representing clients charged with False Claims Act TAA fraud.
  • Litigion and support.

As government procurement fraud attorneys and contractor white collar crime lawyers, we can represent large and small businesses performing under GSA FSS contract vehicles and other federal procurements and who are facing potential civil or criminal liability for violating TAA requirements. 

Call us at 1.866.601.5518 for more information about how we can help you to become compliant.

Federal Contract Legal Support in All States

Nationwide Gov Contracts TAA Compliance Lawyers: Our government contracts  Trade Agreements Act lawyers provide legal counsel to federal contractors throughout the United States and overseas including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Virgin Islands. Call us today for immediate help. 1-866-601-5518.

Why Hire a FAR 52.225-5 TAA Compliance Lawyer?

Hiring a TAA compliance attorney is the best way to ensure that your business is compliant with the Trade Agreements Act. A qualified lawyer can help you understand your obligations under TAA regulations as well as assist in updating GSA schedule contracts and ensuring that all suppliers are aware of their obligations under the Trade Agreements Act. If you are being investigated for procurement fraud, our government contract attorneys can help.

What Happens if Your Business Is Not TAA Compliant?

If your business is found to be in violation of the Trade Agreements Act, there are a number of potential consequences including suspension or debarment from contracting with the federal government, and civil or criminal penalties. Additionally, the government may take legal action to recover damages for non-compliance with TAA regulations.

At Watson & Associates, our experienced Trade Agreements Act Compliance Lawyers can help your business understand its obligations under TAA regulations when bidding on U.S government contracts. Contact us today to get started. Call us at 1.866.601.5518 for more information about how we can help you to become compliant and avoid potential penalties from a non-compliant status. We

At Watson & Associates our team of experienced Trade Agreements Act Compliance Lawyers can help your business understand its obligations under TAA regulations when bidding on U.S government contracts. Contact us today to get started. Call us at 1.866.601.5518 for more information about how we can help you to become compliant and stay compliant with the Trade Agreements Act. With our knowledge.

How Can TAA Compliance Lawyers Help Federal Government Contractors?

A TAA compliance lawyer plays a crucial role in assisting government contractors with navigating the complexities of the Trade Agreements Act (TAA). Here are some ways in which a TAA compliance attorney can provide valuable support when assessing for a TAA Compliance letter:

1. Understanding and interpreting TAA requirements: TAA compliance legal counsel have in-depth knowledge of the Act and its provisions. They can help contractors understand the specific requirements related to country of origin, substantial transformation, and trade agreements. By interpreting the regulations, lawyers can guide contractors on what products are eligible for government procurement, ensuring compliance and minimizing the risk of penalties or disqualification.

2. Assessing compliance and developing strategies: TAA compliance lawyers can review a contractor’s existing practices, policies, and supply chains to assess compliance with TAA regulations. They can identify any potential gaps or areas of non-compliance and develop strategies to address them effectively. This may involve reviewing contracts, assessing manufacturing processes, and working with contractors to implement necessary changes to ensure compliance.

3. Representing contractors in audits and investigations: In the event of an audit or investigation by a government agency, a TAA compliance lawyer can provide representation and guidance. They can help contractors prepare for the audit, gather relevant documentation, and navigate the process. If any violations or issues arise,  defense lawyers can work with the contractor to develop a defense strategy and negotiate with the government to mitigate penalties or sanctions.

4. Providing ongoing compliance monitoring and updates: TAA compliance requirements may evolve over time due to changes in trade agreements or amendments to the Act. Our TAA compliance lawyers can assist contractors by monitoring updates and ensuring their ongoing compliance. They can provide guidance on any changes in TAA regulations, help update internal policies and procedures, and conduct periodic reviews to ensure continued adherence to TAA requirements.

By engaging a TAA compliance attorney government contractors can benefit from their expertise and guidance, reducing the risk of non-compliance, and ensuring a smooth procurement process with government agencies.


The Trade Agreements Act is a complex and ever-evolving set of laws, so it is important to work with a qualified TAA compliance lawyer who can help you navigate the intricacies of this process. With their assistance, businesses can ensure that they are in full compliance with TAA regulations and position themselves for optimal success when bidding on U.S. government contracts.

Call Our Trade Agreements TAA Compliance Lawyers for Immediate Help

If you are supplying, manufacturing or selling products to the Federal Government under a GSA FSS schedule or some other contract vehicle and are being investigated, indicted, or criminally charged for non compliance under FAR 52.225-5 and False Claims Act violations, please call Watson & Associates, LLC TAA compliance lawyers and white collar crime attorneys for immediate help. Call Toll Free at 1.866.601.5518 for a Free and Confidential Consultation.