International Business and Economic Research Center

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The International Business and Economic Research Center (IBERC), was a company which provided advice, research and analysis on a variety of trade related issues including trade preference programs, sourcing strategies and trade agreement negotiations, principally in the area of textiles and apparel. IBERC's principal products comprised a Quota Management Service and consulting capabilities to help users to make use of the data. IBERC clients included principally apparel and textile producing nations on the United States' quota and tariff system.

IBERC quota management system (database) was founded in the 1960s by lawyer, and former U.S. Army officer, Michael P. Davis. The firm broke-up in 1986, when the chief executive, a recently retired United States Department of Commerce official, was investigated 1986 by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged activities on behalf of the Government of Israel[1][2] in violation of the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act Dating-from the early 1990s, the IBERC database materials were managed by several different U.S. legal firms dealing with customs and trade affairs. i.e. the IBERC ceased to be a corporate entity, and remained as a product line offered by U.S.-based legal firms operating in the trade domain.

The principal use of IBERC's quota management system was by governments, dealing with the Multi Fibre Arrangement (MFA) which was managed under the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), i.e. principal clients were either textiles manufacturers in these countries, or the governments which were contracting-parties to the GATT.

IBERC is used today by governments as a textiles quota database.

The IBERC database is owned and managed by firm Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg.

House Subcommittee investigation of IBERC[edit]

In 1986, the House Subcommittee On Commerce, Consumer, And Monetary Affairs Of The Government Operations Committee investigated IBERC Vice President Walter Lenahan, verifying his compliance with ethics laws.[3]

Mr. Lenahan was the former U.S. assistant secretary of Commerce for textiles and apparel, in relation to his move from the Commerce Department (International Trade Center) to working with IBERC. The House Subcommittee investigated at that time if Mr. Lenahan had violated “conflict of interest” laws, “post employment” laws, “FARA-laws” (Foreign Agent Registration Act) laws and the subject of former U.S. ITA (International Trade Agency) officials who left-office to represent foreign governments was examined. The subcommittee concluded that Mr. Lenahan may have violated a conflict of interest provision of U.S. Federal law, i.e. 18 U.S.C. 208. [4][5]

IBERC breakup[edit]

In the context of the House, and a Department of Justice investigation, IBERC executives (themselves also former US-ITA, U.S. Department of Commerce officials) left the firm resulting in that the IBERC materials were subsumed by the new firm, International Development Systems, Inc., created by former US-ITA officers.[6]

The IBERC textiles quotation database was subsumed thereafter by the legal firm Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander and Ferdon, which operated the IBERC textiles data materials into the 1990s.[7]

IBERC database and Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg[edit]

In 2003, IBERC was acquired by the firm Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg P.A.[8]

References[edit]