USA-ITA is supported by the staff in Washington, D.C., as well as two counsels—our Washington Counsel based in D.C., and our Customs Counsel based in New York.
Julia K. Hughes, USA-ITA President
Julia K. Hughes is the President of the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA). USA-ITA represents all segments of the fashion industry, from apparel brands to retailers to service companies. Ms. Hughes represents the interests of textile and apparel importers on trade policy issues to government officials, both in the United States and overseas. She has testified before Congress and the Executive Branch on textile trade issues. Ms. Hughes is also recognized as an expert in textile and apparel issues and is a frequent speaker at international conferences including the Apparel Sourcing Show, MAGIC, Foreign Service Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, Cotton Sourcing Summit, USIA's Worldnet, the International Textiles and Clothing Bureau, Young Presidents’ Organization, World Trade Organization Beijing International Forum and others.
Ms. Hughes also served as the first President of the international Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and is one of the founders of the Washington Chapter of Women in International Trade (WIIT). In 1992 she received the Outstanding Woman in International Trade award and in 2008 received the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ms. Hughes has an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Samantha Sault, USA-ITA Director of Communications
Samantha Sault is the Director of Communications of USA-ITA. She is responsible for developing the association's communications strategy, including member communications, media outreach, and management of the website and social media.
Prior to joining USA-ITA, Ms. Sault worked for DCI Group, a public affairs communications firm in Washington, D.C., where she managed public relations and digital communications plans for clients in the corporate and non-profit sectors.
Previously, Ms. Sault worked in media as a deputy online editor at the Weekly Standard, where she covered the intersection of fashion and politics. She has reported on topics including New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, the 2008 Republican National Convention, and President Obama's 2009 inaugural festivities. In her spare time, she continues to write about fashion in Washington and worldwide, and her work has appeared in the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, Washington Life, Policy Review, and her own blog, SamanthaOnStyle.com
Ms. Sault is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where she graduated as a College Park Scholar.
Jana Kalish, USA-ITA Membership Coordinator
Jana Kalish is the Membership Coordinator for USA-ITA. Ms. Kalish is responsible for developing the association's membership marketing strategy, as well as managing membership development and retention.
Previously, Ms. Kalish worked in the marketing and membership services department at the Personal Care Products Council. At the Council, she worked on the international Certificate of Free Sale program, the Cosmetic Science EXPO, and various other marketing and membership activities.Before joining the Council, she held several internships, most notably as the marketing and circulation intern at the Healing Lifestyles and Spas Magazine.
Ms. Kalish graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she studied marketing and graduated with magna cum laude honors.
David Spooner, USA-ITA Washington Counsel
Of Counsel, Squire Sanders, Washington, D.C.
David M. Spooner focuses his practice on international trade matters, advising clients in trade remedy and safeguard proceedings, helping clients navigate the complex rules of international trade and representing clients before the legislative and executive branches of government.
Prior to joining Squire Sanders, Mr. Spooner served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. In that capacity, Mr. Spooner led government enforcement of trade remedy laws, principally the antidumping and antisubsidy laws. He administered the Foreign Trade Zone system; supervised the US Department of Commerce’s import safety initiatives; oversaw apparel trade policy and the implementation of laws governing trade in apparel; managed trade remedy negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as dispute resolution proceedings at the WTO; and chaired US-China talks on macroeconomic reforms and the steel industry. His achievements include the first-ever application of the antisubsidy law to China and the negotiation of an agreement with Russia governing trade in uranium products.
Prior to his Senate confirmation as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Spooner served as the Textile and Apparel Negotiator and Transition Coordinator in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). While at USTR, Mr. Spooner was a principal negotiator for free trade agreements with Central America, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Panama, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Peru, principally negotiating customs enforcement, apparel and textile, origin and safeguard provisions. He was heavily involved in building support for congressional passage of the Bush Administration’s trade agenda. Mr. Spooner also negotiated a comprehensive apparel trade agreement with China and concluded bilateral customs and quota arrangements with several nations.
Before his appointment to USTR, Mr. Spooner worked on Capitol Hill, managing the Washington DC office and serving as the legislative director and press secretary for a member of Congress, serving as Communications Director for the US House Committee on Agriculture, and working for the US House Committee on Rules, which manages debate and amendments in the House of Representatives.
John Pellegrini, USA-ITA Customs Counsel
Of Counsel, McGuireWoods LLP, New York, NY
John Pellegrini’s practice is concentrated on the regulatory and commercial aspects of international trade. He represents clients with respect to government regulation of the import-export trade, duty planning, admissibility requirements, litigation in the U.S. Court of International Trade, representation before the various federal agencies which regulate trade in the United States, and the commercial aspects of international trade.
His clients include multinationals, general merchandise retailers, importers, exporters, domestic and foreign manufacturers, commission agents, trade associations (United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America), and international marketing companies.
Mr. Pellegrini counsels clients in issues relating to: classification and appraisement of imported merchandise; questions involving the origin and admissibility of merchandise; drawback; warehouse and foreign trade zone issues; export licensing and export controls; defense of civil penalty and criminal investigations and prosecutions; foreign asset control restrictions; boycott compliance; and, legislative, judicial and administrative proceedings, including trade policy cases.
Mr. Pellegrini’s practice areas include: business tax, international transactions, and consumer products.
Previously, Mr. Pellegrini was a Partner at Ross & Hardies in New York City. Prior to that, he served as Senior Attorney at U.S. Customs Service and Senior Attorney at J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
Mr. Pellegrini studied law at the New York University School of Law and Columbia University School of Law, and he received his undergraduate degree from Boston College.
Mr. Pellegrini is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.