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Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Ramin Toloui will be leaving the Department and returning to his teaching position at Stanford University.

Former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has joined Akin as a senior policy consultant in Washington, D.C. During his tenure in Congress, Chairman Brady served as the author and driving force in the development of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), which is set to expire at the end of 2025, as well as a key leader in the negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement..

President Biden has withdrawn the nomination of lobbyist Nelson Cunningham to be Deputy US Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, Europe, the Middle East, Labor and Environment, in response to key Democrats’ opposition to the choice. In lieu of the USTR post, Mr. Cunningham will be joining the State Department as a Senior Advisor to Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Jose Fernandez.

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced countermeasures against former U.S. lawmaker Mike Gallagher.   He will be banned from entry into China, and all types of property and assets of his in China will be frozen starting on May 21. Organizations and individuals within the territory of China are prohibited from engaging in relevant transactions, cooperation and other activities with Gallagher. If the sanctions are strictly enforced, those who transact with him, including individuals and institutions, could be affected.

Former Rep. Mike Gallagher is joining TitletownTech, a venture capital firm started by the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, as a senior strategic adviser following his early resignation from Congress.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that Neil Beck will serve as Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for World Trade Organization (WTO) and Multilateral Affairs. Mr. Beck previously served as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative in the same office.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday that he has named Malikha Daniels as Senior Policy Advisor for the Foreign Agricultural Service.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced that Katherine White will serve as USTR’s Chief Textiles and Apparel Negotiator. Ms. White previously served as International Trade Policy Advisor on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced that Brendan Lynch will serve as the Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Asia.   Lynch had served as the Acting Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Asia since March of 2023. His more than ten years with the USTR have included posts as Director for India and Director of Agricultural Affairs.

Beleaguered Swedish telecoms maker Ericsson has shaken up its compliance operation once again, naming Becky Rohr, current head of investigations, head of compliance as well.  Jan Sprafke, appointed compliance chief six months ago, will be leaving the company.     Ms. Rohr was previously Vice President, Anti-Corruption and Global Trade, Ethics & Compliance Office at Hewlett Packard, and held numerous roles in civil and criminal fraud prosecution in the Justice Department.  She will keep her office in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs “the Bureau” is accepting membership applications for the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG). The Bureau is interested in applications from subject matter experts from the United States defense industry, relevant trade and labor associations, and academic and foundation personnel.

Akin Gump announced Opher Shweiki, former Commerce Department Chief Counsel for the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has joined as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office. Prior to his role at BIS, Shweiki was the National Security and Cybercrime Coordinator at the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, the most strident anti-communist to come out of Wisconsin's Fox River Valley since Sen. Joseph McCarthy, has had enough of the House of Representatives.    Mr. Gallagher told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he will leave Congress at the end of his current term to enter the private sector and spend more time with his young family.  

Chad P. Bown is the new State Department Chief Economist, serving as the Secretary of State’s most senior advisor on economics. Mr. Bown has been senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 2016. There, His research examined international trade laws and institutions, trade negotiations, and trade disputes.  Much of his published research has addressed the WTO Dispute Settlement process.

The rumored departure of Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi was made official with a Saturday announcement January 27. Ms. Bianchi, a highly regarded policy advisor had responsibilities for for Asia, Africa, Investment, Services, Textiles, and Industrial Competitiveness.

Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown is opposing the nomination of Nelson Cunningham for the position of Deputy US Trade Representative, citing Mr. Cunningham’s past support for the TransPacific Partnership. “My values have always been clear: I will only support trade nominees who have rejected the failed policies of the past and have a demonstrated record of standing on the side of workers,”  Sen. Brown said in a statement.

 Michael Vaccaro is the new permanent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade, responsible for The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that Elizabeth “Liz” Cannon will serve as the first Executive Director of the Office of Information and Communications Technology and Services (OICTS) beginning on Monday, January 22, 2024. OICTS is charged with implementing a series of Executive Orders (EOs) under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) focused on protecting domestic information and communications systems from threats posed by foreign adversaries.

Bringing in a longtime confidant and boldface Washington player as point on trade as his campaign kicks off,  President Biden announced his intent to nominate Washington lobbyist Nelson Cunningham as Deputy United States Trade Representative. Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden said. “Experience representing the interests of multinationals is not the same as considering the views of workers in Toledo and small business owners in Medford. While I’m looking forward to fully vetting this nomination and considering how the Finance Committee will proceed, I would like to see candidates with more diverse and representative experience.”

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the appointment of Juan A. Millián as Acting General Counsel, replacing Greta Peisch Mr. Millán most recently served as the Deputy General Counsel for Monitoring and Enforcement in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). From 2005 to 2012, he was Legal Advisor and Senior Legal Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the WTO in Geneva.

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