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Jobs at Executive Office of the President - US Trade Representative

Trade Attorney (Environment)

Location: Washington, DC

Department: General Counsel Office

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

Who We Are

Would you like to make a difference in today's world?  Consider a position in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Executive Office of the President.  The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the President’s principal trade policy advisor, chief trade negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.  The U.S. Trade Representative and the Agency's staff are responsible for developing and implementing trade and investment policies, overseeing trade and investment negotiations with other countries, and monitoring and enforcing trade agreements and laws creating new opportunities for American businesses, workers, and agricultural producers.  USTR coordinates trade and investment policy and actions among agencies and frames issues for Presidential decision.

USMCA

On January 29, 2020, the President enacted the legislation approving the United States - Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The USMCA will create a more balanced, reciprocal trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, creating new opportunities for farmers, manufacturers, workers, and businesses and supporting high-paying jobs for Americans.  Once it enters into force, the USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and provide high-standard disciplines in a wide array of areas, including labor and environment. 

The USMCA Implementation Act (Public Law 116-113) establishes an Interagency Environment Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement of the USMCA’s environmental provisions (sec. 811 of the Act). The Committee’s responsibilities include potential actions under the USMCA environment obligations and the U.S.-Mexico Environment Cooperation and Customs Verification Agreement, as well as coordination and possible monitoring and enforcement actions pursuant to a number of domestic U.S. environmental and conservation statutes with trade-related provisions that are outlined in Sec. 815 of the Act.

USTR is seeking attorneys to help monitor and enforce the obligations of the USMCA, particularly with respect to the labor and environment chapters.  You can find information on and the text of the USMCA on the USTR website:  https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/united-states-mexico-canada-agreement

Major Duties

  • Serves as an attorney in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).  
  • Represents the United States in arbitral panels in international fora, in particular panels formed under the USMCA.
  • Provides expert legal analysis and advice on trade and environment issues, in particular with respect to the USMCA environment chapter and supporting the work of the USMCA Interagency Environment Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement. 
  • Develops and coordinates USTR’s legal position on potential disputes with USMCA parties related to environment issues. 
  • Briefs USTR’s congressional committees of jurisdiction and other Members and committees of Congress on USTR’s legal work.
  • Works closely with an Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (AUSTR) in formulating U.S. trade monitoring and enforcement policies and priorities, specifically related to trade and environment.  Conducts research of laws, legal opinions, policies, or regulations on specific trade and environment areas or broad trade and environment issues, including related to the U.S. environmental statutes outlined in Sec. 815 of the Act. 

Specialized Experience

  • Knowledge of general U.S. law.  Knowledge of U.S. and international environmental and trade laws and policies, Executive Orders, court decisions, and regulations affecting the work of the USTR desirable, including U.S. laws and regulations listed in Sec. 815 of the Act.
  • Knowledge of the environmental legal framework of Canada or Mexico desirable.
  • Expertise and experience in international trade and environmental rules and mechanisms, such as Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) and those related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (for example, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the Convention on  International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)).
  • Knowledge of the various sources of legal reference material concerning U.S. trade and environmental agreements, regulations, decisions, and policies.
  • Knowledge of legal research methods.
  • Ability to identify and analyze pertinent legal information. 
  • Litigation and advocacy writing experience.
  • Ability to communicate in a concise, effective, and confident manner, particularly before high-level government officials and foreign government officials.
  • Ability to work effectively in teams.
  • Spanish language capabilities desirable.

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or national.
  • Must be an attorney in good standing of a U.S. bar.
  • Subject to pre-employment and random drug tests.
  • Must participate in the direct deposit pay program.
  • New employees to the Executive Office of the President will be required to successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify/.
  • May be required to successfully complete a one year probationary period.
  • You will be required to obtain and maintain an interim and/or final Top Secret (TS) security clearance prior to entrance on duty. Failure to obtain and maintain the required level of clearance may result in the withdrawal of a job offer or removal.
  • Must be able to travel internationally.
  • Must be determined suitable for federal employment.

Annual Salary Range

$102,663 - $170,800

For additional information on USTR, please review our website (www.ustr.gov).

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