March 20, 2017

Jeff Weiss, Former Senior USTR, OIRA, and Commerce Official, Joins Venable's International Trade Practice in Washington

4 min

Experienced trade lawyer and policy advisor in two administrations; focused on strengthening U.S. port and supply chain logistics and infrastructure, trade negotiations, domestic regulation, standards, and other economic policy matters

Washington, DC (March 21, 2017) – Venable LLP announced today that Jeff Weiss has joined the firm's International Trade and Logistics practice as a partner in Washington, DC. Mr. Weiss joins Venable from the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was the Deputy Director for Policy and Strategic Planning and a senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

As the second-ranking official in the Department's Office of Policy & Strategic Planning, Mr. Weiss served as a senior advisor to former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on a wide range of economic policy issues, including U.S. port and supply chain logistics and infrastructure, digital economy, standards and conformity assessment, and Open Skies and unmanned aircraft systems. He also served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the G20 digital economy talks, hosted by China in 2016 and Germany in 2017, which included negotiations on the free flow of data, cybersecurity, standards, competition, and privacy. In 2014-2015, at the direction of the White House, he led the development of the U.S. government strategy for international cybersecurity standardization.

"We are very excited about Jeff joining Venable—he further deepens our team on all-important global trade issues. Jeff's arrival at the firm comes at a critical time for trade, transport, and cross-border issues, including the possible renegotiation of NAFTA, a review of other free trade agreements, a post-BREXIT world, the increased importance of digital trade, and evolving trends facing global transactions," said Ashley W. Craig, co-chair of Venable's International Trade practice. "With more than 15 years of experience in the White House, USTR, and the Commerce Department, he has a commanding understanding of Washington that translates into practical solutions for clients on trade, regulatory, and other economic policy issues."

Prior to joining the Commerce Department, Mr. Weiss served as the Associate Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget. In this role, he worked directly with the Administrator to lead the development of U.S. regulatory policy and White House review of significant Executive Branch regulatory actions, and co-chaired regulatory cooperation initiatives with Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. From 2001 to 2011, he also served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative as Senior Director for Technical Barriers to Trade, Assistant General Counsel, and Assistant Legal Advisor at the Mission of the United States to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. While at USTR, he represented the United States in WTO disputes and at the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade; served as a lead U.S. negotiator and lawyer in the WTO’s Doha Round market access talks, the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber dispute, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations; and was chief lawyer for NAFTA from 2004 to 2007. He assisted U.S. industry in addressing dozens of foreign market access issues involving automobiles, chemicals, cosmetics, medical devices, wine, distilled spirits, ICT products, pharmaceuticals, appliances, children’s products, textiles and apparel, and food and agricultural goods.

"As I take this next step in my career, Venable is an ideal fit for me," said Mr. Weiss. "The firm's entrepreneurial spirit and leading practices in technology law, maritime and infrastructure, regulatory, public policy, and trade will enhance my ability to provide comprehensive and innovative solutions for clients, and were big factors in my decision to make the move. I look forward to the opportunity to combine the firm's incredible wealth of talent with my unique skill set and experience, and to help Venable's clients shape and influence trends and developments in trade and economic policy, the domestic and global regulatory environment, and the movement of cargo through global supply chains."

At Venable, Mr. Weiss joins an International Trade and Logistics practice that assists U.S. and foreign companies on many types of trade matters before U.S. and foreign agencies and courts and intergovernmental organizations. The group has significant experience in trade sanctions, export control, transport and logistics, and customs, and regularly helps clients with overseas market entry priorities.

Mr. Weiss earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, an MPP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1999, and his B.A. from Duke University in 1994.


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, and high-net-worth entrepreneurs and individuals. With over 600 attorneys across the country, including California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients' business objectives in the U.S. and around the globe. Venable advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines.