Jeffrey G. Weiss

Partner
Weiss Jeffrey

Jeff Weiss advises and advocates for clients on a broad spectrum of matters related to international trade, including technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures (TBT); digital economy; market access; customs; and maritime and logistics. Jeff provides counsel on issues arising under the World Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and other trade agreements, as well as U.S. trade and customs law. He develops regulatory, standards, and conformity assessment strategies, and provides counsel and representation on international trade negotiations, standards development, and other economic policy matters.

Jeff also represents clients before various White House offices and executive agencies and departments, including:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Department of Commerce
  • White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Security Council (NSC)
  • National Economic Council (NEC)
  • U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Members of Congress and committee staff

Jeff's practice includes:

  • Providing legal and policy counsel to various clients in international trade negotiations. Activities include developing negotiating strategies; drafting legal analyses, policy papers, and trade agreement and legislative text; developing legal, economic, and policy arguments as well as communications and advocacy strategy; and representing clients before the U.S. and foreign governments. Topics include customs and trade facilitation; rules of origin, digital trade, competitiveness, and regulatory. Industries include transportation, natural resources, agriculture, FDA-regulated products, supply chain, children's products, and cybersecurity
  • Providing legal and policy counsel and representing various clients before the administration and Congress with respect to specific market access, trade policy, and trade law issues, including administration actions on tariffs. Industries include supply chain, services, retail, financial services, chemicals, softwood lumber, and dairy
  • Advising clients on standards and conformance issues, including preparing white papers and reports, developing strategies for promoting the use of particular standards, and developing strategies for trade negotiations
  • Advising clients on customs classification and FCPA matters
  • Providing intelligence to companies on trade developments (e.g., China, NAFTA/USMCA, U.S.-EU, U.S.-UK, U.S.-Japan, Brexit, administration tariff/quota actions) to guide their production and investment decisions

Prior to joining Venable, Jeff served as the deputy director for Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce. As the second-ranking official in the policy shop, Jeff 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 (e.g., the U.S. response to the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy); digital economy; standards and conformity assessment; and aviation (e.g., Open Skies and unmanned aircraft systems). He also developed, coordinated, and implemented policy in these areas across the Commerce Department's twelve bureaus. In addition, he 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. From 2014 to 2015, at the direction of the White House, he led the development of the U.S. government strategy for international cybersecurity standardization.

Jeff also 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 development of U.S. regulatory policy and White House review of significant executive branch regulatory actions. He co-chaired regulatory cooperation initiatives with Canada, Mexico, and the European Union and led the development of a new U.S. policy on standards and conformity assessment (OMB Circular A-119). From 2001 to 2011, he also served at USTR as senior director for Technical Barriers to Trade, assistant general counsel, and assistant legal advisor at the Mission of the United States to the WTO in Geneva. While at USTR, he represented the United States in WTO disputes, served as a lead U.S. negotiator and lawyer in numerous negotiations, including the WTO's Doha Round market access talks, the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber dispute, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and was chief lawyer for NAFTA from 2004 to 2007. He assisted U.S. companies and trade associations 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, food and agricultural goods, and many other products.

Experience

Government Experience

  • Assistant General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Assistant Legal Advisor, Mission of the United States to the World Trade Organization
  • Associate Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, The White House
  • Deputy Director of Policy & Strategic Planning and Senior Advisor for Standards and Global Regulatory Policy, Office of the Secretary, Department of Commerce
  • Senior Director, Technical Barriers to Trade, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. Harvard Law School 1999
  • M.P.P. Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government 1999
  • B.A. magna cum laude Duke University 1994
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, board of directors of ASTM International, 2017 - 2019
  • Executive branch liaison, ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, 2012 - 2017; board member, 2017 - 2019
  • Co-chair, International Trade and Customs Committee of the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, 2015 - present
  • Member, Advisory Committee, USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management, 2018 - present
  • Member, board of directors of the Council of the Great Lakes Region, 2019 - present