Jason Kearns, Minority Chief Trade Counsel

Jason Kearns, Minority Chief Trade Counsel
National Journal
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Stacy Kaper
Oct. 23, 2013, 2 p.m.

Kearns hails from a tiny town of 500 in east­ern Col­or­ado. After gradu­at­ing from law school at the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania, he took at job at May­er, Brown and Platt. When the firm had an emer­gency need to fill a post at an of­fice in Kyrgyz­stan, it sent Kearns, tak­ing ad­vant­age of his Rus­si­an skills.

That ex­per­i­ence in­spired him to go back to school for a gradu­ate de­gree in pub­lic policy, spe­cial­iz­ing in in­ter­na­tion­al trade and fin­ance at Har­vard’s John F. Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment.

After gradu­ate school, he did a stint with the Wash­ing­ton of­fice of Wilmer­Hale do­ing policy work that in­cluded try­ing to build sup­port for trade agree­ments in Con­gress and hand­ling an­ti­dump­ing and ex­port-con­trol cases. From there, Kearns moved to the Of­fice of the Gen­er­al Coun­sel for the U.S. Trade Rep­res­ent­at­ive, ad­vising ne­go­ti­at­ors on trade agree­ments with Mo­rocco and Aus­tralia and de­fend­ing the U.S. in World Trade Or­gan­iz­a­tion dis­putes.

Kearns, 42, has now served on the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee for sev­en years. Dur­ing that time he has over­seen ef­forts by rank­ing mem­ber Sander Lev­in, D-Mich., to in­clude labor, en­vir­on­ment­al, and pre­scrip­tion-drug pro­vi­sions in trade agree­ments, which will con­tin­ue to be cent­ral as the com­mit­tee mon­it­ors ne­go­ti­ations in the Pa­cific and Europe.

He also plays a key role push­ing Lev­in’s le­gis­la­tion on China’s cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tion.


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