Jeff Weiss is a partner in Venable’s International Trade Group who focuses his practice on resolving market access issues related to product and digital regulation and standards; strengthening U.S. port and supply chain logistics and infrastructure; and providing counseling and representation on international trade negotiations, domestic and foreign regulation, standards and conformity assessment, and other economic policy matters. Jeff provides advice and counsel on matters arising under WTO, NAFTA, and other trade agreements and U.S. trade and customs law. He also represents clients before various White House offices and executive agencies and departments (e.g., NSC, NEC, CEQ, OMB, USTR, Commerce, USDA, NIST, CBP, DHS, EPA, FDA), as well as key members of Congress and committee staff.
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. In 2014-2015, 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 action. 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 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, 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.