Chayes Fellow Daniel Bleiberg ’15, on working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, DC

“I am in Washington working at the USTR General Counsel and China Affairs offices.  The work has provided an interesting and I hope fairly comprehensive view of trade law and its role in international affairs. The GC mostly handles WTO litigation and compliance with the decisions resulting therefrom. Both processes are bureaucratic, to be sure, and the work is often sufficiently technical that a particularized understanding of the offending countries is not strictly necessary. But the GC does a superb job, from what I can gather, and I’ve had the opportunity to help out on almost exclusively substantive legal work.

The China office focuses more on negotiations with Chinese counterparts over various trade issues. This summer has been a particularly exciting time to be at USTR working on trade negotiations, with a new Trade Representative starting in June, ongoing TPP and TTIP negotiations being held, and the Sunnylands Summit and the Strategic and Economic Dialogue taking place, sure to have major effects on Sino-American relations going forward. This side of my work has focused much more on the human component of international trade, and it has also allowed me to hone my Chinese translation skills to a considerable degree.

Washington itself is a nice little place to live. Mumbai or Paris it’s not, but it’s not bad for government work.”

Daniel is one of 23 HLS students working this summer in 18 countries under the auspices of the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship. Please visit our Chayes Fellowship page to learn more!