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Jobs at Executive Office of the President - US Trade Representative

Trade Attorney (Labor)

Location: Washington, DC

Department: General Counsel Office

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

Who We Are

Would you like to make a difference in today's world?  Consider a position in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Executive Office of the President.  The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the President’s principal trade policy advisor, chief trade negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.  The U.S. Trade Representative and the Agency's staff are responsible for developing and implementing trade and investment policies, overseeing trade and investment negotiations with other countries, and monitoring and enforcing trade agreements and laws creating new opportunities for American businesses, workers, and agricultural producers.  USTR coordinates trade and investment policy and actions among agencies and frames issues for Presidential decision.


On January 29, 2020, the President enacted the legislation approving the United States - Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The USMCA will create a more balanced, reciprocal trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, creating new opportunities for farmers, manufacturers, workers, and businesses and supporting high-paying jobs for Americans.  Once it enters into force, the USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and provide high-standard disciplines in a wide array of areas, including labor and environment. 

The USMCA Implementation Act (Public Law 116-113) establishes an Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement of the USMCA’s labor provisions (sec. 711 of the Act). The Committee’s responsibilities include, among other things, assessments of Mexico’s compliance with its obligations under Annex 23-A of the USMCA and recommendations for enforcement actions.  See sections 712 through 719 of the Act for the Committee’s other responsibilities.

USTR is seeking attorneys to help monitor and enforce the obligations of the USMCA, particularly with respect to the labor chapter.  You can find information on and the text of the USMCA on the USTR website:  https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/united-states-mexico-canada-agreement

Major Duties

  • Serves as an attorney in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).  
  • Represents the United States in arbitral panels in international fora, in particular panels formed under the USMCA.
  • Provides expert legal analysis and advice on trade and labor issues, in particular with respect to the USMCA labor chapter and Mexico’s compliance with its obligations under the labor chapter of the USMCA, working closely with USTR’s Office of Labor Affairs and labor attaches in Mexico.
  • Develops and coordinates USTR’s legal position on potential disputes with USMCA parties related to labor issues. 
  • Develops and coordinates USTR’s legal positions for any disputes under the Facility-Specific, Rapid Response Mechanism provided for in Annex 31-A of the USMCA.
  • Briefs USTR’s congressional committees of jurisdiction and other Members and committees of Congress on USTR’s legal work.
  • Works closely with an Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (AUSTR) in formulating U.S. trade monitoring and enforcement policies and priorities, specifically related to trade and labor.  Conducts research of laws, legal opinions, policies, or regulations on specific trade areas or broad trade and labor issues. 

Specialized Experience

  • Knowledge of general U.S. law.  Knowledge of U.S. international trade laws and policies, Executive Orders, court decisions, and regulations affecting the work of the USTR desirable.
  • Expertise and experience in labor law and practice, including with the application of international labor standards and rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization.
  • Knowledge of the labor legal framework of Canada or Mexico desirable.
  • Knowledge of the various sources of legal reference material concerning U.S. trade agreements, regulations, decisions, and policies.
  • Knowledge of legal research methods.
  • Ability to identify and analyze pertinent legal information.
  • Litigation and advocacy writing experience.
  • Ability to communicate in a concise, effective, and confident manner, particularly before high-level government officials and foreign government officials.
  • Ability to work effectively in teams.
  • Spanish language capabilities desirable.

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or national.
  • Must be an attorney in good standing of a U.S. bar.
  • Subject to pre-employment and random drug tests.
  • Must participate in the direct deposit pay program.
  • New employees to the Executive Office of the President will be required to successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify/.
  • May be required to successfully complete a one year probationary period.
  • You will be required to obtain and maintain an interim and/or final Top Secret (TS) security clearance prior to entrance on duty. Failure to obtain and maintain the required level of clearance may result in the withdrawal of a job offer or removal.
  • Must be able to travel internationally.
  • Must be determined suitable for federal employment.

Annual Salary Range

$106,823 - $176,300

For additional information on USTR, please review our website (www.ustr.gov).

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