Jeffrey I. Kessler was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on April 3, 2019, and assumed his position as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance on April 11, 2019. In his role, Mr. Kessler administers U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws, works to ensure foreign compliance with trade agreements, supports the negotiation and implementation of international trade agreements to open foreign markets, and administers the Foreign Trade Zones program – all with the goal of promoting U.S. jobs and economic growth.
Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Mr. Kessler worked as an international trade attorney in private practice. In that capacity, Mr. Kessler advised leading global companies and U.S. industry associations on a wide range of high-profile, cutting-edge international trade, investment, and market access issues. Mr. Kessler was also involved in litigating several precedent-setting World Trade Organization cases, with successful challenges to foreign country trade practices that restrict billions of dollars of international trade per year, as well as successful defenses of U.S. trade practices.
Mr. Kessler also assisted U.S. companies and industry associations – especially those in innovative, IP-intensive industries – to decipher and navigate foreign trade and investment barriers. Mr. Kessler earned a BA magna cum laude from Yale University, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a JD and MA from Stanford University, where he was an Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review and a John M. Olin Law and Economics Fellow.
Mr. Kessler is a member of the American Bar Association and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Kessler resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Bethany and their two daughters, Lucy and Diana.