Gilbert B. Kaplan was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to become Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade in the United States Department of Commerce, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 13, 2018, and sworn in to the position on March 20, 2018. Gil Kaplan was a partner at King & Spalding and part of the International Trade Practice Group. His practice focused on international trade cases and trade policy issues.
He represented U.S. companies and workers in a wide range of cases on antidumping (price discrimination), countervailing duties (subsidies), and Section 337 (intellectual property infringement). He also advised clients on trade policy matters, as well as trade negotiations such as those involving the WTO and international anti-subsidy agreements. Mr. Kaplan filed and prosecuted the first successful countervailing duty (anti-subsidy) case ever against China in 2007.
He is the founder of The Conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing. He is also the co-founder of the Manufacturing Policy Initiative (MPI) at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the first and only university program in the country focusing on what public policy steps should be taken to revitalize U.S. manufacturing.
Mr. Kaplan published a monograph on Section 337 cases at the International Trade Commission entitled “The ITC or the District Court? Where to Protect Your International Intellectual Property,” National Legal Center for the Public Interest, 2006. He also published an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post Outlook Section entitled, “5 Myths about the Death of the U. S. Factory,” which was republished, among other places, in The Atlanta Journal Constitution and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Mr. Kaplan has written frequently on trade and manufacturing issues for a variety of publications, including The Huffington Post.
Mr. Kaplan served as the first President of the Committee to Support U. S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL), from 2010-2012. CSUSTL is an organization of companies, workers, farmers, and ranchers dedicated to preserving and enhancing the U.S. trade remedy laws.
From 1983 to 1988, Mr. Kaplan served in several senior positions in the U.S. government. He was the Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, at the U.S. Department of Commerce. While there, Mr. Kaplan was in charge of administering the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws, and conducted more than five hundred antidumping and countervailing duty cases. These included cases on agricultural products, steel products, textiles and apparel, and a variety of semiconductor and high-technology products.
During his service at the Department of Commerce, Mr. Kaplan supervised the President’s Steel Program, the U.S.-Japan Agreement on Trade in Semiconductors, the U.S.-Canada agreement on lumber, and the machine tool program. In addition, he oversaw the foreign trade zones program, as well as the Office of Industrial Resource Administration, which develops and implements programs to ensure the availability of industrial resources to meet U.S. peacetime and emergency requirements. He was a principal spokesman for the administration on legislative and congressional issues related to the dumping, countervailing duty and National Security import relief (Section 232) laws.
Mr. Kaplan was also an active participant in the negotiation of the World Trade Organization Agreement. He testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, as well as before the House and Senate GATT Task Forces, and traveled to Geneva to meet with GATT officials and negotiators. He also was one of the few non-Governmental representatives from the United States in Doha, Qatar for the kick-off of the Doha Round.
Mr. Kaplan graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, Harvard College, magna cum laude, and Phillips Exeter Academy, with high honors. He and his wife Betty Ann have two children, Katharine and Nicholas.