Biden 2.0 or Trump 2.0? What We Might Expect on Trade Policy in a Second Term




On Wednesday, April 17, WITA hosted a panel to discuss what we might see on trade policy in a second Biden or Trump term as President. This event featured senior trade officials who served in key roles at USTR and the White House in the Biden and Trump Administrations.

Featured Speakers:

Peter Harrell, Non-Resident Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness, National Security Council at the White House (2021-2022)

Greta Peisch, Partner, Wiley Rein; former General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (2021-2024)

Kelly Ann Shaw, Partner, Hogan Lovells; Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School; former Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economics and Deputy National Economic Council Director at the White House (2018-2019)

Stephen Vaughn, Partner, King & Spalding; former General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (2017-2019)

Moderator: David Lynch, Global Economics Correspondent, The Washington Post


Speaker Biographies:

Peter E. Harrell is a nonresident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He also serves as an attorney advising companies and investors on international legal, regulatory, and geopolitical risks. As a member of Carnegie’s American Statecraft program, Harrell’s research focuses on issues of U.S. domestic economic competitiveness, trade policy, and the use of economic tools in U.S. foreign policy.

From January 2021 through 2022, Harrell served at the U.S. White House as Senior Director for International Economics, jointly appointed to the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. In that role, Harrell co-led President Biden’s E.O. 14017 supply chain resilience agenda; worked on the global digital, 5G, and telecommunications strategies; spearheaded negotiations with the European Union on the U.S.-E.U. Data Privacy Framework; served as the White House representative to the CFIUS committee; and worked on U.S. sanctions and export controls towards Russia is response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Immediately prior to joining the White House, Harrell served on the Biden-Harris Transition team from September 2020 to January 2021.

From 2015 to early 2021 Harrell was an attorney in private practice and served as Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. In those roles he advised U.S. and multinational companies on sanctions compliance and a range of geopolitical risks, and also published widely on public policy. His articles and op-eds appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politico, and Lawfare, among other outlets. Harrell has testified in front of multiple congressional committees, including, most recently, the House Financial Services Committee in February 2023.

From 2012 to 2014, Harrell served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. From 2009 to 2012 he served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was instrumental in developing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s economic statecraft agenda.

Earlier in his career, Harrell served on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, DC. 

Harrell is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and holds a JD from the Yale Law School.

David J. Lynch joined The Washington Post in November 2017 from the Financial Times, where he covered white-collar crime. He was previously the cybersecurity editor at Politico and a senior writer with Bloomberg News, focusing on the intersection of politics and economics. Earlier, he followed the global economy for USA Today, where he was the founding bureau chief in both London and Beijing. He covered the wars in Kosovo and Iraq, the latter as an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines, and was the paper’s first recipient of a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. He has reported from more than 60 countries.

Greta Peisch is the General Counsel for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Ms. Peisch has served as Senior International Trade Counsel on the Senate Finance Committee for Chairman Wyden since 2015. Previously, she served in USTR’s Office of the General Counsel, including as Chief Counsel for Negotiations, Legislation and Administrative Law. Before that, she clerked for Judge Douglas P. Woodlock in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and practiced law at Covington and Burling LLP. She earned her JD from Yale Law School and AB from Dartmouth College.

Kelly Ann Shaw is a partner at Hogan Lovells. She brings to bear a deep knowledge of international trade, investment, economic law, and policy drawn from her extensive public service at the White House, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), and the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. Congress. Most recently, Kelly Ann served as deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs and deputy director of the National Economic Council in the Trump administration. While in the White House, Kelly Ann led the Office of International Economic Affairs for both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, responsible for coordinating and advising the president on issues related to international trade, investment, development, energy, environment, and global economics. Kelly Ann also served as the lead negotiator (“sherpa”) for the United States at the G7, G20, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forums and played an instrumental role in a wide range of legislation, negotiations, and agreements, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the China phase one agreement. Prior to the administration, Kelly Ann served as Republican trade counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means, where she played a key role in formulating legislation, policy, and strategy. While at USTR, she served as assistant general counsel in both Geneva, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C., where she represented the United States in more than 40 World Trade Organization disputes and in negotiations. She also served as a lead lawyer, negotiator, and adviser in other important international negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Kelly Ann is currently a partner with Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., as well as a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a course on the history of U.S. trade policy. She is a frequent speaker and commentator and provides clients strategic advice on a range of legal, economic, and national security issues.

Stephen P. Vaughn is a Partner in the International Trade Team of King & Spalding who works primarily on international trade litigation and policy matters. In April 2019, Stephen completed more than two years of service as the General Counsel for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).  In that position, he managed a team of government attorneys representing U.S. interests in both trade negotiations and trade litigation. During two months in early 2017, Stephen also served as the acting U.S. Trade Representative.  He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on current U.S. trade policy, as well as one of the most talented U.S. trade remedy litigators.

Stephen draws on his experience in both government and the private sector to help clients navigate challenging U.S. trade policy issues. While at USTR, Stephen was directly involved in numerous significant issues, including the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA), actions undertaken by the United States against China pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and efforts to revise the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.  He also supervised U.S. litigation efforts before the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as litigation undertaken pursuant to other U.S. free trade agreements.  Stephen represented the Administration in numerous meetings regarding U.S. trade policy with Congressional officials and officials from other countries.

Before working at USTR, Stephen spent almost two decades in private practice representing clients in high-profile trade matters.  Much of his practice focused on injury issues in the context of antidumping and countervailing duty (AC/CVD) litigation. He has lengthy experience in complex trade litigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and North American Free Trade Agreement binational panels. 

During his time in private practice, Stephen represented clients in a number of trade policy matters, from enforcement of unfair trade laws to the role of trade issues in the context of climate change.

Stephen has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he co-taught a seminar on U.S. trade policy and the WTO.

Ken Levinson serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) and Washington International Trade Foundation.

WITA is the world’s largest non-profit, non-partisan membership organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues. WITA and its affiliated groups have over 10,000 members, and more than 160 corporate sponsors and group memberships.

Ken has over 30 years of experience working with companies, associations, NGOs and governments, advocating innovative solutions to complex public policy challenges. Over the years, Ken has worked with clients in the technology, telecommunications, biopharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, financial services, retail, apparel, energy, and consumer products sectors.

Previously, Ken served as Senior Director for Global Government Affairs for AstraZeneca. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Ken served as Senior Vice President and COO at the Washington, DC consulting firm of Fontheim International. Ken joined Fontheim after spending six years on the staff of U.S. Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV. Ken advised the Senator on foreign policy and national security matters, and served as the Senator’s chief advisor on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, dealing with issues related to international trade and tax policy.

Ken received his Master’s Degree from New York University after doing his undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst. Ken also spent a year studying at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Ken and his wife, the Reverend Donna Marsh, live in Bethesda, MD, with their two daughters.