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Aaron Barnes, Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies
Stephen J. Claeys, Wiley Rein, LLP
Gary Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics
John Veroneau, Covington & Burling LLP
Moderator, Vanessa Sciarra, National Foreign Trade Council
Aaron Barnes Sr. is a legal associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. Aaron graduated cum laude from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. While attending law school, he worked in private practice as a consumer bankruptcy paralegal for the Western District of Texas, as well as participating in SMU’s Consumer Advocacy Clinic and clerking for both the Office of the Attorney General of Texas and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. In addition to his J.D., Aaron holds a B.A. in political science from the University of North Texas, as well as A.A.S. in paralegal studies from El Centro Community College.
Stephen J. Claeys is a partner in the law firm of Wiley Rein LLP. He assists clients on a variety of international trade law and policy matters, including bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, trade remedies and safeguards, foreign market access barriers, e-commerce and digital trade, agriculture trade, and customs enforcement. He has 25 years of experience advising members of Congress, senior White House and U.S. Department of Commerce officials, and clients on international trade law and policy, and supervising the enforcement of the U.S. trade remedies laws. Stephen obtained his law degree at Northwestern University and his B.A. at the University of Notre Dame.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer has been the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 1992. He was formerly the Maurice Greenberg Chair and Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (1996–98), the Marcus Wallenberg Professor of International Finance Diplomacy at Georgetown University (1985–92), senior fellow at the Institute (1981–85), deputy director of the International Law Institute at Georgetown University (1979–81); deputy assistant secretary for international trade and investment policy of the US Treasury (1977–79); and director of the international tax staff at the Treasury (1974–76).
Vanessa P. Sciarra is the Vice President for Legal Affairs and Trade & Investment Policy at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC). Prior to joining the NFTC, Vanessa served as Vice President of the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT). Her additional experience includes working in the private sector, most recently with the law firm of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP in their Washington, D.C. office. Her law firm experience included a broad range of international trade matters representing a diverse group of clients in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical devices, trucking, and shipping sectors. She advised these clients in the areas of customs, export controls, and economic sanctions compliance as well as antidumping and countervailing duty cases. She routinely appeared before the key U.S. trade agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Prior to entering private practice, Vanessa served as an Assistant General Counsel with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, D.C. While in that position, she worked on the negotiation and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), particularly with respect to services, investment and dispute settlement obligations. She also served as legal counsel during the negotiation of the General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS) and participated in the drafting of the Uruguay Round implementing bill. Prior to her work at USTR, Vanessa was a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Division. In this position, she represented the U.S. government in cases involving the antidumping and countervailing duty laws, customs matters, and government contracts. She regularly briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Vanessa is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Yale College, her M.Sc., with distinction, in Economics (International Relations) from the London School of Economics, and her J.D. from the Yale Law School.
John Veroneau is a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, a Washington, DC-based global law firm. His practice focuses on international trade law and enforcement matters. He has served in Senate-confirmed positions in both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Under President Bush, he was Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) and USTR General Counsel. Under President Clinton, he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. Mr. Veroneau began his career working in the U.S. Senate where he was Legislative Director to former US Senator Bill Cohen, Legislative Director to former US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Chief of Staff to US Senator Susan Collins. He graduated with honors from the University of Maine and the University of Maine School of Law.