Two U.S. officials who helped negotiate an overhaul of North American trade rules have offered their services as private-sector advisers to future clients — making solicitations for post-government work while still on the federal payroll.
Jason Bernstein and Fred Fischer were key negotiators in U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office responsible for the so-called rules-of-origin that dictate how much of a car must be made in North America to avoid tariffs under President Donald Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
They have reached out to companies in the auto industry to offer help implementing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement after they leave government service, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News and three people familiar with the communications who requested anonymity to discuss the private exchanges.
“As you know, Jason and I are looking to leave USTR, and we would like to assist companies directly with their USMCA implementation needs,” Fischer, the USTR’s senior automotive industry trade adviser, wrote last week in an email to an auto industry representative that was seen by Bloomberg News. The email referred the recipient to autovisory.com, which Fischer in the email called “our website,” for additional information.
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