Jason E. Kearns, a Democrat of Colorado, was sworn in today as a Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission. He was nominated to the USITC by President Barack Obama on January 17, 2017; nominated by President Donald Trump on June 29, 2017; and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2018, for the term expiring on December 16, 2024.
Commissioner Kearns served as trade counsel for 11 years on the Democratic staff of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, including for the last five years as Chief International Trade Counsel. Prior to his employment at the Committee on Ways and Means, he was the Assistant General Counsel of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 2003-2006. He also served as an adjunct professor teaching international trade law at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, DC, in 2004.
Earlier in his career, Commissioner Kearns practiced international trade law at the law firm of Wilmer, Culter & Pickering (now WilmerHale) from 2000-2003 and worked at the law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt from 1995-1998.
Commissioner Kearns holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University. Originally from Keenesburg, Colorado, he resides in Washington D.C. with his wife, Lindy, and three children.
The USITC is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade. The agency investigates the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries and conducts global safeguard investigations. The Commission also adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights. Through such proceedings, the agency facilitates a rules-based international trading system. The Commission also serves as a Federal resource where trade data and other trade policy-related information are gathered and analyzed. The information and analysis are provided to the President, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and Congress to facilitate the development of sound and informed U.S. trade policy.
The mission of the Commission is to (1) administer U.S. trade remedy laws within its mandate in a fair and objective manner; (2) provide the President, USTR, and Congress with independent analysis, information, and support on matters of tariffs, international trade, and U.S. competitiveness; and (3) maintain the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).