Indian American Arun Venkataraman sworn in as key commerce official

Arun VenkataramanVenkataraman has been advising international organizations and US government on international trade issues for over 20 years

Arun Venkataraman, a leading Indian American expert on international trade policy, has been sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service for the International Trade Administration.

Confirmed by the US Senate on 7 April, President Joe Biden’ nominee was sworn in by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, on Monday, April 25.

“His expertise in trade law & policy is an invaluable asset as we help businesses recover from the economic toll of Covid-19,” she tweeted later.

“His experience and leadership helping the US public and private sector navigate and overcome critical trade challenges has earned him respect both inside and out of government as well as with the team he is now assigned to lead. I look forward to working with him in his new role,” Raimondo added.

Read: Arun Venkataraman nominated for key Commerce job (May 27, 2021)

Venkataraman will lead a team of over 1,400 employees strategically located in 106 offices across the US and 78 markets abroad, supporting US companies in markets representing 95 percent of global GDP and 97 percent of US trade.

This includes over a thousand career professionals that specialize in export promotion, commercial diplomacy and foreign direct investment.

“In over 20 years in the commerce space, I have seen firsthand the value that American businesses and workers offer in every corner of the world,” Venkataraman said in a press release.

“The world is turning to the US because we have the expertise, experience and entrepreneurial spirit to provide the products, services and innovative solutions that make a difference.”

“I thank President Biden, Secretary Raimondo and the US Senate for entrusting me with this position,” he added.
Prior to this he was Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce, advising the Department on trade and other international economic matters.

As the first ever Director of Policy at the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration under President Obama, Venkataraman helped shape the US government’s responses to critical challenges faced by firms in the US and in markets around the world, including China and India, according to his official profile.

While at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), he led the development and implementation of US-India trade policy as the Director for India, for which he received the agency’s Kelly Award for outstanding performance and extraordinary leadership.

Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Venkataraman was a Senior Director at Visa, leading global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues including digital economy, trade, tax and sanctions.

He previously served as Trade & Investment Policy Advisor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he counseled multinational firms and other organizations on e-commerce, intellectual property rights, and US and foreign trade policies.

Read: Indian-American sworn in as asst secy of commerce for global markets (April 26, 2022)

Venkataraman also served as Associate General Counsel, representing the United States in litigation before the World Trade Organization and in negotiations on international trade agreements.

Before joining USTR, Venkataraman was a Legal Officer at the World Trade Organization, advising the organization on a wide range of issues raised in appeals of trade disputes between countries.

He began his career as a Law Clerk for Judge Jane A. Restani at the US Court of International Trade. Venkataraman holds a JD from Columbia Law School, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a BA from Tufts University.

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