President Barack Obama has designated Dean A. Pinkert, a Democrat of Virginia, as Vice Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) for the term June 17, 2014, through June 16, 2016.
Pinkert was nominated to the USITC by President George W. Bush on September 7, 2006; renominated on January 9, 2007; and confirmed by the Senate on February 1, 2007. He was sworn in on February 26, 2007, for the Commission term expiring on December 16, 2015.
Prior to his appointment, Pinkert was a senior attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel for Import Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In that position, his work included serving as liaison with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, counsel to the Foreign Trade Zone program, advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative in various trade negotiations (including those leading to the 2006 softwood lumber agreement), and litigation counsel in antidumping and countervailing duty matters before domestic and international tribunals. Pinkert was an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of the Chief Counsel for Import Administration at an earlier stage of his career.
Between his Commerce Department positions, during 2001, Pinkert served as the Trade and Judiciary Counsel to Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV). From 1998 through 2000, Pinkert was a senior associate in the Litigation and Trade group in the Washington, DC, office of King & Spalding, where he represented U.S. companies in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. He also handled, and supervised, export control matters for the group.
Pinkert holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors from Oberlin College; a Juris Doctor degree with honors from the University of Texas School of Law; and a Master of Laws degree with merit from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches of government, determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement. Commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for nine-year terms, unless they are appointed to fill unexpired terms. The Chairman and the Vice Chairman are designated by the President for two-year terms in those positions.