David S. Johanson today becomes Chair of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). He succeeded outgoing Chair Jason E. Kearns, whose term as Chair expired on June 16, 2022. Johanson, the senior Republican on the Commission, became Chair by operation of law in the absence of a Presidential designation.
Johanson was nominated to the USITC by President Barack Obama on April 8, 2011, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 31, 2011. He was sworn in as a member of the Commission on December 8, 2011, for the Commission term expiring on December 16, 2018. He served as Chair of the USITC from June 17, 2018, to June 16, 2020, and Vice Chair from August 11, 2016, to June 16, 2018.
Johanson served as International Trade Counsel on the Republican staff of the Committee on Finance of the U.S. Senate from 2003 until his USITC appointment. While on the staff of the Committee on Finance, he was responsible for legislative and policy matters involving negotiations of the World Trade Organization, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and numerous free trade agreements. He assisted in the passage of implementing legislation for free trade agreements between the United States and Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Korea, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, and Singapore. He also worked on legislative matters concerning trade preference programs (the Generalized System of Preferences, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, and the Andean Trade Preference Act), Miscellaneous Tariff Bills, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and the trade-related provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill.
Prior to his employment at the Committee on Finance, he practiced international trade law for six years at the law firm of Stewart and Stewart in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career, he worked for Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Representative Wally Herger (R-CA), and Representative George Radanovich (R-CA).
Johanson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University, a Master of Philosophy degree from Cambridge University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Chair Johanson is an Eagle Scout. He is originally from Austin, Texas.
The USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency that makes determinations in proceedings involving imports claimed to injure a domestic industry or violate U.S. intellectual property rights; provides independent tariff, trade, and competitiveness-related analysis and information to the legislative and executive branches of government; and maintains the U.S. tariff schedule. Commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for nine year terms, unless they are appointed to fill unexpired terms.