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New USTR General Counsel Announced

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced on 23 April that Stephen Vaughn, who has served as USTR general counsel since the beginning of the Trump administration, will be leaving “in the coming weeks.” Lighthizer said that Vaughn will be succeeded in that post by Joseph Barloon, a former Lighthizer colleague at the Washington law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom LLP. Whereas Vaughn had worked with Lighthizer in the international trade group at Skadden Arps, Barloon has little international trade law experience.

Barloon was co-leader of Skadden Arps’ Consumer Financial Services practice, representing banks, mortgage lenders, consumer finance lenders and other financial institutions before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Trade Commission and state agencies. Lighthizer said in his statement that Barloon “brings legal expertise and sound judgement”; Lighthizer presumably thinks that Barloon will be able to glean the specifics of international trade law with the help of the many experienced international trade attorneys at USTR. Barloon holds a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University, a master of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

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