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USTR Kirk Welcomes Deputy USTR Michael Punke

March 27, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today welcomed the appointment of Michael Punke as Deputy United States Trade Representative for the nation's lead agency on trade. Punke also will serve as U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland. He will move to Geneva immediately to assume the post.

Ambassador Kirk issued the following statement:

"Michael Punke will be a valuable asset as WTO Ambassador as USTR works to conclude a balanced and ambitious Doha Round of trade negotiations that will benefit American workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers. Michael will also work on behalf of American businesses and entrepreneurs at the WTO - helping USTR to remove trade barriers, increase exports, and support well-paying jobs here at home."

Michael Punke has worked in the field of international trade law and policy for two decades. From 1995 to 1996, Punke served as Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. There, he advised the USTR on issues ranging from agricultural trade to intellectual property protection.

From 1993 to 1995, Punke served at the White House as Director for International Economic Affairs with a joint appointment to the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. His responsibilities included assisting in the management of the interagency process. From 1991 to 1992, Punke was International Trade Counsel to Senator Max Baucus, then Chairman of the Finance Committee's International Trade Subcommittee. Punke has also worked on international trade issues from the private sector, including as a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Mayer, Brown, Rowe, & Maw. From 2003 to 2009, Punke advised clients on trade issues through out of Missoula, Montana.

Since January 2010, Punke has served as a consultant to the U.S. Trade Representative. He also has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana and as a writer, authoring a novel, two books of nonfiction, and two screenplays. Punke is a graduate of George Washington University and Cornell Law School, where he was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Cornell International Law Journal.