Ambassador Ron Kirk Vacates Post After Four Years of Service in Obama Cabinet
Washington, DC – Departing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis will assume the post of Acting United States Trade Representative effective Friday, March 15, 2013, as Ambassador Kirk departs his position after four years of service in President Obama’s Cabinet.
Marantis, confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Deputy USTR in May 2009, has been responsible for U.S. trade negotiations and enforcement in Asia and Africa, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, and Trade and Investment Framework Agreements with countries ranging from South Africa to the Philippines. Ambassador Marantis also leads USTR global initiatives on trade and the environment, as well as trade and development, including the administration of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. As Deputy USTR, Ambassador Marantis played a central role in the negotiation and congressional passage of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, which entered into force on March 15, 2012. He also spearheaded conclusion in APEC of the first-ever agreement to reduce tariffs on environmental goods.
“Demetrios has been a leading voice for President Obama’s trade policies in Asia and Africa, and he has been instrumental in successes from the completion of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement to the advancing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and beyond,” said Ambassador Kirk. “I have valued Demetrios’s contributions and counsel during my time as USTR, and his expertise and leadership abilities will bolster this agency’s work for the American people and in the global trading community at this time of transition.”
Before joining the Administration, Ambassador Marantis served as Chief International Trade Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. Ambassador Marantis joined the committee in February 2005 after serving as Issues Director on the Kerry-Edwards 2004 presidential campaign.
Ambassador Marantis spent two years in Hanoi as Chief Legal Advisor for the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council, providing technical assistance on international trade matters. Between 1998 and 2002, he served as Associate General Counsel in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where he negotiated provisions of international trade agreements and represented the United States in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. He also worked for five years in the Washington, D.C. and Brussels, Belgium offices of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.