Susan G. Esserman is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where she is Chair of the firm’s International Department. Ms. Esserman provides legal and strategic advice to domestic and foreign clients on expanding access to global markets and represents clients in international trade litigation and dispute resolution matters. She has special experience concerning World Trade Organization (WTO) issues and the US trade laws, based on her previous high-level government positions as a US trade negotiator as well as the decision maker in antidumping and countervailing duty cases. A significant focus of Ms. Esserman’s practice involves US-India and US-China matters.
Ms. Esserman previously served as Deputy US Trade Representative, the second ranking official at USTR, with the standing of Ambassador, and she held three additional senior posts at USTR and the Department of Commerce. As Deputy USTR, Ambassador Esserman was responsible for US trade policy and negotiations in the WTO and with Europe, India, Russia, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and the Middle East. As USTR General Counsel, she played a lead role in devising US litigation strategy in the critical early years of WTO dispute resolution.
Ms. Esserman also served as the decision maker in literally hundreds of antidumping and countervailing duty cases as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. During her tenure, she played a lead role in developing comprehensive US antidumping and countervailing duty trade legislation and regulations implementing the WTO Uruguay Round Agreement, which govern US trade cases today. She was also the administrator of the Foreign Trade Zones program. As Acting General Counsel of Commerce, she counseled the Secretary of Commerce and senior Department heads on a wide range of issues, including trade laws, regulatory reform, litigation strategy, ethics, Freedom of Information, congressional reviews and oversight, intellectual property, and procurement issues.
Ms. Esserman is a frequent speaker and writer on trade law and policy, WTO, and India issues.
Prior to her government service, Ms. Esserman was a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP where she focused on international trade litigation and policy.