Jeffrey I. Kessler


Kessler, Jeffrey I.

Over the past decade, Mr. Kessler has advised leading global companies and industry associations on a wide range of high-profile, cutting-edge international trade disputes and policy issues. 

In the area of WTO dispute resolution, Mr. Kessler has been involved in litigating several precedent-setting cases, including US – Large Civil Aircraft (2nd complaint) (Article 21.5 -US), EC and certain member States – Large Civil Aircraft (Article 21.5 – US), US – Tax Incentives, Argentina – Import Measures, and Brazil – Certain Measures Concerning Taxation and Charges. These disputes involved successful challenges to foreign country trade practices that restrict billions of dollars of international trade per year, as well as successful defenses of US trade practices.

With respect to domestic trade remedies, Mr. Kessler has represented US manufacturers in the chemicals and aerospace industries, helping them achieve multiple victories at the US Department of Commerce, the US International Trade Commission, and the US Court of International Trade. Mr. Kessler also advises leading US companies on free trade agreement rules and negotiations.

A particular area of emphasis for Mr. Kessler's practice is China. Mr. Kessler has assisted leading US companies and industry associations—especially those in innovative, IP-intensive industries—to understand and navigate Chinese trade and investment barriers. Mr. Kessler has advised companies on China's sector-wide subsidy programs, IP policy and enforcement, cybersovereignty and related policies, technology transfer requirements, national security–related technical standards, and restrictions on the supply of foreign services.

Mr. Kessler also has extensive experience with other trade-related issues, such as complex customs classifications and investigations, US procurement rules, Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliance, and sanctions and export controls.

Mr. Kessler is a member of the American Bar Association and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Mr. Kessler's recent experience includes: 

  • Assisting the Office of the US Trade Representative in securing a pair of landmark WTO rulings that the EU failed to comply with past WTO rulings condemning $22 billion in subsidies to European industry, while the United States had achieved near-total compliance.
  • Successfully challenging administrative determinations at the US Court of International Trade on issues such as the scope of antidumping duty orders and surrogate country selection.
  • Representing the domestic industry in the first-ever antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of large civil aircraft.
  • Authoring a white paper analyzing previously unidentified patterns of de facto discrimination against foreign companies in China's enforcement of competition law.
  • Providing strategic advice to a US industry association whose members were targeted by a Chinese sector-wide subsidy program.
  • Advising US high-tech companies on the possibility of obtaining Chinese government authorization to enter China's market.

Publications & News


December 16, 2016

What to Expect From a Trump Administration Trade Policy: Revisiting NAFTA

In this alert, the authors discuss one of President-elect Trump's priority initiatives: the pledge to renegotiate, or withdraw from, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to get a better deal for US workers. This WilmerHale Client Alert was also published by Law360.

November 21, 2016

What to Expect From a Trump Administration Trade Policy

President-elect Donald Trump is promising major changes to US trade policy that, if implemented, will significantly impact US and foreign companies that compete in the global market, and that could particularly impact those that rely on cross-border supply chains. This WilmerHale Client Alert was also published by Law360.

November 10, 2016

China's Cybersecurity Law Imposes New Requirements on Doing Business in China

The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress adopted the country's Cybersecurity Law on November 7—the latest in a spate of national security-related measures targeting the ICT industry.

January 6, 2015

US-China Trade and Investment: 2014 JCCT Yields Significant Market Access Commitments by China

The 25th US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT)—an annual, high-level economic summit—took place December 16-17, 2014 in Chicago, with US and joint China-US “Fact Sheets” released afterwards listing China’s commitments

November 24, 2014

US and China Agree to Reduce Tariffs and Expand High-Tech Trade Through the Information Technology Agreement

The United States and China last week announced a breakthrough bilateral understanding regarding negotiations to expand the scope of the Information Technology Agreement.

November 15, 2013

Laying the Political Groundwork for Continued Economic Reform: The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s Third Plenum

On Tuesday, China’s Third Plenum—a major conclave of top Communist Party (“CCP”) officials—concluded with the publication of a Communiqué announcing general statements about policy priorities and specific structural changes to the CCP, designed in part to affirm and advance economic reforms with a target date of 2020.

March 10, 2011

US, EU and International Sanctions Against Libya

January 1, 2010

Contingent Protectionism in International Trade

46 Stanford Journal of International Law 243

Speaking Engagements

April 12, 2017

Conference on Cyberspace and US–China Relations

New Haven, Connecticut

April 6, 2017

The Future of US-China Trade Relations Under the Trump Administration

Washington, DC

November 21, 2013

Guest Lecturer: International Trade Law

Cornell Law School

January 9, 2010

East Asia Graduate Conference 2010

Seattle, Washington


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JD, Stanford University, 2010, Articles Editor, Stanford Law Review, John M. Olin Law & Economics Fellow

MA, Economics, Stanford University, 2010

MA, Philosophy, University of Chicago, 2007, Century Fellowship

BA, Philosophy and Classics, magna cum laude, Yale University, 2005

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia






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