Alan Wm. Wolff

Alan Wm. Wolff

Senior Counsel - Washington, DC
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1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
TEL: 202.496.7337
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Ambassador Alan Wm. Wolff is a member of the International Trade Practice.  The practice specializes in all aspects of seeking to improve the international competitive position of major clients. The Practice is active in efforts to obtain market access and limit trade-distorting practices and other burdens on trade through our support of bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral negotiations among interested governments, and through litigation where warranted, against dumping and subsidies, private anticompetitive practices, violations of intellectual property rights and trade-related investment performance requirements.  Wolff has been principal litigation counsel in many of the largest  trade cases on record, and is actively participating in giving advice to participants and stakeholders in the Trans Pacific Partnership and Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.  

Ambassador Wolff serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC); is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Science Technology and Economic Policy (STEP) Board of the National Academies. He is Co-chair of the Academies' Innovation Policy Forum and Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Trade and Commercial Diplomacy. He is a National Associate of the National Academies and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He recently served as a member of the Board of the U.S.-China Legal Cooperation Fund, the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP), and chaired the Committee on Comparative Innovation Policy of the National Academies’ STEP Board.  He has lectured at numerous universities and is the author of an extensive range of papers on international trade policy matters. 

Ambassador Wolff served as United States Deputy Special Representative for Trade Negotiations (1977-1979), with the rank of ambassador. As Deputy Trade Representative, he played a key role in the formulation of American trade policy and its implementation, including leading international trade negotiations for the United States. He served as General Counsel of the Agency from 1974-1977, and was responsible for drafting major trade legislation. From 1968-1973, Mr. Wolff was a lawyer dealing with international monetary, trade and development issues at the Treasury Department.

Ambassador Wolff is recognized in Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers and Chambers Global for International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy. He was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the field of International Trade and Finance Law and by Super Lawyers in the field of International Business & Transactions.


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  • Books and Articles
  • Is Technology Delivering on Its Promise?, The Digital Economy (E15 Initiative blog), February 2015.
  • What Canada needs to do to foster innovation, The Globe and Mail, July 24, 2014.
  • Moving forward with international trade negotiationsThe Hill, April 16, 2014.
  • China Will Make Or Break A Once-In-A-Generation Trade Deal, co-author, Forbes, December 2, 2013.
  • Rising to the Challenge:  U.S. Innovation Policy for the Global Economy, co-editor, the National Academies Press, 2012. 
  • U.S. Trade and Investment Policy, Independent Task Force Report; contributor and Task Force member; Council on Foreign Relations, 2011.
  • China’s New Anti-Monopoly Law, A Perspective from the United States, Pacific Rim Law and Policy Review. U of Washington Law School, Co-author with T. Howell, R. Howe, D. Oh (January 2009).
  • Remedy in WTO Dispute Settlement, in The WTO: Governance, Dispute Settlement & Developing Countries, Merit E. Janow, Victoria Donaldson, Alan Yanovich, Editors, Columbia University (January 2008).
  • China’s Drive Toward Innovation, in Issues in Science and Technology, National Academy of Sciences and University of Texas at Austin, (Spring 2007).
  • America's Ability to Achieve its Commercial Objectives and the Operation of the WTO, 91 LAW 8c Law and Policy in International Business 1013 (2000).
  • Selected Papers
  • China’s Indigenous Innovation Policy, May 2011.
  • China’s Promotion of Its Renewable Energy Equipment Industry, March 2010.
  • China’s National Standard for Trusted Computing, June 2009.
  • The International Trading System and the Environment. Monterey Institute for International Studies, April 17, 2009.
  • Chinese Promotional Policies and the Protection of Intellectual Property, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 27, 2009.
  • Chinese Industrial Policies and their Impact on U.S. Industry, U.S. Economic and Security Review Commission, March 27, 2009.
  • "Investment Conference: Frameworks to Ensure Open Investment Regimes," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Bureau of Research, Washington, DC (09/16/2008).
  • "Standards & IPR in China," U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Conference, Arlington, VA (6/30/08).
  • "Standards & Innovation in China: Public Policy and the Role of Stakeholders," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Bureau of Research, Washington, DC (5/8/2008).
  • University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, "The Changing Role of Intellectual Property in Asia: National Innovation Policies of India and China" (March 7, 2008).
  • U.S. National Academy of Sciences, New Delhi, India, "Innovation Policies in the United States, China and India" (December 2007).
  • The Global Business Dialogue, Inc., Washington, DC, "Responses to the Doha Chairman's Paper on Rules - Remarks on the Valles Rules Negotiation Text" (December 2007).
  • OECD – Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Conference on the Review of China's National Innovation System and Policy, "China's National Innovation System: A Foreign Business Perspective", Beijing, China, (August 27, 2007).
  • U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Government of Belgium, Conference on Regional and National Innovation, "China’s Drive Toward Innovation" (September 21, 2006).
  • Presentation to the Beijing Lawyers Association, "U.S. Trade Remedies" (June 13, 2006).
  • WTO at 10 Conference, "Remedy in WTO Dispute Settlement" (April 7, 2006). The Center for American and International Law, "China’s Compliance with Its WTO Obligations" (June 15, 2005).

Seminars and Presentations:

  • ACATECH – National Academies Innovation Conference Global Competition: Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S. and Germany, Berlin, Germany June 11, 2013
  • Economics and Trade: Key Trade Negotiations in the Southeast Asia Region, US-ASEAN Hill Briefing, Remarks, Washington, DC June 4, 2013
  • U.S.-Russian Innovation Working Group Meeting, Presidents’ Bilateral Commission, Keynote Address, Washington, DC, April 24, 2013
  • Engineering Public Policy Symposium, Keynote Address, Washington, DC, April 23, 2013
  • “Trade, Investment and Competition: Commercial State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
    and Private Actors”, Mexico City, Club de Industriales April 8, 2013
  • “The Impact of U.S.-China Trade on U.S. Innovation”, Information Technology Innovation Foundation, Washington, DC, January 17, 2013
  • “Lessons Drawn from NAFTA for the Implementation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)”, Korean International Trade Association, Seoul, Korea, December 4, 2012
  • Presentations on the CIP Report: Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for the Global Economy, to the National Association of Manufacturers; the Committee on Science Technology and Public Policy (COSEPUP), the Science Technology and Economic Policy (STEP) Board, both of the National Academies
  • “Providing Rules for International Trade in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)”, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, August 22, 2012
  • “China, the United States and Clean Energy”, Testimony, Senate Energy Committee, June 14, 2012
  • The Growth of State-Owned Enterprises and Their Effect on the Trading System, The Global Business Dialogue, The National Press Club, April 25, 2012
  • “Planning a Career in International Trade Law”, University of Melbourne Law School, Melbourne, Australia, March 7, 2012
  • “Establishing the Rules of the Road, Commercial SOEs and Private Actors, Presentation to Transpacific Partnership Stakeholders Meeting”, with Sean Heather, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Melbourne, Australia, March 4, 2012
  • “The Future of U.S. Trade Negotiations”, Testimony, before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 29, 2012