JOHN COBAU is Chief Counsel for International Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce, serving as the lead attorney for the International Trade Administration. He advises the International Trade Administration and other Department officials regarding U.S. and international trade and investment law, particularly with respect to export promotion and trade agreements compliance.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Cobau served as Director for International Trade and Investment at the National Security Council, where he focused on international investment and intellectual property issues.
Before serving at the National Security Council staff, Mr. Cobau was a Senior Counsel in the Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce. Since coming to Commerce in 1997, Mr. Cobau has been personally involved in the negotiation and implementation of many international agreements, including free trade agreements, textile agreements, and multilateral trade agreements. He has been actively involved in President Obama’s National Export Initiative and the enactment and implementation of the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. His work at the Department has also included spearheading the Department’s engagement with China on commercial legal issues, including through the U.S.-China Transparency Dialogue and the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade Commercial Law Working Group and Legal Exchange.
Before coming to Commerce, Mr. Cobau practiced trade law with a private firm in Washington, DC for four years. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.