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. His office advises the International Trade Administration and senior Department officials on U.S. and international trade and investment law, particularly with respect to export and investment promotion and trade agreements compliance.
He has been actively involved in supporting cross-border data flows, including the negotiation and implementation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, and in international investment, most recently the implementation of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018. He spearheads the Department’s engagement with China on commercial legal issues.
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 on 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 supported the negotiation and implementation of many international agreements, including free trade agreements, textile agreements, and multilateral trade agreements.
Before coming to Commerce, Mr. Cobau practiced trade law with a private firm in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.