SAN FRANCISCO—Silicon Valley Attorney Mark Edward Foster has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) on Information and Communications Technologies, Services, and Electronic Commerce. ITAC is a high-level public-private partnership jointly chartered by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President (USTR). ITAC engages business leaders such as Foster in formulating and implementing U.S. international trade policy.
Foster will provide policy advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative regarding eliminating international trade barriers, negotiating trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries, and implementing existing trade agreements affecting the U.S. Information and Communications Technologies sector. Foster will attend World Trade Organization talks, helping to advise U.S. trade negotiators on matters of concern to the U.S. high-tech industry. He will also review and comment on working drafts of trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries, including NAFTA and bilateral free-trade agreements.
Mr. Foster practices law in California’s Silicon Valley and is affiliated with Bergeson LLP. He earned his J.D. from University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1981 and is currently President of the Hastings 1066 Foundation. Fluent in Japanese, Mr. Foster is a member of the American Law Institute and is widely recognized as a leading international business and trade lawyer.
In appointing Foster, Secretary Gutierrez and USTR Portman stated, “Your industry expertise is critical to the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative in pursuing trade objectives that reflect the concerns and interests of the private sector. We look forward to working with you in developing and implementing trade policies that serve your industry and the national interest.”
After Foster’s appointment, Mary Kay Kane, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings, said, “We are delighted that Mr. Foster has again been appointed to a prominent position helping to craft U.S. trade policy. Mr. Foster’s legal career has been devoted to increasing world commerce by eliminating trade barriers and promoting transparent legal and regulatory systems governed by the rule of law. Mr. Foster will make a positive contribution to the efforts of the United States in this respect. Hastings is proud to have alumni of such distinction serving our national interests.”
The appointment to ITAC marks Mr. Foster’s second Executive branch appointment. During the Reagan Administration, he was appointed as Special Counsel to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, advising Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige and other U.S. Government officials on trade negotiations with the Government of Japan in the telecom, medical products, and electronics sectors.
The trade advisory committee system, established by Congress in the Trade Act of 1974, gives the private sector the opportunity to advise the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative on trade issues. At the Department of Commerce, ITAC is administered by the International Trade Administration section.
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