Kevin P. Garvey is now chief of staff in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), having joined the office in November as deputy chief of staff. Before that, Garvey served in the Office of the White House Counsel as associate counsel to the president, advising top White House officials on matters at the nexus of policy, legal affairs and politics. He previously worked at Sidley Austin LLP in the white collar: government investigations and litigation practice, which is co-led by Karen Popp and Timothy Treanor.
Garvey’s transition into the senior role is particularly noteworthy given the attention the office has received under the Trump administration. The office, headed by U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer — a proponent of the “America First’ approach to trade — is responsible for formulating and orchestrating trade policy, including leading prominent deals with China.
In mid-January, President Donald Trump signed Phase 1 of the U.S.-China trade agreement, which outlined a series of commitments on the part of the Chinese to increase the purchasing of American products and provide protection for American intellectual property in exchange for the easing of tariffs. Whether China will fulfill Phase 1 promises remains an open question, particularly considering complications due to COVID-19, though latest reporting suggests the Chinese intend to follow through on the agreed purchasing of American goods.
Like Lighthizer, Garvey graduated with a law degree from Georgetown University. Additionally, Garvey earned an MA in Arabic Language and Literature from University of Chicago after studying Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies at Notre Dame as an undergrad.