This is Not a Surprise
(On edit) I realize that this story is almost 2 years old. It still bears comment.
Is anyone surprised that senior official in the U.S. Trade Representative’s office are now trying to profiteer on their access?
This is not a surprise. The officials who wrote the investor-state dispute settlement process into the original NAFTA proceeded to make bank off their government service as well.
The office of the USTR is a cesspool:
Two U.S. officials who helped negotiate an overhaul of North American trade rules have offered their services as private-sector advisers to future clients — making solicitations for post-government work while still on the federal payroll.
Jason Bernstein and Fred Fischer were key negotiators in U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office responsible for the so-called rules-of-origin that dictate how much of a car must be made in North America to avoid tariffs under President Donald Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
They have reached out to companies in the auto industry to offer help implementing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement after they leave government service, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News and three people familiar with the communications who requested anonymity to discuss the private exchanges.
“As you know, Jason and I are looking to leave USTR, and we would like to assist companies directly with their USMCA implementation needs,” Fischer, the USTR’s senior automotive industry trade adviser, wrote last week in an email to an auto industry representative that was seen by Bloomberg News. The email referred the recipient to autovisory.com, which Fischer in the email called “our website,” for additional information.
In addition to being sleazy, it is also illegal, at least it was when Darleen Druyen went to jail for throwing business to Boeing in exchange for securing a lucrative post-Pentagon sinecure.
Also, Autovisrory LITERALLY has a K Street address. (1717 K Street NW, Suite 900) They are literally offering their services as lobbyists while still working for the federal government.
It is not uncommon for federal regulatory officials to cash in on their expertise after leaving the government by advising clients about the agencies where they once worked. [Gee, ya think?!?!!?] But offering services as part of a private venture while on the government payroll would go a step further, according to ethics experts.
These guys need to be frog-marched out of their offices in handcuffs.
Being pelted with tomatoes by the general public would be good too.