Photo of Stephen J. Claeys


J.D., Northwestern University School of Law

B.A., with high honors, University of Notre Dame

Law Journals

Executive Editor, Journal of International Law and Business

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Illinois Bar

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of International Trade

Stephen J. Claeys


Practice Areas

Steve assists clients on a variety of international trade law and policy matters, including bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, trade remedies and safeguards, foreign market access barriers, e-commerce and digital trade, agriculture trade, and customs enforcement. He has 25 years of experience advising members of Congress, senior White House and U.S. Department of Commerce officials, and clients on international trade law and policy, and supervising the enforcement of the U.S. trade remedies laws.

Representative Experience

  • Drafted and helped pass legislation on Trade Promotion Authority, amendments to the U.S. trade remedies law, reauthorization and restructuring of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement, and permanent normal trade relations with Russia.
  • Provided key support to members of Congress on the negotiation of international trade agreements.
  • Addressed foreign barriers and restrictions on digital trade and e-commerce.
  • As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Operations at the U.S. Department of Commerce, managed and provided policy leadership on over 300 trade remedies case proceedings, as well as lead Commerce Department negotiator for U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreement. 
  • Represented and developed legal and policy strategies regarding U.S. unfair trade laws and other international trade issues for U.S. and foreign producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers in consumer goods, steel, energy, and basic manufacturing. 

Professional Experience

  • Trade Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Trade (2011-2017)
  • President, Cadence Global Strategies PLLC (2009-2010)
  • Adjunct Professor, American University, School of International Service (2009-2010)
  • U.S. Department of Commerce, Import Administration
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Operations (2005-2009)
    • Chief of Staff, Office of the Assistant Secretary (2001-2003)
    • Attorney-Advisor, Office of the Chief Counsel (1991-1994)
  • Special Advisor on National Security Affairs, White House, Office of the Vice President (2003-2005)


  • District of Columbia Bar
    • Co-Chair, Steering Committee, International Law Section
  • U.S. Court of International Trade Advisory Committee
  • Washington International Trade Association


  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America directory for International Trade and Finance Law (2018-2019)
  • Named by The Legal 500 US a "recommended lawyer" in International Trade (2018)

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