Ira S. Shapiro focuses his practice on advising clients of the impact of international trade rules that have been negotiated multilaterally, regionally and bilaterally, and breaking down barriers to exports in foreign markets around the world. During the Clinton Administration, he served as the General Counsel to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and played a key role in completing the negotiations on the Uruguay Round which established the World Trade Organization (WTO) global trade rules, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As the chief U.S. trade negotiator with Japan and Canada, Ambassador Shapiro negotiated solutions to several of the most contentious bilateral trade disputes, helping to open the Japanese market to U.S. autos and auto parts, semiconductors and insurance. He played a major role in two landmark WTO cases against China on behalf of the motion picture, recording and publishing industries. Ira spent twelve years in senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate, including Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Governmental Affairs Committee and Chief of Staff to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV.
Ira is the author of The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS).