“As a former Chief of Staff to the US Trade Representative and a former legal counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee, Tim Keeler has a deep understanding of how the Administration and Capitol Hill work together to advance and develop US trade policy.”Legal 500 USA 2021
Tim Keeler, a lawyer in the Public Policy, Regulatory & Political Law and International Trade practices, joined Mayer Brown in 2009, and brings an in-depth knowledge of international trade law and economic policy matters, and a history of working in the Executive Branch and Congress on major economic, legislative and regulatory issues.
Tim provides legal and strategic advice to clients on matters including:
The consistency of various legal regimes – or proposed laws – with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and other international legal obligations
Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) filings on proposed transactions of foreign investment
International trade negotiations in the WTO and bilateral or regional fora
WTO and other international trade agreement litigation
International economic, political, and legal events and actions that effect businesses and investors
The US economic decision making process in the Administration and Congress
The political climate in various countries that are pertinent to clients’ business activities
Advocacy on behalf of clients to the U.S. government and to foreign governments
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Tim served in a variety of senior positions in the US Government for almost 12 years. Most recently he was the Chief of Staff in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) from 2006 - 2009, where he oversaw implementation of US policy, strategy and negotiations involving all aspects of international trade and investment matters. He worked on a number of key issues including: climate change and trade; US and China relations; WTO negotiations and litigation; free trade agreement negotiations and implementation; and CFIUS decisions.
Before working for USTR, Tim spent more than five years at the Treasury Department from 2001 – 2006. He joined the Office of Legislative Affairs in 2001 as a Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for International Issues, where he was responsible for Treasury’s legislative strategy on issues including capital market sanctions, foreign exchange rate policy testimony, appropriations for US agreements to replenish the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks, multilateral debt relief, and US participation in the International Monetary Fund. He later managed the Office of Legislative Affairs from 2002 - 2006 and assisted on all policy and personnel issues in the Office. This included leading Treasury nominees through the US Senate confirmation process, legislative strategy on Treasury Intelligence and Terrorist Financing matters, and advising on major economic legislative initiatives such as the 2003 tax cuts and social security reform proposals.
Tim also served on the Presidential Transition Team in 2000–2001 as a policy coordinator on export control and trade remedy policy, handling the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Export Administration (now called the Bureau of Industry and Security) and the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Earlier in his career, Tim served as a professional staff member for international trade on the US Senate Finance Committee under Chairman William V. Roth (R-DE). There he worked on legislation establishing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) between the US and China, preferential trade programs for Sub-Saharan Africa (the African Growth and Opportunity Act) and the Caribbean basin, the Generalized System of Preferences, legislation to bring the US into compliance with the WTO decision on the Foreign Sales Corporation provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, and the miscellaneous tariff bill.
In recognition of his government service, Tim was awarded the USTR Distinguished Service Award, the Treasury Distinguished Service Award, and the Treasury Secretary’s Honor Award twice.
Tim is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Law, co-teaching a course on US and WTO law, policy, and politics, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington International Trade Association.
Tulane University, BSE, Engineering Science
George Mason University School of Law, JD, magna cum laude
Associate Editor, George Mason Law Review
- District of Columbia
- Adjunct professor of law, Georgetown School of Law
- Member, Board of Directors, the Washington International Trade Foundation
- Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations
- "As a former Chief of Staff to the US Trade Representative and a former legal counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee, Tim Keeler has a deep understanding of how the Administration and Capitol Hill work together to advance and develop US trade policy." - Legal 500 USA 2021
- "Timothy Keeler has a deep and substantive understanding of the evolving CFIUS and trade policy landscape. He has a deep network of connections that are difficult to match." - Legal 500 USA 2020
- "A key name" - Legal 500 2015
- "Among the best for customs law," Mayer Brown provides "service of the highest level in all aspects." - Legal 500 2015
- Who’s Who Legal (WWL) – Recommended: Trade & Customs (2022)