SouthAsiaSourceNov 19, 2021
Experts react: USTR Katherine Tai’s India visit
By Atlantic Council
USTR Katherine Tai is set to visit India on a two-day visit from November 22 for talks with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, particularly to reconvene the Trade Policy Forum dialogues after a four year gap. The US-India trade talks are the Biden administration’s first serious stab at remedying trade tensions.
Mark Linscott is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Mr. Linscott was the assistant US trade representative (USTR) for South and Central Asian Affairs from December 2016 to December 2018. In this position, he was responsible for development of trade policy with the countries comprising South and Central Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. He led efforts in the bilateral Trade Policy Forum with India and in Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs) with Central Asia, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Mr. Linscott previously served as the assistant US trade representative for World Trade Organization (WTO) and Multilateral Affairs from 2012 to 2016 with responsibility for coordinating US trade policies in the WTO. His team was responsible for negotiation and implementation of WTO accessions and the Trade Facilitation Agreement and regionally in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on customs matters, government procurement, subsidies and trade remedies, and technical barriers to trade. Mr. Linscott also represented the United States in trade meetings of the Group of Twenty (G-20) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Mr. Linscott served as the assistant US trade representative for Environment and Natural Resources from October 2003 to March 2012. In this capacity, he oversaw all trade and environment issues for USTR, including related free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, such as the TPP, and the WTO and OECD. During this period, he also developed a robust agenda on illegal logging and associated trade through Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and bilateral agreements with Indonesia and China. He was also responsible for international commodity agreements, including the International Tropical Timber Agreement and the International Coffee Agreement.
From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Linscott represented the United States at the US Mission to the WTO in Geneva, covering issues such as trade in services, customs, antidumping, subsidies, and government procurement. Prior to serving in Geneva, he worked in the Office of WTO and Multilateral Affairs in USTR Washington, where he concluded the Uruguay Round Government Procurement Agreement as the lead US negotiator and was responsible for preparations for the entry-into-force of the WTO.
Mr. Linscott started his career at the Department of Commerce, serving from 1985 to 1988 in Import Administration, and from 1988 to 1992 in the Office of Multilateral Affairs. He was awarded a Gold Medal Award, the Commerce Department’s highest honor, for his work on the 1986 Canadian softwood lumber investigation. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Virginia and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.