Mission of the USTR

American trade policy works toward opening markets throughout the world to create new opportunities and higher living standards for families, farmers, manufacturers, workers, consumers, and businesses. The United States is party to numerous trade agreements with other countries, and is participating in negotiations for new trade agreements with a number of countries and regions of the world.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.

USTR is part of the Executive Office of the President. Through an interagency structure, USTR coordinates trade policy, resolves disagreements, and frames issues for presidential decision. USTR also serves as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is on the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is a non-voting member of the Export-Import Bank Board of Directors, and a member of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies.

Our expertise

USTR provides trade policy leadership and negotiating expertise in its major areas of responsibility, including:

  • Bilateral, regional and multilateral trade and investment issues
  • Expansion of market access for American goods and services
  • International commodity agreements
  • Negotiations affecting U.S. import policies
  • Oversight of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Section 301 complaints against foreign unfair trade practices, as well as Section 1377, Section 337 and import relief cases under Section 201
  • Trade, commodity, and direct investment matters managed by international institutions such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Trade-related intellectual property protection issues
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) issues

For more information on USTR and its mission, visit us online at www.USTR.gov

USTR Internship Program

Program Description

The intern program at USTR offers paid opportunities in which students, recent graduates, and veterans may gain knowledge and experience in conducting U.S. trade policy.  Assignments may include research, analysis, statistics, and coordination of briefing books, report preparation, meeting and conference planning, letter writing, and covering meetings, hearings, and/or legislative markup sessions.  Internships are available in most departments of the Washington, DC office.

All internships at the EOP will pay a stipend of $750 per week for full-time participation (minimum of 35 hours per week) and $375 per week for part-time participation (15 – 34 hours per week).  Living accommodations and relocation support will not be provided.  However, we can provide a transportation subsidy to assist with local commuting costs to and from the DC work location.

Eligibility Requirements

Program participants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years or older before the first day of the program, and meet at least one of the three following criteria: 

  1. Currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two- to four-year institution).
  2. Graduated from an accredited undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two- to four-year institution) no more than two years prior to the first day of the EOP Internship Program.
  1. A veteran of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty, for any length of time, no more than two years prior to the first day of the EOP Internship Program.

Note: If you are a male born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, civil service employment law (5 U.S.C. 3328) requires that you must be registered with the Selective Service System, unless you meet certain exemptions. 

All interns must indicate their COVID-19 vaccination status prior to the start of the program and must adhere to any White House-determined COVID-19 protocols, including but not limited to testing, masking, and/or social distancing.  We are continuing to monitor the public health landscape related to COVID-19, and we will modify our approach to creating a safe and healthy work environment as the situation continues to evolve.  

USTR is a drug-free workplace.  Recent or current drug use is not acceptable, and selectees will be required to complete a confidential pre-employment security questionnaire that includes questions on alcohol and drug use.  The Executive Office of the President reserves the right to disapprove tentative selectees based on screening results.

USTR’s Internship Program supports academic credit requests.  While we do not arrange academic credit for you, if your academic institution hosts an academic credit program, we can work with you and your institution to accommodate these actions.

How To Apply

Both part-time and full-time opportunities are typically available during the Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions.  Submissions will only be accepted during the application periods outlined below.  USTR will accept a maximum number of 100 applications each session, therefore, candidates are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later in the application period.  

Key Dates for Upcoming Sessions

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) offers three internship programs each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer. 

Spring 2024

  1. Program Start Date: January 22, 2024
  2. Program End Date:  May 12, 2024
  3. Application Open Date:  July 24, 2023
  4. Application Close Date:  August 18, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET

Summer 2024

  1. Program Start Date: June 10, 2024
  2. Program End Date:  August 16, 2024
  3. Application Open Date:  October 16, 2023
  4. Application Close Date:  November 19, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET

Fall 2024

  1. Program Start Date: September 16, 2024
  2. Program End Date:  December 20, 2024
  3. Application Open Date:  May 13, 2024
  4. Application Close Date:  May 24, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

Application Information 

If you are interested in applying, please email PDFs of your resume, a transcript, and a cover letter to: 

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Email: USTR.Recruitment@ustr.eop.gov

We welcome and encourage all interested applicants to apply.  Fostering diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in the workplace is one of our top priorities.   At USTR, we celebrate our diverse backgrounds and perspectives.  The unique contributions each employee brings to the table make us a stronger, more resilient and more effective team.

Check back later for additional details on future programs!

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