William Duff is Chief of the Political and Economic Section at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai. He took his current role with the U.S. Consulate in August 2013. His previous assignments include Political Advisor to United States Division South in Basrah, Iraq, and to the Commanding General of Untied States Forces Iraq based in An-Nasiriyah. Prior to his deployment with the U.S. Army in Iraq, he was the Director of Economic and Trade Policy at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. From 2008-2010, he managed bilateral trade and economic issues, and was the Embassy lead for the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings and Leaders’ Summit in Yokohama. His other overseas assignments included tours in Beijing (2000-02), Tokyo (2002-04) and Bern (2005-08). Before joining the Foreign Service in 1999, Mr. Duff was a Presidential Management Fellow. At the Department of State, he led Japanese trade talks for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs on insurance, investment, and regulatory reform. He also served as a negotiator for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) at multilateral WTO talks on financial services, and at bilateral talks on Japanese Auto and Auto Parts. In addition to English, Mr. Duff speaks Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and German.
The U.S.-China relationship is multifaceted and complex, with both countries’ companies and workers benefitting tremendously from years of hard work to lower trade barriers to goods, services and investment. Since China’s accession to the WTO, U.S.-China trade and investment has boomed and we find ourselves on the verge of a new boom facilitated by the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Bilateral Investment Treaty negotiations. These two negotiations have the potential to be WTO-plus for the billateral relationship, spurring innovation and new services.