Ambassador Ira Shapiro is the president of Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in trade law and policy and global government relations. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group. Since September 2012, Mr. Shapiro has been Chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS).
During the Clinton administration, as General Counsel to U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, Mr. Shapiro was centrally involved in completing the negotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the multilateral Uruguay Round, and the legislative battles to win the approval of Congress. After being nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate for ambassadorial rank in 1995, he served as chief U.S. trade negotiator with Japan and Canada, and was instrumental in resolving some of the most contentious bilateral disputes between the United States and those countries, including autos and auto parts, semi-conductors and insurance with Japan, and softwood lumber with Canada. In December 2015, Mr. Shapiro received a Commendation from the Foreign Minister of Japan for his work in promoting U.S.-Japan relations.
Mr. Shapiro has also been extensively involved in WTO litigation, playing a key role on the legal team that won two landmark victories against China, representing the U.S. motion picture, recording and publishing industries. He currently remains engaged in the lengthy WTO dispute between Mexico and the United States concerning the use of the dolphin-safe label. Mr. Shapiro speaks regularly about global trade policy issues and American politics. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Nikkei Asian Review, The Hill, cnn.com, Bloomberg View, and the Daily Caller. Mr. Shapiro is the author of The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, a critically-acclaimed narrative history about the Senate of the late 1970’s.
Mr. Shapiro graduated from Brandeis University, magna cum laude with honors in politics, in 1969, received his Master’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970, and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973.