At a Glance
- Career History:
Chief international trade counsel to the
Senate Finance Committee
(2005 to 2009); Issues director for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign (2004); Chief legal adviser to the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council (2002 to 2004)
- Birthday: May 28, 1968
- Hometown: Harrison, N.Y.
- Alma Mater: Princeton University, A.B. (public and international affairs), 1990; Harvard University, J.D., 1993
- Web site
Path to Power
Known for his outgoing personality, the Ivy League-educated Marantis spent multiple years working overseas, and has also worked previously for the USTR. In 1990, Marantis graduated from Princeton University with a degree in public and international affairs. Immediately afterwards, he attended Harvard Law School, earning a J.D. in 1993.
Coming out of college, Marantis worked at the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he started in the Washington, D.C. headquarters before moving to Brussels. In 1998, under the Clinton administration, Marantis, joined the USTR as its associate general counsel. In 2002, he left government to work at the non-profit U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council. He lived in Hanoi during this time, working on issues like Vietnam's attempt to comply with standards set in the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, ratified in November 2001.
When Kirk was nominated as U.S. trade representative by President Obama, questioned the pick. Many thought the nomination of a former Dallas mayor with a thin international resume meant that Obama had decided to place trade on the backburner. It was reported that Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) turned the job down prior to Kirk's nomination because of fears it would be low profile. "My concern is how much weight this position would have had, and I reached the conclusion that it would not be a top priority, or even second or third priority," Becerra told La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper.
The nomination of Marantis will add an experienced trade official to the USTR. His former employer, Baucus, chairs the Senate Finance Committee that recommended Marantis to the Senate, helping ease his confirmation process. Upon joining the USTR, South Korea, Panama and Colombia trade deals could all be on the docket.
Marantis worked at the Senate Finance Committee since 2005, advising chairman and former ranking member Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and other committee Democrats. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) publically thanked Marantis for his work on the TAA compromise in February 2009. Grassley is the ranking member and former chairman of the Finance Committee.
Marantis works under USTR Ron Kirk.
Marantis has donated $2,100 since 2004. All of his money went to presidential candidates Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 or then-Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) in 2008.