Peter Allgeier

Peter Allgeier


  •        BA, International Relations, Brown University [1]
  •        MA, International Relations, John Hopkins University [1]
  •        Ph.D, International Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [1]


Peter Allgeier is a former top trade official for the US government, serving as Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR) under President George W Bush from 2001-2009 and US Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Since 2009, Allgeier has worked as a private lobbyist representing US corporate interests, including the tobacco and oil industries, in multilateral and bilateral trade deals and at international fora including the WTO. [2]

Allgeier currently sits on the Advisory Council of the International Trade and Competition Unit (ITCU), part of the UK free-market thinktank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). At the IEA Allgeier has worked closely with the lobbyist and lawyer Shanker Singham, who has been described as the “Brexiteers’ Brain”, and has advocated for the US and UK governments to negotiate a trade agreement with significant deregulation of environmental and food standards. [1], [3], [4], [5], [6]

The ITCU was formerly directed by Singham and was launched by the IEA in March 2018 to “promote the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.” Allgeier joined between July and August that year. [4], [1], [8]

Allgeier and other members of the ITCU contributed to  the IEA’s controversial “Plan A+” report, co-authored by Singham, for which the IEA was censured by the Charity Commission for breaching political neutrality rules. Allgeier also represented the IEA at a US government-hosted hearing on the USUK trade deal in January 2019, at which he called on the US government to negotiate a deal which removed “rigid” and “proscriptive” food safety and environmental standards. [5], [8], [6]

A 2018 Greenpeace investigation revealed the IEA had been raising funds from US donors, including agri-business interests, to fund the ITCU. [9]

Alongside several other members of the ITCU, Allgeier was a member of the Alternative Arrangements Commission set up by a number of Conservative MPs and the cross-party thinktank, Prosperity UK, to propose solutions on the “Irish border question” in UKEU negotiations in 2019. The Commission’s report was praised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who called it an “excellent paper” however it ”drew criticism from MPs after it was revealed that the recommendations, estimated to cost up to £13 billion, had not been costed by the Commission. [10], [11], [12], [13]

Allgeier started his career at the US Trade Representative agency in 1980 where he worked in the Asia and Pacific, Europe and Middle East and Western Hemisphere Offices, before being nominated by George W Bush to the position of Deputy US Trade Representative in 2001. [2], [14]

As Deputy Assistant and then Assistant USTR at the Asia and Pacific Office, Allgeier was part of a US effort to expand tobacco markets in East Asia, working with tobacco companies to frustrate attempts at regulation in countries including Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Japan. He has been described by ABC Australia as the “private face of the tobacco industry” for his work at the USTR and later representing private clients. [15], [16], [17]

As Deputy USTR to George W Bush, Allgeier was involved in the successful conclusion of the CAFTADR trade agreement with the Dominican Republic, which has been accused of causing “devastating” environmental damage in the Caribbean country. [18], [19]

He also represented US interests at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s now-defunct “Doha Round” negotiations, and in his role as Ambassador to the WTO, a post to which he was appointed in 2005. The Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, a US thinktank, has noted that USTR positions during Allgeier’s time closely mirrored demands of key US trade groups including the Council of Americas, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the US Coalition of Service industries (USCSI), of which Allgeier was President from 2012-2016. [20], [21], [22], [2]

At the end of George W Bush’s presidency in 2009, and before joining the USCSI, Allgeier served as President of Crowell and Moring International (CMI) an “international policy and regulatory affairs” firm and affiliate of the law firm Crowell and Moring (C&M) LLP. C&M LLP has represented energy clients including Chevron, Halliburton, Exxon and Arch Coal and was one of three legal firms to issue “client alert” memos after several US states announced they would join New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into attempts by Exxon Mobil to suppress evidence of climate change. C&M LLP also had what has been described as a “long-term relationship” with tobacco firm Philip Morris. [23], [24], [25], [26], [17]

In 2012, Allgeier became President of the US Coalition of Services Industries (USCSI) a trade body that represents US companies in diverse service industries including insurance, energy and logistics. The USCSI has been credited with having considerable influence on US government trade policy, including on negotiations surrounding energy services during the negotiation of the General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS) at the WTO during the 1990s. USCSI members include Walmart, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and JP Morgan, the bank with the most fossil fuel investments in the world. The USCSI has also represented oil giants Halliburton and Enron, although whether they are still members is unknown. [27], [28], [29], [30]

During Allgeier’s presidency, the USCSI was a member of the US Business Coalition for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP),” other members of which included Cargill, Chevron, the American Chemistry Council, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), ExxonMobil and the US Chamber of Commerce. In 2015-16, members of the coalition donated over $1 million to lobby US senators to “fast-track” TTP legislation and avoid scrutiny from Congress. The TPP was a proposed major trade deal between the US and major economies in Asia, Oceania and Latin America negotiated under the administration of President Obama but abandoned under President Donald Trump. [31], [32], [33], [34]

After leaving the USCSI in 2016, Allgeier set up and became President of the international trade advisory firm, Nauset Global. Nauset Global’s website states that it draws upon a “vast international network” to advise clients on “promoting” and “protecting” their interests in trade deals. Details of their business activities are currently unknown, however. [35]

Stance on Climate Change

Allgeier has not made any statements on climate change.

Key Quotes

January 29, 2019

At a hearing on “negotiating objectives” for the proposed USUK trade deal, hosted by the US Trade Representative where he represented the Institute for Economic Affairs, Allgeier said:

In areas such as food safety and automobile standards, rigid, proscriptive EU standards have stifled innovation, and impeded U.S. exports. The so-called precautionary principle in the European regulatory rules in particular has been a problem. Many attribute the support for Brexit in the U.K. to frustration with this imposition of such extensive rulemaking from Brussels. Given that sensitivity there should be opportunities for the U.S. and the U.K. to fashion effective but trade promoting approaches to standards and regulation in heavily traded goods.” [6]

The precautionary principle is an EU approach to legislation that allows countries to place restrictions on substances where there is evidence of a potential to harm the environment or human health. The precautionary principle has been used to justify EU bans on substances including the bee-killing pesticides neonicotinoids and the organophosphate chlorpyrifos which research shows may harm child development. It gives regulators significantly more power to regulate substances than the US’s approach, which it defends as a so-called “science-based” or “risk-based” approach. [36], [37], [38], [39]

August 31, 2018

In an article for Briefings for Britain, a volunteer-led online platform which hosts pro-Brexit research, news and opinion, Allgeier wrote:

…the current Government proposal places the UK in a straitjacket that prevents it from pursuing an independent regulatory regime in manufactures and agricultural goods, which will prevent it from securing the major concessions on services and other regulatory barriers it faces in complex trade negotiations with the larger parties. And this doesn’t even address the problems of aligning regulation of services, which increasingly are integrated in traded products, e.g., aircraft, heavy machinery, and advanced medical equipment.

Those who argue that the UK can obtain its pre-EU freedom to conduct an independent trade policy while locking in to the EU’s regulatory rule-book are suffering from, and propagating, a serious delusion” [40]

Key Deeds

May 26, 2011

An investigation by journalists at the Australia’s national broadcasting network ABC found that as President of C&M International, of Allgeier lobbied a Malaysian government minister to oppose Australian government’s plans to introduce plain packaging legislation for cigarettes in an effort to cut Australia’s smoking rate.

It is not known which of C&M International’s clients Allgeier was representing at the time, but the consultancy’s affiliated legal firm C&M LLP has had what has been described as a “long term” relationship with America’s largest tobacco firm, Philip Morris. [17]


  • Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)Member of the “International Trade and Competition Unit Advisory Council.” [1]
  • C&M International (CMI) –  President (2009-2012). [2]                                                   
  • Coalition of Service Industries (USCSI) – President (2012-2016). [2]
  • US Business Coalition for TPP – During Allgeier’s presidency, the USCI was one of the members of the “US Business Coalition for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP),” members of which included Cargill, Chevron, the American Chemistry Council, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), ExxonMobil and the US Chamber of Commerce. [31]
  • Nauset Global LLCPresident[35]

Social Media



  1. International Trade and Competition Unit Advisory Council,” Institute for Economic Affairs. Archived July 27, 2020. URL:
  2. Peter Allgeier,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 27, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  3. Alex Spence. “The Definitive Story Of How A Former Washington Lobbyist Became “The Brexiteers’ Brain”,” Buzzfeed. May 22, 2018. Archived July 16, 2020. URL:
  4. Shanker Singham to head up new Trade Unit at Institute of Economic Affairs,” Institute of Economic Affairs. March 9, 2018. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  5. Singham et al. “PlanA+: Creating a prosperous post-Brexit UK,” The Institute of Economic Affairs. September 21, 2018. Archived August 12, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  6. Transcript – Public Hearing on Negotiating Objectives for a USUK Trade Agreement (PDF),” Trade Policy Staff Committee, Office of the United States Trade Representative. January 29, 2019. Archived July 23, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  7. International Trade and Competition Unit Advisory Council,” Institute of Economic Affairs. Archived August 17, 2018.
  8. Mat Hope. “Thinktank with Ties to Climate Science Denial Censured by Charity Commission for Brexit Lobbying,” DeSmog. February 6, 2019.
  9. Lawrence Carter and Alice Ross. “A Leading Think Tank Brokered Access to Ministers for US Donors Looking to Influence Brexit,” Unearthed. July 29, 2018. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  10. About Prosperity UK’s Alternative Arrangements Commission,” Prosperity UK. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  11. Lisa O’Carroll. “Brexit and the Irish Border Question Explained,” The Guardian. September 19, 2018. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  12. Padraic Halpin. “Explainer: What is the Brexit backstop alternative paper Johnson praised,” Reuters. August 22, 2019. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  13. Rob Merrick. “Brexit: Team behind Boris Johnson’s ‘high-tech” border plan admit they have no idea how much it cost,” The Independent. June 26, 2019. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  14. Nominations – Peter Frederick Allgeier,” White House Archives. Archived August 16, 2020. URL:
  15. Peter Schmeisser. “Pushing Cigarettes Overseas,” The New York Times Magazine. July 10, 1988. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  16. Ross MacKenzie, “Trade Policy, not morals or health policy,” the US Trade Representative, tobacco companies and market liberalisation in Thailand,” Global Soc Policy. 2012 Aug; 12(2) 149-172. doi: 10.1177/1468018112443686. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  17. Steve Cannane, “Malaysia being lobbied to derail cig packaging,” Lateline, ABC News. May 26, 2011. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  18. President Bush Expanded and Enforced Trade Agreements to Open New Markets for American Products,” White House Archives. Archived August 16, 2020. URL:
  19. Manuel Perez-Rocha and Julia Paley. “What “Free Trade” Has Done to Central America,” Foreign Policy in Focus. November 21, 2014. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  20. John McClenahen, “Deputy USTR Allgeier Will Represent U.S at WTO,” Industry Week. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  21. Doug Palmer, “US Ambassador to WTO Allgeier to Leave Government,” Reuters. August 13, 2009. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  22. The Pillars of Power: How the Free Trade Agenda Promotes Dirty Energy,” The Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. October 30, 2003. Archived August 12, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  23. US Ambassador to World Trade Organisation Peter Allgeier Joins C&M International – Press Release,” Crowell and Moring LLP. August 17, 2009. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  24. C&M International,” Crowell and Moring LLP. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  25. Energy,” Crowell and Moring LLP. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  26. Steve Horn. “Client Alert: Law Firms Tell Fossil Fuel Companies They Could Be Next in “ExxonKnew” Probe,” DeSmog. May 15, 2016.
  27. Vastine Retires, Allgeier to lead CSI,” The Hagstrom Report. October 31, 2012. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  28. Eric Wesselius, “GATS and Corporate Political Power,” Transnational Institute. May 18, 2006. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  29. Business Rules: Who Pays the Price,” Friends of the Earth International. August 2003. Archived August 12, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  30. Banking on Climate Change : Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020 (PDF),Rainforest Action Network. March 18, 2020. Archived July 23, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  31. US Business Coalition,” US-New Zealand Council. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  32. C Robert Gibson and Taylor Channing. “Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill,” The Guardian. May 27, 2015. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  33. TPP: What is it and why does it matter,” BBC News. January 23, 2017. Archived August 12, 2020. URL
  34. Peter Baker, “Trump Abandons Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s Signature Trade Deal,” The New York Times. January 23, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog
  35. About,” Nauset Global LLC. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  36. Philip Case. “Bayer and NFU battling to overturn neonicotinoids ban,” Farmers Weekly. June 4, 2020. Archived August 12, 2020. URL:
  37. Natasha Foote. “EU Commission set to vote on ban of controversial organophosphate pesticides,” Euractiv. December 4, 2019. Archived August 12, 2020. URL
  38. Staffab Dahllof and Stephane Horel. “Pesticide Chlorpyrifos Banned by EU,” EU Observer. December 9, 2019. Archived August 16, 2020. URL:
  39. The Pesticide Action Network UK, Sustain and Dr Emily Lydgate. Toxic Trade: How Trade Deals Threaten to Weaken UK Pesticide Standards,” Pesticide Action Network UK. Archived August 12, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  40. Peter Allgeier. “The Chequers proposal would prevent the UK regaining an independent trade policy,” Briefings for Britain. August 31, 2018. Archived August 16, 2020. URL:

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