American Phoenix was founded by Beth Baltzan, a lawyer who practiced with two preeminent law firms before joining the government. In government, she worked for the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the House Ways and Means Committee. She has also worked for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
At USTR, Baltzan was the principal customs and supply chain lawyer for all U.S. trade agreements negotiated between 2003 and 2009. She was also the principal lawyer for U.S. programs benefiting developing countries, including the Generalized System of Preferences and the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Other portfolios included intellectual property, textiles, and market access. Baltzan also had a sizable litigation portfolio at USTR, including multiple disputes at the World Trade Organization. In connection with her litigation work, she participated in WTO negotiations.
In 2012, Baltzan joined the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Democratic staff, where she became a trusted adviser to Members and staff on a range of issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement. As the principal staffer on three trade bills that moved in 2015 (customs, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and preferences for developing programs), Baltzan routinely collaborated with her Republican counterparts. Baltzan’s other areas of expertise for the Committee included intellectual property, financial services, environment, and labor.
In 2016, USTR asked Baltzan to return to the agency to assist in preparing a dispute against China involving subsidies to its aluminum industry. Baltzan’s work on that dispute, in conjunction with her experience at the PCAOB, have given her insight into Chinese economic and financial policies, and the way they affect American markets.
In May 2019, Baltzan testified before the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee on enforcement in the new NAFTA, and again in September 2020 on trade and development. In June 2020, Baltzan testified before the Senate Finance Trade Subcommittee on Trade and Censorship. In addition, she has been named to the NAFTA Chapter 19 Dispute Settlement Roster.
In October 2020, Baltzan published the Modern Agreement of Amity and Commerce, a new model of trade agreement designed to promote inclusive prosperity and positive economic relationships with like-minded trading partners.
She graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a Bachelor’s in International Relations and earned her JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 1996.