Rufus Hawkins Yerxa (born 1951) is an American lawyer and public servant. He is President of the National Foreign Trade Council.
He served as visiting professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and leading authority on international trade agreements and U.S. trade policy. From 2002 to 2013 he was the Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Yerxa has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound, and an LL.B. (1977) in international law from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. From 1977 to 1981 he was legal advisor to the chairman of the International Trade Commission. Until 1989 he was assistant chief counsel of the House Ways and Means Committee and staff director of its subcommittee on trade.
He was the U.S. ambassador to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva, and then deputy United States Trade Representative in Washington, DC. He played a key role in the Uruguay Round Negotiations. From 1995 he was a partner in Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in Brussels. Yerxa was European general counsel, and later chief international counsel, for Monsanto Company. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
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