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Simon Lester is a trade policy analyst with Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies. His research focuses on WTO disputes, regional trade agreements, disguised protectionism and the history of international trade law.

Before joining Cato, he worked for the trade law practice of a Washington, D.C. law firm, and also as a Legal Affairs Officer at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization. In 2001, he founded the international trade law web site He has written a number of law journal articles, which have appeared in such publications as the Stanford Journal of International Law, the George Washington International Law Review and the Journal of World Trade. In addition, he has taught courses on international trade law at American University’s Washington College of Law and the University of Michigan Law School.

He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

More from Simon Lester


Game on: How to Devise International Investment Law

National Interest (Online). March 25, 2015.

America’s Free-Trade Conundrum

National Interest (Online). January 8, 2015.

Libertarian Internationalism

Townhall. December 16, 2014.

Cato Studies

Expanding Trade in Medical Care through Telemedicine

Policy Analysis No. 769. March 24, 2015.

One Year into the TTIP Negotiations: Getting to Yes

Free Trade Bulletin No. 59. September 29, 2014.

Free Trade in Environmental Goods: The Trade Remedy Problem

Free Trade Bulletin No. 54. August 19, 2013.


Domestic Tobacco Regulation and International Law:The Interaction of Trade Agreements and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Journal of World Trade. Vol. 47. No. 1. February 2015.

A Call for Integration

The International Economy. November 2014.

Financial Services in the TTIP: Making the Prudential Exception Work

Georgetown Journal of International Law. Vol. 45. No. 4. 2014.