The US Commerce Department’s top trade official said that he planned to resign, effective July 13, to return to the private sector.

Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Frank Lavin has accepted a senior position at the global real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield, a Commerce Department aide said.

Lavin, a former US ambassador to Singapore, has helped lead US efforts to expand exports to China, India and other countries since joining the Commerce Department in 2005.

He also oversaw a controversial policy change that will make it easier for US companies to seek duties against subsidized imports from China.

Lavin announced his departure in a letter to Commerce Department employees. (Reuters)