Click Here to read Under Secretary Christopher Padilla's speech
Trade Policy at a Crossroads
Mendenhall, Matsukata, Kolbe, Hunter, and Padilla
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
American workers are among the most productive and prosperous in the world. Yet public sentiment has grown skeptical of open international trade and investment. Polls suggest that "protectionism" no longer bears negative connotations. Presidential candidates and other politicians condemn international trade arrangements such as NAFTA. The House of Representatives recently broke with decades of precedent to strip the Colombia trade agreement of fast-track treatment, potentially taking the agreement off the legislative agenda indefinitely. Other trade agreements with Panama and South Korea hang in limbo.
Is America turning its back on the open international economic system created in the wake of World War II? What is driving this public anxiety that politicians are reflecting? What are the implications for U.S. international leadership, and for American workers? How will the Bush Administration and the Democratic Congress deal with pending agreements, and what are the prospects for trade policy after January 20, 2009? The Hudson Institute, a non-partisan think tank, organized this event to explore the future of U.S. trade policy with policymakers and experts.
Commerce Under Secretary Chris Padilla gave a keynote address entitled "Openness and the American Creed" in which he discussed the Administration's trade agenda, trade agreements pending before Congress, and the importance of an open economy to Americans and the world. His remarks were followed by a panel discussion featuring Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund and former U.S. Representative for the state of Arizona, Nao Matsukata,Senior policy advisor of Alston& Bird and former USTR policy planning director, and Jim Mendenhall, former USTR General Counsel and partner of Sidley Austin. Rod Hunter, former National Security Council Senior Director and Hudson Institute Senior Fellow, moderated.
Chris Padilla serves as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and was recently appointed by President Bush to serve on the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China. Padilla has worked in the Bush Administration since 2002, with a particular focus on international trade and economic issues. Recently, he published an op-ed in the Politico entitled "Trade Openness Key to Vibrant Economy."
Jim Kolbe serves as a Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He advises on trade matters as well as issues of effectiveness of U.S. assistance to foreign countries, on U.S.-EU relationships, and on migration and its relationship to development. From 1985 to 2007, Kolbe served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Eighth (previously designated the Fifth) congressional district, comprising the southeastern part of Arizona with Tucson as the main population area.
Nao Matsukata, a Senior Policy Advisor of Alston & Bird, LLP, served as Director of policy planning for U.S. Trade Representative. From 1995 to 2000, Dr. Matsukata served as senior policy advisor to United States Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and as senior policy advisor during the 2000 presidential campaign, on domestic and foreign policy, with a particular focus on the national budget, climate change and international economic issues.
Jim Mendenhall, a partner at Sidley Austin, served as General Counsel for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. He was responsible for trade and investment policy, and oversaw trade negotiations dealing with services, investment, and intellectual property.
Rod Hunter, a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the National Security Council. While at the NSC, he was responsible for coordinating the administration's policies on international economics, including trade, finance, investment, energy, and the environment. From 1989 to 2001, Hunter practiced law in Brussels. Recently, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled "The Democrats and Trade."
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Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
1015 15th St, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005