Trade issues today are perhaps hotter and more controversial than they have been in a generation. The Trump Administration has claimed that the U.S. is being treated unfairly in foreign markets and has either put in place or proposed a handful of contentious policies that could have a lasting impact on global business activities and possibly strain relationships with key U.S. trading partners. One such example is the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Difficult discussion are currently taking place with key partners in key markets for U.S. businesses. Another would be the the potential trade war with China as well as the impact and side effects from new tariffs placed on strategic commodities. Rarely has there been a more urgent need to understand how these issues are likely to play out and how business can prepare for future uncertainty.
Recently, GetGlobal had the pleasure of talking with one of the titans of U.S. trade policy, Ambassador Carla Hills, about these and other issues. Few have had a bigger impact in establishing the modern framework for today’s trade agreements than Carla. During her time as United State Trade Representative (USTR), she was instrumental in negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and led the U.S. negotiations on the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization. Her storied career at USTR also saw the U.S. enter into a number of other trade and investment agreements with countries all around the world.
We spoke with Carla about these key points:
- How to understand the current landscape and how current issues could be felt by your company,
- How the open trade issues may play out and what downside risks could look like,
- How companies can be masters of their own fate through these changes, and
- How to drill down on which issues to watch most closely.
It is not every day that one gets to hear from such an insightful and important figure in our space. NAFTA, China and its reactions to shifting U.S. trade policy, new digital commerce and E-commerce rules, and non-tariff barriers are all important topics for businesses to consider when making expansion decisions abroad. We are glad to have Carla discuss these topics with us and look forward to having other influencers and decision makers talk through trends they see around international trade and investment.
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