“I’ve heard a lot of presentations but this is the best explanation I’ve ever heard that tells me how trade issues are decided within the Executive Branch. I finally understand it.”
– James Wilkinson, Executive Director, at the Washington International Trade Association’s Intensive Trade Seminar, September 22, 2011
Are you tasked to represent a client or your organization to someone in the “Government?” Ever wonder how trade policy is made in the U.S. government? And who makes it, anyway?
The Washington International Trade Association recently held its first-ever Intensive Trade Seminar, geared to help Embassy staff learn about a wide range of key trade topics, including who makes trade policy in the Executive Branch of government, how is trade policy determined by Congress, what are export controls, and who handles trade promotion for the U.S.?
Marideth Sandler presented a well-received presentation (starting with the basics of U.S. government (using a modified diagram used for U.S. citizenship test preparation); moved to laying out the individual responsibilities of USTR, Commerce, USITC; and then ended with how Free Trade Agreements are developed and how interagency international trade policy decisions are made (not by vote, but by consensus) as they move from subcommittees and sometimes, if no consensus is reached, up level by level to the President. The presentation can be viewed at http://sandlertrade.com/?attachment_id=299
Approximately 70 people packed the room at the seminar co-sponsored by George Washington University’s Elliott School. Staff from a number of Embassies attended, including from Thailand, Guatemala, China, Taiwan, Peru, Brazil, Israel, Egypt, Poland, Denmark, Mongolia, the European Commission, Australia, Canada, the UK, and France. Businesses included the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Intratech, and I Consulting. The group was also honored by the presence of U.S. International Trade Commission Commissioner Charlotte Lane who especially enjoyed Ms. Sandler’s unsolicited praise for the work of the ITC staff.