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ADVOCACY

WEEK OF 2021.06.08

News, Views & Items of Interest Relevant to the Carolina Region
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In this issue of the CWTA International Trade & Commerce Advocacy Newsletter, we present several key players who will shape our policies and actions in response to current events on the world stage. Please read the selections below to understand more about their views on trade leadership.

New Legal Tools Needed to Combat Future Trade Threats

Katherine Tai

Asian-American USTR Katherine Tai

Ambassador Katherine Tai was sworn in as the 19th United States Trade Representative on March 18, 2021. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Ambassador Tai is the principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on U.S. trade policy. In her testimony before the Senate Finance Committee recently, she commented that the United States needs new trade law tools to head off anti-competitive threats from China against key American high-technology industries, rather than reacting once harm is done.

Before her unanimous Senate confirmation, Ambassador Tai spent most of her career in public service focusing on international economic diplomacy, monitoring, and enforcement. She previously served as Chief Trade Counsel and Trade Subcommittee Staff Director for the House Ways and Means Committee in the United States Congress. In this capacity, Ambassador Tai played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. trade law, negotiation strategies, and bilateral and multilateral agreements, including the recently re-negotiated United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Ambassador Tai is an experienced World Trade Organization (WTO) litigator. She previously developed and tried cases for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, eventually becoming the Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement. Before transitioning to federal service, she practiced law in the private sector, clerked for district judges, and taught English in Guangzhou, China.

Ambassador Tai earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She is fluent in Mandarin.

Multilateralism is Imperative to Tackle Global Challenges

Blinken Sec of State

Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

Over three decades and three presidential administrations, Antony Blinken has helped shape U.S. foreign policy to ensure it protects U.S. interests and delivers results for the American people. He served as deputy secretary of state for President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, and before that, as President Obama’s principal deputy national security advisor. In that role, Mr. Blinken chaired the interagency deputies committee, the main forum for hammering out the administration’s foreign policy.

During the first term of the Obama Administration, Mr. Blinken was a national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. This was the continuation of a long professional relationship that stretched back to 2002 when Mr. Blinken began his six-year stint as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then-Senator Biden was the chair of that committee from 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.

Outside of government, Mr. Blinken has worked in the private sector, civil society, and journalism. He was a founder of WestExec Advisors, an international strategic consulting firm focused on geopolitics and national security. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 and 2002. Before joining the government, Mr. Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris.

History Made as First Woman, African to Lead WTO

Ngozi WTO

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President WTO

Former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 66, has been appointed as the next World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General. She is a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert and the first woman and first African to hold the office.

Previously, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006, 2011-2015, and briefly Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director, responsible for an $81 billion operational portfolio including Europe and Central Asia, South Asia, and Africa (2007-2011).

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has been listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (Fortune, 2015), the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (TIME, 2014), the Top 100 Global Thinkers (Foreign Policy, 2011 and 2012), the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World (Forbes, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), the Top 3 Most Powerful Women in Africa (Forbes, 2012), the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Africa (Forbes, 2011), the Top 100 Women in the World (The Guardian, 2011), the Top 150 Women in the World (Newsweek, 2011), and the Top 100 most inspiring people in the World Delivering for Girls and Women (Women Deliver, 2011).

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a member of numerous boards and advisory groups, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Harvard University, the Oxford University Martin School Advisory Council, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking, the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Foundation, the International Commission on Financing Global Education.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Reforming the UnReformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press, 2012), and The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy (Africa World Press, 2003).

Committed to Jobs and a More Sustainable Economy

Raimondo US Commerce

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo


Gina M. Raimondo is the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and focused, she says, on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete.

Secretary Raimondo was formerly the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and its first woman governor. She graduated with honors from Harvard, where she was recognized as the top economics student in her class. She won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University where she earned a doctorate. She later graduated from Yale Law School. Secretary Raimondo clerked for U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, served as founding employee and senior vice president at Village Ventures, and founded Point Judith Capital, a venture capital firm.

In 2010, Secretary Raimondo was elected to serve as General Treasurer of Rhode Island, receiving the largest number of votes of any statewide candidate. She was sworn into office as Governor in 2015 and won a second term in 2018. She also served as chair of the Democratic Governors’ Association in 2019.

During her time as Governor, Secretary Raimondo kick-started the state’s economy and made record investments in infrastructure, education, and job training. She focused tirelessly on creating economic opportunities and good-paying jobs for all Rhode Islanders. Early in her administration, she launched an innovative workforce development program that develops business-led partnerships to address unique workforce challenges.
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Carolina World Trade Association
Founded in 1964, CWTA is a chapter of the North Carolina World Trade Association (NCWTA), which promotes growth of trade between North Carolina and the world by providing education and networking opportunities for our global ecosystem.

As a business-driven non-profit organization, CWTA’s mission is to promote, foster and encourage international commerce success and expand economic growth in the Carolinas region. We do this by:
  • Advocating the interests of businesses engaged in international trade on local, regional, state, and federal levels;
  • Educating businesses and their employees to the resources, issues, policies, and practices within international trade;
  • Promoting regional assets and opportunities for expanding inbound and outbound international commerce; and
  • Celebrating the successes of international trade in the region.
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