Corporate Leaders and Trade Experts Discuss the Changing Global Economic Landscape

On the morning of March 24, 2015, Meridian convened a roundtable discussion with representatives from multi-national corporations and a multi-regional group of visitors, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP, focused on “International Trade in a Changing Global Economic Landscape,” included 20 global leaders representing government, academia, think tanks, and media, who are visiting the U.S. to review the American economic system, as well as the domestic economic forces that influence U.S. trade policy and the policy-making process. The countries represented in this IVLP ranged from Colombia to Namibia to Russia to Thailand.

Dr. Christina Sevilla, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant, U.S. Trade Representative, Small Business, Market Access and Industrial Competitiveness, USTR, moderated the roundtable. Corporate representatives included: Mr. Eric Loeb, Vice President, International External Affairs, AT&T; Ms. Ann-Marie Padgett, International Advocacy Manager, Global Government & Corporate Affairs Division, Caterpillar Inc.; Mr. Matthew Reisman, Director, International Trade, Microsoft Corporation; and, Ms. Sarah F. Thorn, Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Topics of conversation dovetailed with current issues that the companies represented are facing, and focused on timely issues and trends, including:

  • Global trends in costs and activity for mobile telecommunications and border flow data in emerging markets;
  • Rules of origin and the overall trade agreements process for product to dealer transactions and procurement of products in-region;
  • IP and consumer protection issues and regulations, as well as digital protectionism and security improvements; and
  • Improvements and innovative solutions for regulatory customs and tariff issues on goods.

Following the program, the visitors and corporate representatives enjoyed networking and additional conversation on ways that the U.S. and the countries represented can continue to forge greater communications and collaborations across borders, as well as pursue regional agreements more broadly.

Project summary

Corporate Leaders and Trade Experts Discuss the Changing Global Economic Landscape | March 2015
Number of Attendees: 20
Regions: Africa, Western Hemisphere, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Namibia, Colombia, Thailand, Russia
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Entrepreneurship, Security and Defense
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Individuals/Donors, Private Sector, Public Sector