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Since the Franklin Roosevelt administration, the vision of U.S. trade policy has been to expand global commerce by reducing government‐imposed barriers. Ambassadors Kantor and Schwab played significant roles in that effort. Ambassador Kantor finalized the NAFTA, and also the Uruguay Round negotiations that established the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ambassador Schwab concluded trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
Unfortunately, positions espoused in 2016 by major party presidential candidates indicate little or no support for trade liberalization. Have decades of U.S. leadership toward a more open global economy come to an end? What could be done to improve public understanding of trade’s benefits? Will the political focus remain largely on protecting existing jobs, or will broader societal gains from trade be recognized? What might supporters of trade reform do to advance their cause? Please join us for this timely discussion.