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2019 SPRING | International Trade in the 21st Century

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February 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am - April 3, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Dole Fellow Ethan Corson
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Once considered an area of bipartisan consensus, support has eroded for the idea that free trade benefits the U.S. and that engagement with the global economy is essential to the nation’s economic growth.

An alumnus of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the current executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, Dole Fellow Ethan Corson leads an exploration of the issues surrounding international trade, including the different approaches taken by recent presidential administrations. Corson and his guests will dissect arguments for and against free trade and provide the historical context for understanding today’s debate.


The Big Ideas in International Trade, from Truman to Obama

Ethan Corson and guest Scott Handler kick off our spring discussion group series with a look at the ideological underpinning for U.S. trade policy since the 1940s. Handler previously served as a White House Fellow and special advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. His work focused on international trade issues including digital trade, promoting entrepreneurship abroad and strategic initiatives. He is currently the chief information security officer and head of partnerships at WireWheel.


The Collapsing Consensus: Trade in the Era of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders

Free trade was once considered an area of broad bipartisan consensus. Is trade really to blame for some of the negative effects attributed to it, or is it a scapegoat for other, larger challenges in the U.S. economy? Joining Ethan Corson in conversation is Arun Venkataraman. Venkataraman has more than 15 years of experience advising government officials on trade and economic policy. Most recently, he served as director of policy for the International Trade Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is currently trade and policy advisor at Steptoe.


A View from the Capitol: How Congress Looks at International Trade

Ethan Corson and Jordan Haas break down the politics of trade from the perspective of those who have worked on the issue with members of Congress. Haas played a lead role in advancing Barack Obama’s trade legislative agenda, including serving as director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs for the International Trade Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce. In his current position, he works as the director of trade policy for the Internet Association.


Trump’s Trade Policies, Two Years In

This session presents a deep dive into the policy decisions, philosophies and results of the Trump Administration’s approach to international trade. Ethan Corson and guest Atman Trivedi will break down a host of topics, including the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, tariffs, trade wars and bilateral trade agreements. Trivedi served as senior director for policy in global markets at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and as chief of staff in the U.S. State Department’s International Security and Nonproliferation bureau. He is currently managing director of Hills and Company International Consultants.


Were Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Made in China? How Trade Affects Kansas

In the fifth week of discussion groups, Ethan Corson adopts a local perspective. Alongside guest Mike Matson, Corson will shift the focus to the ways that trade and policy decisions affect the Sunflower State. Matson is the director of industry affairs and development for the Kansas Farm Bureau, a non-profit farm organization that works to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and research.


Talking Trade: How the Messaging around Trade Shapes Public Opinion

Public perception of trade and policy decisions can be heavily shaped by the messaging of a presidential administration. Ethan Corson unpacks the communications strategy of senior officials with U.S. Department of Commerce alumna Meghan Groob. Groob served in a variety of messaging roles in the department of commerce, including as director of speechwriting and deputy director of public affairs. She is currently editorial director at Gates Ventures.


Trade Enforcement: How Trade Disputes are Resolved

Once a trade agreement is signed, how does the U.S. make sure the terms are followed? Former U.S. Department of Commerce chief counsel for trade enforcement and compliance John McInerney joins Ethan Corson to examine the finer points of trade enforcement, including how U.S. industries seek relief from unfairly traded imports, “dumping,” countervailing duties and more. McInerney served as the chief legal advisor to the department of commerce for antidumping and countervailing duty matters, and was involved in almost every major administrative proceeding, negotiation, litigation and dispute relating to these laws during that period. He has briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, NAFTA panels, WTO Panels and the WTO Appellate body.



February 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am
April 3, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
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