A Conversation on American Competitiveness

On the morning of August 27, 2014, Meridian convened a roundtable discussion with representatives from multinational corporations and a multi-regional group of visitors, as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP, focused on “U.S. Trade Policy: Increasing American Competitiveness,” included more than 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 Argentina and Australia to Tajikistan and Vietnam.

Meridian’s President and CEO, Ambassador Stuart Holliday, opened the morning roundtable on Competitiveness in the Global Marketplace: Perspectives on U.S. Trade Policy with warm welcome remarks, before turning over the program to moderator, Ambassador Peter Allgeier, President of Coalition of Services Industries, and Former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization. The off-the-record conversation focused on barriers to increased international trade, and strategies the U.S. companies are formulating to meet those new demands. Participating in the discussion were U.S. corporate representatives: Ms. Kathleen Black, Director, Government Relations, The Coca-Cola Company; Mr. Todd Fox, Senior Director, Global Government Relations, Visa Inc.; Ambassador Craig Kelly, Senior Director for the Americas, International Government Relations, ExxonMobil; Ambassador David D. Nelson, Senior Manager, Global Government Affairs and Policy - Americas, General Electric Company; and Ms. Sarah F. Thorn, Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Topics of conversation ranged from the pressing need to bring current regulations up to speed, to integrated manufacturing processes, ecommerce, cyber security, trade facilitation, and corporate social responsibility.

Project summary

A Conversation on American Competitiveness
Number of Attendees: 27
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Security
Program Areas: Forums, Exchanges
Partners: NGOs, Public Sector, Private Sector
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