Trading Economic Policy Perspectives with NEC’s Andrew Olmem


Andrew Olmem during the Insights@Meridian discussion.

The U.S. economy has been the subject of countless headlines in recent months. In light of the current trade war with China and increasing speculation about interest rates, senior members of the foreign diplomatic corps were eager to hear from Andrew Olmem, Deputy Assistant to the President and the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (NEC). On May 21st, over 45 diplomats and private sector representatives assembled at Meridian International Center to have their most pressing economic policy questions answered.

The Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement and SK co-hosted Andrew Olmem, a senior official from the National Economic Council, the organization within the White House that is responsible for coordinating the formulation of U.S. economic policy. Olmem’s current portfolio includes tax reform, job creation and technological development, among many other domestic economic issues which were discussed during a fireside chat with Meridian President and CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday. Olmem underscored the strong U.S. economy highlighting that the unemployment rate for all demographics in the United States is at an all-time low and the economy is in the 103rd month of job growth, the longest continuous stretch in our nation’s history.

Olmem’s primary focus is on making sure that the United States is the place to do business, that the economy is competitive on a global scale and that the U.S. is the most technologically advanced country in the world. Olmem has everlasting confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency of the American workforce and explained that the NEC prioritizes equipping the workforce with the skills needed to keep up with technological developments. This includes focusing on the large portion of the U.S. labor force that doesn’t go to college, educating them on the technology involved in their skill to help them remain competitive.

Regarding 5G, Olmem asserted that the development of applications from within the United States will skyrocket once the system is up and running and that the government will make sure it is deployed properly to create the best space for entrepreneurial development. The Administration and the NEC are keen on making sure that the global trading system is conducted in a fair, transparent manner, a goal that resonated with the many diplomats in attendance.

Before serving on the National Economic Council, Olmem was a partner at Venable, LLP and served as the Republican Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director at the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

The May 21st briefing was the first in a series of programs that the Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement is co-hosting with the SK, MCDE’s lead partner on foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade. Insights @ Meridian and other Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement programs serve to provide the international diplomatic corps with a better understanding of U.S. domestic policies from multiple perspectives. For more information, please visit

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Project summary

Trading Economic Policy Perspectives with NEC’s Andrew Olmem | May 2019
Number of Attendees: 48
Countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Zambia
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Entrepreneurship
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector