U.S. Trade Policy Objectives with Ms. Kate Kalutkiewcz

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council hosted a Global Business Briefing with Ms. Kate Kalutkiewicz, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Trade Policy, with introductory remarks from Mr. Daniel Sheehan, Senior Vice President for International Affairs at Bank of AmericaMs. Kalutkiewicz previously served as the Senior Trade Representative at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. In her prior role as USTR’s Director for European Affairs, she served as Associate Chief Negotiator for the United States in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.  

Meridian and its Corporate Council had the opportunity to learn about key U.S. trade policy objectives and the White House’s standing on multilateral trade negotiations. Ms. Kalutkiewicz explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the trade agenda the President laid out earlier this year. However, she insisted that despite these unprecedented challenges, the US Trade Representative and other agencies remain focused on completing trade negotiations and commitments. 

Ms. Kalutkiewicz outlined commitments to increased trade cooperation with emerging market economies such as Brazil and India. She also noted the recent launch of the U.S. and Kenya free trade agreementsuggesting that it had long been a goal of the administration to launch comprehensive free trade negotiations in the continent.  

With the disruptions caused by the current pandemic, questions emerged surrounding the reliance on large global supply chains. Ms. Kalutkiewicz remarked that resilience, diversification, and redundancy will be essential to ensuring that future shocks would not prevent governments, businesses, and individuals from obtaining basic products in an emergency situation. The inherent risks associated with reliance on single product sources may become a key focus area for businesses responding to supply chain challenges.  

Pursuing liberalization of trade around the world remains a central component of the Administration’s trade agenda. The current COVID-19 health crisis has further underscored the urgency for commercial diplomacy and economic cooperation between the United States and the world.  

Project summary

U.S. Trade Policy Objectives with Ms. Kate Kalutkiewcz | July 2020
Number of Attendees: 40
Regions: Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere
Countries: United States
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Private Sector