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The CHLI Trade & International Affairs Symposium Dialogues Focused on U.S. and E.U. Agreement

Sunday, October 20, 2013  
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PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release
October 18, 2013  Contact: Mary Ann Gomez
The CHLI Trade & International Affairs Symposium Dialogues Focused on U.S. and E.U. Agreement 
Washington DC, October 18, 2013 - The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) concluded its second annual CHLI Trade & International Affairs Symposium during Hispanic Heritage Month on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in Washington D.C. Over 200 people from the legal, business and trade community as well as members of the diplomatic community, Hispanic organization leaders, and law students listened, learned and participated in the discussions on global competitiveness. The focus of the symposium was on the pending agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU).
Held at the Newseum, the symposium featured speakers representing a diverse range of domestic and international organizations speaking about the important role the U.S. Hispanic community plays in the global trade conversation. The half-day symposium included several panel discussions that focused on trade, international affairs, and our nation's global competitiveness. Panelists shared their thoughts on why trade is positive for the United States, business, and how trade impacts the economic engine of the Americas. They also included discussions about global trade partners, where the opportunities for growth are, and how trade will impact business in the Western Hemisphere. 

The plenary session, "Intellectual Property & Trade," revolved around the topic of intellectual property as it relates to trade negotiations and how preservation of it is crucial to encouraging innovation and competition in the global economy. This session was led by Jason Llorenz, a Senior Fellow at the School of Communications and Information at Rutgers University. Maria Cristina Capelo of Google shared her insights on the corporate perspective on challenges and opportunities in growing business outside the U.S. Liz Lopez of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP presented the legal aspects of trade as it relates to intellectual property and other cyber-related activities. 

"As a Congressman representing the largest inland port in the country in Laredo, Texas, I know firsthand the importance of trade to our local and national economies. Approximately 12,000 commercial trucks cross the border from Mexico into the United States through Laredo every day. And in Texas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that over 450,000 jobs rely on trade between the United States and Mexico. I would like to thank CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart and my colleagues Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for highlighting this important issue and making it a priority for our young people to recognize its impact." said CHLI Co-Vice Chairman Congressman Henry Cuellar. 

The second panel, "US-EU: US Implications," provided analysis of the effects of a United States-European Union trade agreement and its impact on the US economy. This discussion was moderated by Lori Montenegroo of Telemundo. François Rivasseau, Delegation of the European Union in the United States shared the point of view from the European Union. David Spooner of Squire Sanders contributed his perspectives of assisting clients navigate international opportunities. Governor Luis Fortuño of Steptoe & Johnson, LLP spoke about the finance perspective and analysis on how trade agreements navigate the legislative process. Rebecca Karnak of Dell highlighted the corporate perspective on policy issues affecting global opportunities.

"With 95% of the world population outside the U.S., trade and investment agreements have a major role to play in maximizing economic growth.  Trade is a powerful engine for supporting and creating American jobs and increasing U.S. exports to countries around the world.  Because of its strategic location and dedicated workforce, my home state of Florida depends on international trade as it supports millions of jobs and generates billions of dollars in exports.  We must continue to engage in free trade with free nations and seek new markets and dismantle barriers to our exports so that American businesses continue to thrive." said CHLI Co-Vice Chairman Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.

The third panel "US-EU: Latin America Implications," moderated by Armando Guzman of TV Azteca, covered the effects of a free trade agreement and its implications for the Western Hemisphere. The dialogue covered how Latin American countries are shaping the requirements for free trade agreements, as well as lessons learned from previous agreements with Latin American countries that may or should be part of the US-EU discussions. Fabrizio Opertti of the Inter-American Development Bank highlighted investment potential and effects in Latin America from a US-EU agreement. Ricardo Ernst, Ph.D. of Georgetown University contributed the academic point of view and specific perspectives based on experience in South America. Dr. Ernst said, "Free-trade is the easiest and simplest solution for countries to expand their markets." Ambassador David Nelson of General Electric talked about the corporate point of view on trade and from his experience in South America. Alice Ancona of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce reinforced the perspectives on how an agreement may effect small businesses and entrepreneurs.

"As a Representative from South Florida, I know how important trade is to have a strong economy. My home state is a leading global trade hub as the world's principal commercial gateway to Latin American and the Caribbean. Florida ranked 4th in state exports reaching a record $66.4 billion last year. Trade is crucial for Florida, but also for the entire country, since we are the world's largest national economy and leading global trader" said CHLI Congressional Member, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. 

Juan Rodríguez Inciarte, President of La Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos provided some insights to the opportunities of public-private partnerships.

The presentations provided the opportunity for Washington, D.C. area attorneys to earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. CLE was offered to attorneys registered in New York, California, Virginia, Texas, and Florida. 

"On behalf of CHLI's Board of Directors, we are proud to convene experts in commerce and international trade from the public, private and academic sectors to discuss global issues during Hispanic Heritage Month. Americans of Hispanic descent are poised to lead, start and collaborate to support this country's economic progress. Our multicultural experiences, our bilingual skills and our understanding of how to work with people with different points of view are a great asset to the United States." Mary Ann Gomez, CHLI Executive Director. 

This event was made possible by the generous contributions of Wal-Mart, The Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Comcast/NBCUniversal/Telemundo, Google, and Squire Sanders. Special thanks to Altria, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Embassy of Spain - Washington D.C. and La Asociación de Líderes Hispanos for their support.
For additional information about the CHLI Annual Trade & International Affairs Symposium, visit Photos of the symposium are in CHLI's Facebook Page - click here to see photos.
About CHLI:
The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and non-partisan organization. CHLI's vision is Advancing the Hispanic Community's Diversity of Thought. CHLI is the premier organization founded by Members of Congress and Hispanic corporate executive leaders to advance the Hispanic community's economic progress with a focus on social responsibility and global competitiveness. The organization's leadership, domestic and international partners and staff prepare and promote Hispanic college students and professionals to be global leaders. Programs incorporate the intersections of academic excellence, public policy and global perspectives. 
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