CHLI Celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at 4th Annual Trade and International Affairs Symposium
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Posted by: Alessandra De Souza
CHLI Celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at the
4th Annual Trade and International Affairs Symposium
Washington D.C.- The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) hosted its 4th Annual Trade and International Affairs Symposium at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2015. In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, CHLI held the symposium with this year's theme, "Advancing Global Economic Progress."
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 symposium included four panel discussions that focused on STEM education, trade, international affairs, cybersecurity and our nation's global competitiveness. Panelists shared their expertise on why trade is positive for the United States 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.
CHLI Chairman and former Member of Congress, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, provided the welcome remarks highlighting the Hispanic community's contributions to the global economy. Shedding light to CHLI's mission statement on advancing the Hispanic community's diversity of thought, Mr. Diaz-Balart noted how the CHLI Trade and International Affairs Symposium helps to continue conversation on this advancement by bringing together leaders from various industries to discuss how Hispanics contribute to the global economy.
CHLI Board Members Congressman Henry Cuellar, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Congressman Carlos Curbelo continued the welcome remarks, emphasizing the benefits of the Hispanic community coming together to discuss trade.
The Honorable David Nelson, Senior Manager of Global Government Affairs and Policy-Americas at General Electric then took the stage speaking on working together to serve our communities and region. The Honorable Rodney E. Hood, Office of Nonprofit Engagement at JPMorgan Chase, shared remarks on creating more opportunities for growth of global economy. CHLI Board Member David Olivencia, Senior Vice President of Communications, Media & Technology Industries from Softtek USA, concluded the opening remarks with a discussion on technology and trade advancement.
Keynote speaker, The Honorable John Engler, President of Business Roundtable, then took the stage sharing his remarks on America’s Trade Position in the World. “To successfully tackle the challenges that the United States faces we need to seize opportunities and work together no matter what sector in the economy an industry may be,” Engler emphasized. To view the video of Mr. Engler’s full speech, please click here.
The first panel started with a session on education, "Are U.S. STEM Diplomas Globally Competitive?” focused on college students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and their potential to compete in a global marketplace. This session was introduced by Mary Ann Gomez, CHLI Executive Director. She started by sharing with the audience that according to the Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum, U.S. currently ranks in 7th in higher education and training.
CHLI Board Member and Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Verizon, Emilio Gonzalez, moderated this panel. Edie Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of STEMConnector and Josie Goytisolo, Executive Director of Codella, shared their perspectives and expertise on how through STEM, and other ways, the U.S. can produce more STEM majors who will be globally competitive. Both women pointed to how the work landscape is exponentially shifting to STEM careers encouraging mentorship programs at a young age.
CHLI Board Member and Head of Government Affairs for the Americas for Dell introduced the next topic on “Taxes and Trade Policies.” Tyler Deaton, Senior Advisor from Policy and Taxation Group spoke about fighting against stigma of success. He shared findgins from a recent study on taxes and the Hispanic community.
Congressman William Hurd (TX-23) introduced the panel on cybersecurity and trade. He shared some of his experiences from when he was in the CIA and when he was Senior Advisor with a cybersecurity firm, covering a wide range of complex challenges faced by manufacturers, financial institutions, retailers, and critical infrastructure owners. The second panel, hosted by CHLI’s partner, Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) was on “Cybersecurity and its Impact on Trade and Protecting Intellectual Property.” HITEC & SVP for Strategy at Softtek, Andre Arbelaez moderated the interactive discussion with Eduardo Cabrera, Certified Information Systems Security Professional and Deputy Chief Information Security Officer from United States Secret Service and Israel Martinez, President and CEO of Axon Global. Speaking on the realities of cybersecurity, Cabrera explained that as businesses fundamentally rely on technology, a systemic number of security vulnerabilities exist, which could lead to business interruption. He added that a 12-character password can protect individuals and companies’ information and intellectual property from being stolen. Martinez expanded upon this idea by emphasizing on the protection of a corporation’s infrastructure.
The third panel “The Nuts and Blots of Trade Agreements,” was introduced by CHLI Board Member Joedis Avila, Manager, Community Outreach of Ford Motor Company Fund and was moderated by CHLI Board Member Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Managing Director for the Hispanoamerica Region of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. This panel covered the mutual benefit all countries share when they engage in trade. Randall Popelka, Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs of Herbalife, shared their global footprint and how they support their network of distributors. Michael Sheridan, Director of International Government Affairs and Global Trade Policy of Ford Motor Company highlighted the importance of exports around the world. Sarah Thorne, Senior Director of International Trade of Walmart provided her expertise on international trade, encouraging an update to existing trade agreements so businesses may adapt to the modern digital framework of global commerce. Google Head of Global Trade Policy, David Weller emphasized that the Internet continues to enable businesses to harness the power of information and data in reaching consumers and development.
The final panel, on “The Legal and Consulting Sides of Trade Agreements,” was moderated by Max Trujillo, President of Tonio Burgos & Asssociates Washington D.C. Office and member of the ABA Section of International Law. Andrew Shoyer, Partner of Sidley Austin LLP and Alex Acosta, Dean of the Florida International University School of Law emphasized the importance of familiarity with common law and civil law in the international realm. Dean Acosta specifically spoke on the importance on preparation for attorneys to have more effective international business transactions highlighting that FIU offers classes just to teach law students legal terms in Spanish.
The Honorable Ambassador Roger Noriega closed the symposium emphasizing the importance of trade. “The hope is that the new Trans Pacific Partnership—made up of countries that comprise 40 percent of the world’s economic output—will be the motor of continued global growth. So, in spite of the global financial crisis, we remain believers in a rules-based trading system. Just in our Hemisphere, freer trade and free market policies have helped pull 70 million people out of poverty and expanded the middle-class by 50 percent.” To view Ambassador Noriega’s full speech, please click here.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Comcast NBCU Telemundo, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Oracle Corporation, and Softtek USA. Thanks to our partners: American Bar Association Section of International Law, Florida International University, Fox News Channel, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic IT Executive Council, and The Latino Coalition.
To view the rest of the pictures from CHLI's 4th Annual Trade and International Affairs Symposium, please click here.
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The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) is the premier organization founded by Members of Congress and corporate executive leaders to advance the Hispanic community's economic progress with a focus on social responsibility and global competitiveness. Founded in 2003, CHLI is a 501(c)3 non-profit and non-partisan organization.CHLI is dedicated to fostering a broad awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests, and views of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent.