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CHLI 5th Annual Trade & International Affairs Symposium

Tuesday, September 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Roberto Cervantes
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CHLI 5th Annual Trade & International Affairs Symposium

The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) held its fifth annual Trade & International Affairs Symposium at the Rotunda located in the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. Through its commitment to strengthening the U.S. Hispanic community, CHLI brought together international business leaders, experts on trade, members of the diplomatic community, foreign ministers and U.S. government officials to discuss trade issues and international affairs that affect U.S. global competitiveness. This year’s keynote speaker was the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Carlos M. Sada.

The Symposium began as CHLI President & CEO, Mary Ann Gómez Orta, welcomed everyone and introduced CHLI Trade Symposium Corporate Chairman and Senior Vice President of Softtek, David Olivencia.

“Trade is very exciting when you look at its rich history. In early human civilization it took years to move goods but with the advances in technology, efficiency and intelligence in our supply chains, the time to ship goods has dramatically reduced.  Digital currency and digital products are two examples of goods that can now be moved within milliseconds,” said Olivencia. “Trade is a very important part of our U.S. economy and here in D.C. our representatives are making decisions every day that impact it.”

Once Corporate Chairman Olivencia concluded his welcoming remarks, he proceeded to introduce former Member of Congress, and CHLI Founder and Chairman, the Honorable Chairman Lincloln Diaz-Balart.

“It was a privilege to be able to welcome the participants in CHLI’s 5th Annual Trade & International Affairs Symposium in Washington, DC on September 14, 2016, and to introduce Ambassador Carlos Sada, a truly extraordinary diplomat.

In my remarks, I stressed CHLI’s commitment to social responsibility, to being cognizant of ethical requirements in international trade that often must go even beyond the requirements of the law. We must be aware of the need to avoid corruption and unethical behavior that may bring harm to a community or even to an entire nation. A discussion of international trade without a discussion of social responsibility is an incomplete discussion.

I certainly look forward to CHLI’s continuing contribution to this critical discussion in the future,” said Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

 (Left picture) CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Right picture; left to right) CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz Balart; Dr. Mildred Garcia, President, CSU Fullerton; His Excellency Carlos M. Sada; Raul Tapia, Managing Director, FTI Consulting Strategic Communications  


His Excellency Carlos M. Sada spoke about different aspects of Trade such as economic integration, the new laws in Mexico and how Mexico continues to push for globalization.

"Altogether we count 35 million Mexicans living in the United States. Out of them, 23 million are already second or third generation that have been living here and half of the remaining 12 million are documented. When people say that the 11.5 million undocumented people that live in the US are from Mexico, that isn’t true,” said His Excellency.

 (Left picture) His Excellency, Carlos M. Sada (Right picture; left to right) David Olivencia, His Excellency Carlos M. Sada, CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart


CHLI Vice-Chairman, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) shared how Florida is a gateway and a leading global trade hub.

“As the world’s principal commercial gateway to Latin American and Caribbean markets, Florida is a leading global trade hub. I’m pleased that CHLI is continuing to lead the conversation of how the United States should work with our allies and global partners to contribute to economic growth and prosperity here at home.”

Then the Emerging Markets & Opportunities panel began, which was moderated by Rafael Bernal from The Hill Latino. The Panelists included Brandon Pollak, Director of Global Affairs for 1776; Randall Popelka, Vice President of Government Affairs for Herbalife; and John Murphy, Senior Vice President for International Policy for the United States Chamber of Commerce. The panel discussed how their corporations and trade associations assess opportunities in existing and emerging markets, and how they work through diverse political, economic and diplomatic environments to grow their business.

(Left picture; left to right) Rafael Bernal, Brandon Pollak, Randall Popelka and John Murphy (Right picture; left to right) Mary Ann Gómez Orta, Rafael Bernal, Brandon Pollak, Randall Popelka, John Murphy, and David Olivencia

"By focusing on opportunities in existing and emerging markets, Herbalife Nutrition is working to deliver more of our nutrition products to consumers,” said Angela Arboleda, Vice President Government and Community Affairs for Herbalife.  “With a presence in over 90 countries, Herbalife Nutrition facilities in the United States and around the globe are continuing to meet diverse nutrition needs.”

Neil Herrington, Executive Director of Americas International for the United States Chamber of Commerce, spoke about why Argentina is such an important market for our region and specified on the opportunities on developing and growing businesses there. He also mentioned the substantial reform America has ushered in and how Argentina is blessed with one of the most diverse concentrations of natural resources on the planet.

The second panel, the Nuts & Bolts of Trade Agreements, began after an introduction from Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Manager of Community Outreach for Ford Motor Company Fund, Joedis Ávila.

“As the representative for the largest inland port in the entire country, I know how important trade is for not only the border, but all of North America,” said Congressman Cuellar. “It was an honor to speak about the ‘Nuts and Bolts of Trade Agreements’ at this year’s CHLI Trade & International Affairs Symposium and I thank Ambassador Sada and the CHLI community for their continued support for the border and international relations.” 

The second panel was moderated by Lori Montenegro from Noticiero Telemundo. The panel included J. Nicole Bivens Collinson, President of International Trade & Government Relations for Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg; William E. Craft, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Trade Policy and Programs in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs; Kate Loatman, Executive Director of International Council of Beverages Association; and Ramon Zertuche, Manager of International Government Affairs – The Americas for Ford Motor Company. The panel brought these experts in trade and corporate executives together to share how they negotiate, navigate and secure business in the Western Hemisphere. The discussion included different points of view on pending trade agreements and recommendations to the next U.S. President.

(Left picture; left to right) Lori Montenegro, Kate Loatman, Ramon Zertuche, J. Nicole Bivens Collinson, and William E. Craft, Jr. (Right picture; left to right) Orlando Padilla, President & CEO Of Padilla Networks, LLC; Joedis Avila, Manager of Community Outreach for Ford Motor Company Fund; Mary Ann Gómez Orta, Congressman Cuellar, Kate Loatman, Ramon Zertuche, J. Nicole Bivens Collinson, William E. Craft, Jr., David Olivencia, Lauren Robitaille, and Ray Dempsey, Jr., CHLI Treasurer and Vice President and Head of External Affairs, BP America


“CHLI recognizes the importance of increasing diversity among policy makers and the business community to elevate the discussion and importance of trade policy.  Walmart is proud to support CHLI's mission and believes trade policy like the historic Trans Pacific Partnership agreement will reduce the cost of goods and increase choice for our customers in the United States and around the world,” said Lauren Robitaille, CHLI Board Member and Director of Federal Government Relations for Walmart.

(Left to right) Allen Gutierrez, National Executive Director, Latino Coalition; Dr. Juan Andrade, President & Co-Founder, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute; CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Joedis Ávila
(Left to right) Allen Gutierrez, National Executive Director, Latino Coalition; Dr. Juan Andrade, President & Co-Founder, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute; CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Joedis Ávila

“We have a long history of helping clients and communities compete in the global economy. By developing solutions that improve skills development, increase exporting and spur greater investment, we’re expanding economic opportunity and greater more inclusive growth around the world,” said Rodney E. Hood, Corporate Responsibility Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

               (Left to right) Manuel Rosales, Secretary for The Latino Coaltion; Rodney E. Hood, Jovita Carranza, Founder & CEO of JCR Group; Allen Gutierrez, and Mary Ann Gómez Orta           

CHLI would like to thank Rodney Hood and JP Morgan Chase; Joedis Ávila and Ford Motor Company; Angela Arboleda and Herbalife; Lauren Robitaille and Walmart, all our partners, and everyone who attended in order to make the annual Trade & International Affairs Symposium possible.

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