Export Leaders Discuss U.S. Trade Policy at Annual Export Expo in Boston

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U.S. Economic Sanctions Panel: Peter Liston, Barb Secor, Alexandra Lopez-Casero and moderator Gwendolyn Jaramillo. 

Over 300 export leaders and companies from throughout the state and region attended the annual Export Expo held on December 8 at the Massachusetts Transportation Building in Park Square, Boston. Organized by the Massachusetts Export Center, which is part of the Small Business Development Center Network, this year’s expo focused on the rapidly-changing global trade environment, including recent and anticipated shifts in U.S. trade policy.

Hot-button issues such as China and tariff policy, tightening foreign investment policy, USMCA and free trade policy, export controls, sanctions and enforcement were addressed, with a focus on helping companies navigate a dynamic and increasingly complex global trade environment.

“We are pleased to organize the Export Expo for the state’s global trade community each year,” said Mass Export Center Director Paula Murphy. “This year, there have been a number of critical trade policy developments involving tariffs, foreign investment, export controls, sanctions and more. We are delighted and honored to host a number of influential speakers at this year’s Expo to provide up-to-the-minute updates on these issues for Massachusetts businesses.”

Among the keynote speakers were U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Richard Ashooh; Managing Director of Rock Creek Global Advisors Clay Lowery; and Senior VIP of U.S. China Business Council Erin Ennis.

Murphy presented Brian Amero, director of Global Compliance and Ethics at Teradyne, with the Center’s first-ever Export Champion Award for serving as the Center’s Compliance Alliance Advisory Board chair and for his continuous efforts in supporting Made-in-Massachusetts exporters.

New at the Export Expo this year was US-UK Trade Agreement Listening Tour, formed as the U.S. prepares for a trade agreement with the UK. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has commissioned an investigation to be conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on barriers for U.S. SMEs exporting to the UK, including challenges associated with the upcoming Brexit implementation. Participants were invited to provide input on what is expected to be a landmark trade agreement with one of Massachusetts’ most important trading partners.

Sponsors of the Export Expo included The Provident Bank, Foley & Hoag, Trade Consulting Services, Descartes, TMF Group, KPMG, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, U.S. Commercial Service and the US-China Business Council.

In addition to the sponsors, a number of government agencies exhibited at the Expo, including Mass Office of International Trade & Development (MOITI), Mass Department of Agricultural Resources, MassDeveloment, Small Business Association and Massport.

“The Massachusetts Export Center’s annual expo is always a highlight for the international business community,” said Executive Director Mark F. Sullivan of Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI). “Whether you’re an export veteran or new-to-exporting, there are always topics of interest and industry experts to hear from. For MOITI, it is a great opportunity to meet with small businesses and present the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).”