Nearly 300 trade professionals, business leaders and government officials attended Mass Export Center’s annual  Export Expo on December 13 at the Massachusetts Transportation Building in Boston to learn the latest news on exports, tariffs and policy issues.

Massachusetts Export Director Paula Murphy said some of the hot button issues this year included China and tariff policy, tightening foreign investment policy, export controls and sanctions. The focus of the conference is to help companies navigate a dynamic and increasingly complex global trade environment.

Opening speakers at this year’s Expo included Kevin Wolf, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and Clete Willems, Former Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economics & Deputy Director, National Economic Council and National Security Council.  They provided an update on the current trade policy landscape, the outlook for the future, and implications for U.S. businesses engaged in global trade.

A popular panel discussion on Navigating a Transitional Global Trade Environment was moderated by Douglas Banks, Executive Editor of the Boston Business Journal, and included  local CEOs Grant Bennett from CPS Technologies Corporation, Jeffrey Hibbard from IntervalZero and Liora Stone from Precision Engineering, Inc.

Guest speaker Cynthia Griffin, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy in Beijing, led a discussion on developments in U.S.-China trade and ways in which American companies can mitigate recent actions, such as increasing tariffs.  Other panelists included Brian Amero from Teradyne, Eugene Laney from DHL Express USA and Timothy Lindeman from Dimensional Insight.

Bradley Smith, Deputy Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of the Treasury, delivers a keynote address on OFAC developments over the past year, such as new requirements to report blocked or rejected transactions, the new framework for compliance commitments, and ongoing sanctions developments.  

Karen Nies-Vogel, Director of Office of Exporter Services at BIS discussed export control policy and the continued implementation of the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA).  She gave an assessment of “emerging and foundational technologies” and other export control trends, such as enhanced end-user controls for exports to China and other related issues, such as Huawei’s addition to the Entity List.

The 2020 Export Expo takes place on Friday, December 11, 2020.