Trade in the Time of NAFTA, Tariffs and Tweets

Jun 25, 2018

On June 6th, 2018, the World Trade Center – Kansas City held its 3rd Annual Luncheon promoting Kansas City’s vibrant international trade economy.

In 2015, the first Go Global Luncheon launched the Kansas City Export Plan led by the World Trade Center. It was a plan developed from the Global Cities Initiative, a joint venture by the Brookings Institute and JP Morgan Chase. This year’s luncheon reviewed the export plan’s running metrics; it showed that Kansas City has seen increases in exporting over the past 3 years yet consistently remains below the national average.

During the Go Global Luncheon, the WTC - KC also celebrated the successes of assisting small and medium sized businesses through the exporting process. This was achieved through the WTC – KC’s export concierge service –a free service to educate and connect businesses with resources to grow internationally. The luncheon also marked the first year of the WTC presenting two premier awards: Outstanding Service Provider of the Year and Outstanding EDA of the Year. The award was received by the U.S. Commercial Service and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

General James L. Jones, former National Security Advisor to the Obama Administration, delivered a memorable key note address on the current security and geopolitical climate. He spoke about the need for civil and meaningful conversations in policy and the importance of showing respect to your allies. He also joined the panel discussion alongside Marvin Hildrebrand (Economic Minster for the Embassy of Canada in D.C.), Guillermo Malpica Soto (Head of NAFTA and Trade Office for the Embassy of Mexico in D.C.) and Matthew Rooney (Managing Director at the George W. Bush Institute).

The panel offered a three-country perspective on NAFTA and multilateral trade in North America. Minister Hildebrand identified examples of companies in Kansas City that export to Canada through NAFTA and shared remarks on the value-added chains created by free trade agreements. Minister Malpica and Mr. Rooney spoke about the economic growth benefits that have come from NAFTA and commented on the current negotiations and tariff battles.

The event was attended by over 200 guests representing a diverse set of businesses by industry and size, local and state government departments and international service providers. The World Trade Center – Kansas City thanks their sponsors and partners for making Trade in the Time of NAFTA, Tariffs and Tweets possible!