WTC Arkansas, NWA Council Host Former Ambassadors

Apr 29, 2022

ROGERS — The crisis in Ukraine is bringing an end to the economic recovery anticipated after the COVID-19 pandemic abated, according to former U.S. Ambassador Frank Wisner, who served under four presidents and is now an international affairs advisor with the law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

“We’re seeing disrupted energy markets … we’re seeing a breakdown in food and fertilizer markets that will put populations across the globe at risk of malnutrition … and we’re seeing disruptions in financial sectors,” said Wisner.

Ambassador Wisner made the comments Tuesday, April 26, during a webinar co-hosted by the World Trade Center Arkansas and the Northwest Arkansas Council in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs.

Wisner also noted the crisis in Ukraine could result in a “frozen conflict.”

“One that could last literally months if not years, with huge disruptive effects on our lives, our businesses, the overall economy, and the global order,” Wisner said.

The panel included dignitaries and global trade experts with Squire Patton Boggs:

  • Rodney Slater, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation (moderator)
  • Matthew Kirk, former U.K. ambassador, international affairs advisor, Squire Patton Boggs (panelist)
  • Frank Wisner, former U.S. ambassador, international affairs advisor Squire Patton Boggs (panelist)
  • Frank Samolis, partner, Squire Patton Boggs (panelist)
  • Ludmilla Kasulke, partner, Squire Patton Boggs (panelist)
  • Rodney Emery, principal, Squire Patton Boggs (panelist)

In an effort for companies to streamline their exports with sanctions in place against Russia, Ambassador Kirk said companies who are complying with U.S. export controls need to ensure they are also complying with regulations laid out by the U.K. and the European Union.

“While there is close coordination between those three countries …  the way in which the sanction regimes operate is significantly different in some respects,” Kirk said.

He warned that companies should be wary about assuming they are in the clear by just complying with U.S. sanction protocols.

“You need to look at exactly how all three of the major sanctions regimes work, in order to be sure that you are properly compliant,” Kirk said.

This was the second annual symposium held by the WTC Arkansas and Squire Patton Boggs to kick off World Trade Month focusing on global issues in trade.

The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services.

The center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

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