Two All-Star Panels Debate the Past, Present and Future of U.S. Trade Policy, 250 Years Since the Boston Tea Party Made Trade a Political Issue in America




The Boston Tea Party, which took place on December 16, 1773, was a protest about British trade policies, and was a seminal American political event.

On Thursday, December 14, WITA hosted a two panels to discuss changing attitudes toward trade in the 250 years since the Boston Tea Party; how trade policy has evolved since the founding of the Republic; where things are today on trade; where things are headed on trade; and the role of trade in U.S. global leadership.


Featured Speakers:


Elizabeth Baltzan, Senior Advisor, Office of the United States Trade Representative

Wendy Cutler, Vice President, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), and Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office; former Acting Deputy United States Trade Representative

Ambassador Donald Johnson, Director Emeritus, Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy, University of Georgia; former Chief Textile Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative

Ambassador Susan Schwab, Strategic Advisor, Mayer Brown; former U.S. Trade Representative

Moderator: Edward Alden, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations and Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor, Western Washington University


Scott Lincicome, Vice President, General Economics and Stiefel Trade Policy Center, Cato Institute

William Reinsch, Senior Adviser, Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS; former President, National Foreign Trade Council

Stephen P. Vaughn, Partner, International Trade Team, King & Spalding; former General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Lori Wallach, Director, Rethink Trade, American Economic Liberties Project; Senior Advisor, Citizens Trade Campaign

Moderator: Brian Pomper, Partner, Akin; former Chief Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Finance Committee


Speaker Biographies:

Edward (“Ted”) Alden is Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Fore­­­ign Relations (CFR), specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness, trade, and immigration policy. He is the author of the book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, which focuses on the federal government’s failure to respond effectively to competitive challenges on issues such as trade, currency, worker retraining, education, and infrastructure.

Alden recently served as the project director of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force, co-chaired by former Michigan Governor John Engler and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, which produced the report The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century. In 2011, he was the project codirector of the Independent Task Force that produced U.S. Trade and Investment Policy. In 2009, he was the project director of the Independent Task Force that produced U.S. Immigration Policy.

Alden’s previous book, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, was a finalist for the Lukas Book Prize, for narrative nonfiction in 2009. The jury called Alden’s book “a masterful job of comprehensive reporting, fair-minded analysis, and structurally sound argumentation.”

Alden was previously the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, and prior to that was the newspaper’s Canada bureau chief, based in Toronto. He worked as a reporter at the Vancouver Sun and was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as a leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. Alden has won several national and international awards for his reporting. He has made numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, including on the BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS NewsHour. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fortune, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Alden has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley. He pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. Alden is the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.

Elizabeth Baltzan serves as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative. Ms. Baltzan previously served as an attorney at USTR from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, Ms. Baltzan joined the Office of International Affairs at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, working on oversight in the wake of the financial crisis. In 2012, the PCAOB detailed Ms. Baltzan to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, where she investigated banking practices. Ms. Baltzan then served as Democratic Trade Counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee from 2012 to 2016. After returning to USTR to work on litigation matters, in 2017 Ms. Baltzan formed her own trade consultancy practice. She was also a fellow at the Open Markets Institute.

Ms. Baltzan received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with honors, from Stanford University.

Wendy Cutler is Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office. In these roles, she focuses on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade, investment, and innovation, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she also served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. During her USTR career, she worked on a range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S.-China negotiations, and the WTO Financial Services negotiations. She has published a series of ASPI papers on the Asian trade landscape and serves as a regular media commentator on trade and investment developments in Asia and the world.

Ambassador Donald Johnson is Director Emeritus of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was on the faculty for eleven years and taught international trade law in the Center’s China and Geneva programs. Previously, Ambassador Johnson was a partner at the law firm of Patton Boggs LLC in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in international trade law. From 1998 through 2000, as a U.S. Ambassador, appointed by President Bill Clinton, in the Office of United States Trade Representative, he served as the Chief Textile Negotiator during the negotiation of the U.S.-China WTO Accession Agreement and U.S.-Cambodia Textile Agreement containing precedent-setting labor rights, among other agreements. From 1993 to 1995, he represented the 10th district of Georgia as a Member of Congress, where he focused on national security and international economic policy, including the NAFTA and the WTO implementing legislation. Johnson also served in the Georgia State Senate from 1987 to 1992, where he served as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. He served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia for six years before entering Congress, and on the board of directors of the Council of American Ambassadors for six years. As a young lawyer, he worked on the trade staff of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee during consideration of the Trade Act of 1974, and a large Atlanta law firm doing international trade and investment law. His undergraduate and law degrees are from the University of Georgia, and he holds a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and a certificate in private and public international law from The Hague Academy of International Law. He is the author of The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America (Oxford-2018), which was awarded a Certificate of Merit, “as work of great distinction” by The American Society of International Law. See book website:   

Scott Lincicome is the vice president of general economics and Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies. He writes on international and domestic economic issues, including international trade; subsidies and industrial policy; manufacturing and global supply chains; and economic dynamism.

Lincicome also is a senior visiting lecturer at Duke University Law School, where he has taught a course on international trade law, and he previously taught international trade policy as a visiting lecturer at Duke. Prior to joining Cato, Lincicome spent two decades practicing international trade law at White & Case LLP, where he litigated national and multilateral trade disputes and advised multinational corporations on how to optimize their transactions and business practices consistent with global trade rules and national regulations.

From 1998 to 2001, Lincicome was a trade policy research assistant at Cato; he became an adjunct scholar in 2013. During that time, Lincicome authored or coauthored several policy papers, as well as numerous op‐​eds on trade and economic issues. He is routinely featured on TV, radio, and print media.

Lincicome has a BA in political science from the University of Virginia and a JD from the university’s School of Law.

Brian Pomper is a Partner in the Public Law and Policy group at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP. He was a founding partner of Parven Pomper Strategies Inc., a political strategy and government relations consulting firm focusing on moderate, centrist Democrats in the House and Senate, that was acquired by Akin Gump in 2010.

Prior to founding his firm, Pomper was Chief International Trade Counsel for then-Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on the Democratic staff of the Senate Finance Committee. In that capacity, he was responsible for advising on all aspects of the Finance Committee’s trade and development agenda, including oversight of ongoing trade negotiations, market access issues, international trade litigation disputes, and customs issues; drafting legislation, speeches, newspaper editorials, and memoranda; and developing and implementing national and state political strategies.

Pomper was involved in virtually every major international economic issue that arose during his four years on the committee staff, including the ongoing Doha Round of World Trade Organization trade negotiations; bilateral issues with China, Japan, Europe, Mexico, Canada, India, Russia, and other important trading partners; economic sanctions against Cuba, Burma, and Syria; extension and changes to trade preference programs, including the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Andean Trade Partnership Act (ATPA), the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); and numerous investment issues, including those surrounding Dubai Ports World’s proposed investment in a U.S. port.

He has worked on passage and implementation of nearly every trade agreement to pass the Congress since the Trade Act of 2002, including agreements with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, Central America (CAFTA-DR), Oman, and Bahrain. He also oversaw negotiations with many other countries, including Thailand, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Korea, and the countries of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). He played a key role in many other bills, including the SAFE Port Act, extension of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to Vietnam, miscellaneous tariff legislation, and the American Jobs Creation Act. Pomper has also worked on a variety of proposals to enhance U.S. trade enforcement and on many international trade disputes, including those involving intellectual property protections in China, Russia, and elsewhere; the Boeing-Airbus dispute; the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber dispute; the U.S.-EU dispute concerning international taxation; and unscientific standards and regulations on agricultural and biotech products, among others.

He is a frequent speaker and frequently quoted authority on international trade issues, and he is a trusted advisor to Democrats on international trade policy. Pomper worked on the staff of the Finance Committee from 2003 through 2006. From 1997 until 2003, he worked at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he focused on international trade, litigation, and intellectual property matters. Before entering private law practice, he served as a law clerk for the Hon. Sidney R. Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Billings, Montana.

He earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering with honors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a law degree magna cum laude from the Cornell University Law School, where he was managing editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. He is also a member of the Patent Bar. He also serves on the faculty of The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management as an adjunct professor focusing on international trade policy and politics.

Pomper and his wife Anne Kim, Principal of the policy consulting firm Blue Sky Concepts LLC, reside in McLean, Virginia with their sons Alexander and Elliot.

William Reinsch holds the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Previously, he was a senior advisor at the law firm of Kelley, Drye & Warren and served for 15 years as president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents multinational companies on international trade and tax policy issues. From 2001 to 2016, he concurrently served as a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, teaching a course in trade policy and politics. Reinsch also served as the under secretary of commerce for export administration during the Clinton administration. Prior to that, he spent 20 years on Capitol Hill, most of them as senior legislative assistant to the late senator John Heinz (R-PA) and subsequently to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV). He holds a BA and an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies respectively. 

Ambassador Schwab served as U.S. Trade Representative (2006–09) and as deputy (2005–06). As USTR, she concluded free trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, South Korea and others; and launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. She pursued and/or settled trade disputes with various WTO members, including China, Canada, and the EU, and engaged in negotiations at the WTO, APEC and other regional or plurilateral settings.

In academia, she served as dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland; and as vice chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) & CEO of the USM Foundation. She still teaches classes in international trade. 

In the private sector, Schwab was director of corporate business development for Motorola, Inc., where she engaged in M&A and joint venture negotiations in Asia, including in China. 

Earlier in government, she served as assistant secretary of Commerce and director-general of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, as a trade staffer and legislative director for Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO), and as a foreign service officer at the US Embassy in Tokyo. She began her career as an agricultural trade negotiator at USTR.

Ambassador Schwab serves on the boards of Caterpillar, FedEx and Marriott. She chairs the board of The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), and is on the boards of The Conference Board, Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), and Signature Theatre of Arlington, VA.

She holds a BA from Williams College; a Master’s from Stanford University; and a Ph.D. from The George Washington University.

Stephen P. Vaughn is a Partner in the International Trade Team of King & Spalding who works primarily on international trade litigation and policy matters. In April 2019, Stephen completed more than two years of service as the General Counsel for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). In that position, he managed a team of government attorneys representing U.S. interests in both trade negotiations and trade litigation. During two months in early 2017, Stephen also served as the acting U.S. Trade Representative. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on current U.S. trade policy, as well as one of the most talented U.S. trade remedy litigators.

Stephen draws on his experience in both government and the private sector to help clients navigate challenging U.S. trade policy issues. While at USTR, Stephen was directly involved in numerous significant issues, including the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA), actions undertaken by the United States against China pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and efforts to revise the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. He also supervised U.S. litigation efforts before the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as litigation undertaken pursuant to other U.S. free trade agreements. Stephen represented the Administration in numerous meetings regarding U.S. trade policy with Congressional officials and officials from other countries.

Before working at USTR, Stephen spent almost two decades in private practice representing clients in high-profile trade matters. Much of his practice focused on injury issues in the context of antidumping and countervailing duty (AC/CVD) litigation. He has lengthy experience in complex trade litigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and North American Free Trade Agreement binational panels. 

During his time in private practice, Stephen represented clients in a number of trade policy matters, from enforcement of unfair trade laws to the role of trade issues in the context of climate change.

Stephen has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he co-taught a seminar on U.S. trade policy and the WTO.

Lori Wallach is the director of the Rethink Trade program at American Economic Liberties Project. She is also Senior Advisor to the Citizens Trade Campaign, the U.S. national trade justice coalition of unions and environmental, consumer, faith, family farm and other groups.

Wallach, a 30-year veteran of international and U.S. congressional trade battles starting with the 1990s fights over NAFTA and WTO, has an encyclopedic knowledge of trade pacts, policies, outcomes, and politics. She was named to “Politico’s 50” list of thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics for her leadership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) debate. She is an internationally recognized expert on trade with experience advocating in Congress and foreign parliaments, trade negotiations, courts, government agencies, the media, and in the streets. Dubbed “the Trade Debate’s Guerrilla Warrior” in a National Journal profile and “Ralph Nader with a sense of humor” in a Wall Street Journal profile, Wallach combines a lawyer’s expertise on the terms and outcomes of agreements with insight from the front lines of trade debates. Wallach’s specialty is translating arcane trade issues into accessible language.

A lawyer who has worked in television news and on political campaigns, Wallach has testified on TPP, WTO, China trade, NAFTA, Fast Track, and other globalization issues before 30 congressional committees and appeared as a trade commentator on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, ABC, Bloomberg, PBS, NPR, and numerous foreign outlets. She has been published and quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, The Economist, Forbes, USA Today, and more. She is currently focused on the dangerous Big Tech “digital trade” ploy to lock in their monopoly powers and evade regulation, supply chain disasters caused by decades of hyperglobalization and corporate concentration, and the trade-pact-enforced monopolies limiting the supply of vaccines needed to end the pandemic.

Books Wallach has written on trade include The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority (2013) and Whose Trade Organization? A Comprehensive Guide to the WTO (2004). In 1991, she began Public Citizen’s trade program, founding its Global Trade Watch division in 1995 and directing it for 26 years. Wallach was a founder of the Citizens Trade Campaign, the U.S. national coalition representing more than 11 million Americans, and serves on its board. Wallach is a native of Wisconsin, graduated from Wellesley College and Harvard Law School, and now spends much of her time in Washington, D.C.