WITA Webinar: What Can We Hope For at MC12?



Washington International Trade Association

The 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, being held November 30 – December 3rd, comes at a critical time for organization and the world trading system. On Thursday, November 18th, WITA and GWU discussed what might be achieved at the Ministerial, and what that may signal for the future of the organization – and the multilateral trading system as a whole.

Featured Remarks: 

Alan Wm. Wolff, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE); former Deputy Director General of the WTO (Slide Deck)

Discussion Featuring:

Jake Colvin, President, National Foreign Trade Council

Isabel Jarrett, Manager, Reducing Harmful Fisheries Subsidies, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Andrew Jory, Minister-Counsellor (Trade), Embassy of Australia

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Principal, AgTrade Strategies, LLC, on behalf of Aggies for WTO Reform; former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Catherine Mellor, Vice President, UPS

Moderator: Michael Moore, Director, MA in International Economic Policy (MIEP), Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University


Alan Wm. Wolff is a distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Until joining PIIE, he was Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). His research focuses on developing reforms of the WTO; responding to the role of the United States, the European Union, and China in the international trading system; and serving the needs of all countries in using trade to achieve economic prosperity. Wolff will write a book on the future of the trading system during his visiting fellowship at the Peterson Institute.

At the WTO, Wolff was responsible for divisions dealing with accessions, agriculture, trade and the environment, standards, translation, and information technology support. He is a founder of the Trade for Peace (T4P) Initiative, which joins the WTO, the International Financial Institutions and the peace community in their efforts to provide assistance to fragile and conflict-affected countries. He served as chair of the WTO’s Consultative Framework Mechanism for Cotton Development Assistance. During the six months ending on March 1, 2021, he was co-acting director-general of the WTO. His numerous writings on current trade topics during his tenure at the WTO are available at WTO.org.

Prior to joining the WTO Secretariat, Wolff was a leading member of the trade bar pioneering a team approach of combining economics, law, and forensic analysis to address problems in international competition. As a legal practitioner he has been engaged to resolve some of the largest international trade disputes on record. Prior to joining the WTO, he also served as the chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC). He has lectured on trade policy and related subjects at universities around the world.

Wolff served as United States deputy special representative for trade negotiations in the Carter administration and was general counsel of the office in the Ford administration. He served as acting head of the US delegation during the Tokyo Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and was a principal draftsman of the basic US law creating a mandate for trade negotiations. As deputy USTR he was a founder of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Steel Committee and its first chairman. He has served as a senior trade negotiator in, and advisor to, both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Prior to his service at USTR, he served in the US Treasury as staff attorney for the National Advisory Committee on International Monetary and Financial Policy, participating in the work of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, reviewing lending policies in the IMF and the World Bank, and participating in the drafting of the Articles of Agreement of the African Development Fund. He was director of the Treasury’s Office of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

He is also a lifetime national associate of the National Academies, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served on the E15 Initiative’s Experts Group on Trade and Innovation.

He holds a JD degree from Columbia University and an AB degree from Harvard College.


Jake Colvin is President of the National Foreign Trade Council, the leading business association dedicated solely to advancing the interests of U.S. companies in international commerce. 

As President, he leads efforts to advance global commerce through the promotion of international trade and tax policies that contribute to economic growth and job creation. He oversees NFTC’s work to strengthen the rules, norms and institutions that enable access to the global economy and emphasizes the role of trade in solving complex global problems. Prior to being named president, Jake served as NFTC’s Vice President for Global Trade and Innovation. He led efforts to promote an open global digital economy and elevate the role of trade policy in solving global climate and health challenges as well as the Council’s engagement with multilateral institutions including the World Trade Organization and APEC. From 2005 until 2008, Jake directed NFTC’s USA*Engage coalition to emphasize the benefits of U.S. economic, diplomatic and citizen engagement in the global economy. 

He is a Co-Founder of the Global Innovation Forum (GIF), which engages a global network of small business, nonprofit leaders and government officials to explore the role of technology and trade policies and programs in fostering resilience and inclusive growth. From 2014 until 2021, he served as GIF’s Executive Director. 

Jake is a cleared advisor to the U.S. Government as a member of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee and has testified before Congress. He has written about trade and foreign policy for media including Business Week, Forbes, Inc. and Politico and has provided analysis for outlets including CNBC, CNN, NBC News and NPR. 

He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. He lives in Washington, DC.


Isabel Jarrett is the Manager for Pew’s campaign to reduce harmful fisheries subsidies, which is working with the World Trade Organization to reduce the billions of dollars in government payments that contribute to unsustainable fishing. Previously, Jarrett was an associate manager of Pew’s program executive team, which executes Pew’s projects and advances the institution’s mission. She also launched the organization’s global shark conservation efforts in Asia, and contributed to implementing landmark measures governing international trade in sharks and rays at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.

Before joining Pew, she worked on shark conservation for BLOOM Hong Kong.

Jarrett holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and French from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and a master’s in international public policy from University College London.


Andrew Jory is the Minister-Counsellor (Trade) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. Prior to this position he was the Assistant Secretary, Goods and Market Access Branch, Office of Trade Negotiations in Canberra. In this role Mr Jory was Australia’s Deputy Chief Negotiator in the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement and ran the goods agenda. Mr Jory was Australia’s Chief Negotiator in the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement. Prior to this Mr Jory ran Australia’s goods team in Australia’s Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva, Switzerland, where he played a key role in the WTO Decision which eliminated export subsidies in agriculture. Mr Jory was also Australia’s lead goods market access negotiator in the TPP and closed market access deals with the US, Mexico and Canada.  


Sharon Bomer Lauritsen is the Principal and Founder of AgTrade Strategies LLC, a specialty consulting service on U.S. agricultural trade policies focusing on expanding exports of American agricultural products, food, and beverages. She currently has as one of her clients the Agriculture for WTO Reform Coalition. 

With over 35 years of government policy experience, Sharon brings expertise on agricultural trade policy in free trade agreement and World Trade Organization negotiations, as well as tariffs, farm support, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and agricultural biotechnology. 

Sharon was most recently the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office the President, retiring in 2020. Sharon served at USTR for 15 years leading agriculture trade negotiations for the United States, including with Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and at the World Trade Organization. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, for ten years in senior management positions, and five years leading the agriculture section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. She started her career in government relations for the United Fresh Produce Association.


Catherine Mellor joined UPS in 2019 and serves as Vice President, International Trade, on the Public Affairs Team in Washington. In this role, Mellor is responsible for supporting the organization’s advocacy towards a sustainable and inclusive global trade agenda for UPS and its customers.  

Prior to joining UPS, Mellor spent 13 years at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where her most recent role was vice president of the organization’s Global Initiative on Health and the Economy (GIHE). The GIHE is a cross-industry platform that promotes the importance of health to workforce productivity and economic growth. Mellor was responsible for founding and launching the GIHE, as well as overseeing the creation of its corporate board, revenue goals, and managing its policy and advocacy agenda in six countries. 

Her previous roles at the Chamber focused on trade policy. As senior director for Asia, Mellor directed the organization’s work in support of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiation, and led the international work in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Mellor also designed a developed a number of investment focused programs for U.S. companies in Southeast Asia. 

Mellor spent four years in government as a research officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Australian Embassy in Washington. During this time, she was part of the team that supported the negotiation and successful conclusion of the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. 

Mellor began her career in Washington in 2001 working for Congressman Darrell Issa. She is an Australian citizen and graduate of the University of Queensland.


Professor Michael Moore is Director of the Masters of Arts in International Economic Policy program and has been a faculty member at the Elliott School since receiving his doctorate in 1988. He received his B.A. in liberal arts from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Moore teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in international trade theory and policy as well as international macroeconomics. He also has taught international economics to US diplomats at the Foreign Service Institute and students at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Sciences-Po) in Paris. He has published in numerous academic journals including the Journal of International Economics, International Trade Journal, Canadian Journal of Economics, Review of International Economics, European Journal of Political Economy, and Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, and has been a contributor to five books. His commentary has appeared in numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Financial Times, CNN, CBC, NPR, and NBC.

Professor Moore has served as Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy, Director of the International Trade and Investment Policy Program, and Associate Dean at the Elliott School.

Professor Moore served as Senior Economist for international trade on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors from 2002 to 2003.