On Wednesday, October 25, Steve reflected on his nearly 60 years in trade policy in a discussion with WITA Board Members, Nicole Bivens Collinson and Katrin Kuhlmann.
Steve’s career started in 1964 as a graduate assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Trade. Upon graduation, he joined the Foreign Service where he served in Greece and Luxembourg, as well as the Offices of General Commercial Policy and the Office of Textiles. He joined the Office of the United States Trade Representative in 1973. In his decade at USTR he served as chief bilateral trade negotiator for the United States. His work spanned the globe, including work on the Tokyo Round of the GATT, U.S. trade with Japan, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Egypt, the Gulf Cooperation Council, ASEAN, and the Americas. Steve’s most lasting contributions have been in U.S. and global trade with lesser developed countries, both in government, academia, and as founder and President of Manchester Trade.
At the end of the webinar, friends and colleagues of Steve made an appearance to share their stories of working with Steve throughout the years. Those who spoke were Jorge Castro, Director of the Legal Affairs Division of the WTO; Erastus Mwencha, Board Chair of Trademark AFRICA; and Jon Rosenbaum, former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade and Development.
Nicole Bivens Collinson, Managing Principal, Operating Committee, and International Trade and Government Relations Practice Leader, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
Katrin Kuhlmann, Visiting Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Director, Center on Inclusive Trade and Development, Georgetown Law; Member, Trade Advisory Committee on Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Stephen Lande, President, Manchester Trade
Stephen Lande is President at Manchester Trade. Steve’s career started in 1964 at the John Hopkins School of Advanced international Studies as a graduate assistant to Dr. Isaiah Frank, former Deputy Assistant of State for Trade.
Upon graduation, he joined the Foreign Service in 1966 where he served in Greece and Luxembourg, as well as the Offices of General Commercial Policy and the Office of Textile at State. He then joined the Office of the United States Trade Representative in 1973. In his decade at USTR he became the first of a long line of Assistant USTRs and was named chief bilateral trade negotiator for the United States. His work spanned the globe, including work on the Tokyo Round of the GATT, U.S. trade with Japan, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Egypt, the Gulf Cooperation Council, ASEAN, and the Americas. Steve’s most lasting contributions have been in U.S. and global trade with lesser developed countries, both in government, academia, and as founder and President of Manchester Trade.
In his tenure at USTR and in the private sector, Steve played a key role in initiating, negotiating and implementing GSP, CBI, FTAs with Israel, Chile, and Canada, NAFTA, DR-CAFTA and AGOA. Steve is proud of his efforts to shift the focus of US trade away from MFN and multilateral trade to one deepening bilateral and plurilateral relations.
Steve has his own negotiating techniques combining New York or Nigerian brashness, State Department finesse, and USTR bottom line precision. He has provocative ideas on how to deal with the current crisis in confidence over trade negotiations, the rise of protectionism and pseudo- protectionism.
Since leaving the government, Steve has been President of a 40-year-old boutique trade policy consulting firm, Manchester Trade Limited Inc (MTL). He has advised on implications for companies and governments of most of the major trade events since he founded the firm. Recently given the dearth of new trade negotiations, the firm has focused on transactional business especially in Africa as well as the Caribbean and the Americas.
Nicole Bivens Collinson is President of the International Trade & Government Relations at Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, P. A. She leads the International Trade and Government relations practice of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., and serves as managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office. She is also a member of the firm’s Operating Committee and a commentator on trade matters on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC. She is the lead professional on ST&R’s engagement as legislative counsel to the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA).
Prior to joining ST&R Ms. Collinson served as assistant chief negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, responsible for the negotiation of bilateral agreements with Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Sub-Continent, and Africa. She also served as a country specialist in the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, where she was responsible for the preparation of negotiations on specific topics between the U.S. and Latin America, Eastern Europe, China, and Hong Kong as well as the administration of complex textile agreements.
Ms. Collinson holds a master’s degree in international relations from The George Washington University and a triple bachelor’s degree in political science, European studies, and French from Georgetown College. She also studied at the Université de Caen in France. She is past chair of the Women in International Trade Charitable Trust, past president of Women in International Trade, an advisory board member of America’s TradePolicy.com, treasurer and board member of the Washington International Trade Association, and a member of the Washington International Trade Association Foundation and Women in Government Relations. She serves on the board of trustees for Georgetown College and is the past executive director for the U.S. Hosiery Manufacturers Coalition, the U.S. Apparel Industry Coalition, and the U.S. Sock Distributors Coalition. She is conversant in both French and Spanish.
Katrin Kuhlmann is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is also the Faculty Co-Director of the Center on Inclusive Trade and Development. She teaches courses in law, development, and international trade, and she is the faculty director of the WTO and International Trade Law Certificate program. Professor Kuhlmann has over twenty-five years of experience in international law, development, and trade. Her work and research focus on trade and development, regional trade agreements (with a particular focus on Africa), trade and gender, inclusive agricultural trade, comparative economic law, and the interdisciplinary connections between law and development.
In 2010, Professor Kuhlmann founded the New Markets Lab (NML), of which she remains president, a non-profit law and development innovation lab focused on inclusive legal and regulatory design, field-based law and development programs, and capacity building among lawyers and non-lawyers in economic law and regulation. She is also a Senior Associate with the Global Food Security Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and she serves as a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). She is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and WTO Gender Research Hub, and she serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Trade and Investment Law Group of the Law Schools Global League; the Forum on Trade, Environment, and the SDGs of the Graduate Institute and UN Environment Programme; the Washington International Trade Association; Listening for America; the Harvard Law and Development Society; the AI Institute for Food Systems at University of California Davis; and the Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Professor Kuhlmann was previously a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School, and she was the Yeutter Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law from 2020-21. Earlier in her career, she served as a trade negotiator at USTR and a lawyer at two international law firms, and she has held senior positions with several non-profit organizations and think tanks, including the Aspen Institute, German Marshall Fund, and an NGO focused on women’s rights. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Creighton University and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study international economics.