Add to Calendar 2021/01/26 8:00 AM 2021/01/26 9:00 AM America/New_York Building Blocks: A Sectoral Approach to Asia-Pacific Trade Online
Non-WITA event, Upcoming event

Building Blocks: A Sectoral Approach to Asia-Pacific Trade

01/26/2021 at 8:00 AM (EST)


Two recent comprehensive trade deals in the Indo-Pacific region, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have, and will continue to have, profound impacts on the regional trade and investment landscape.  At the same time, narrower issue-specific deals have much to offer. They can be important stepping stones to future comprehensive agreements and a means to deliver relatively quick impactful outcomes. Examples of potential issue-specific deals range from digital trade, medical product supply chains, climate and trade, and anti-corruption. 

In order to better understand the increasing relevance of narrower sectoral deals in today’s global climate, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) will be convening a panel of experts to explore the following questions:

  • What are the pros and cons of narrower trade agreements and how can the challenges they present be overcome? 
  • In which substantive areas are regional sectoral trade agreements the most relevant and timely?    
  • Which countries might join a regional agreement in the range of prospective topics?   
  • What are the prospects of a limited trade negotiation serving as a building block to a larger comprehensive agreement down the road?

Asia Society Policy Institute Vice President Wendy Cutler will join John Murphy, Senior Vice President for International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Sarah V. Stewart, Executive Director of the Silverado Policy Accelerator, Jake Colvin, Vice President for Global Trade Issues at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and Yuko Fukunaga, Professor of Public International Law and International Economic Law at Waseda University, for a virtual panel discussion.


Wendy Cutler (Moderator) is Vice President of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and Managing Director of its Washington, D.C. Office. In these roles, she focuses on building ASPI’s presence in Washington — strengthening its outreach as a think/do tank — and on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade and investment, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Most recently she served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, working on a range of U.S. trade negotiations and initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region.

John Murphy directs the U.S. Chamber’s advocacy relating to international trade and investment policy. Murphy served as the Chamber’s Vice President for Western Hemisphere Affairs and as Executive Vice President of the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA). Prior to the U.S. Chamber, Murphy worked at the International Republican Institute (IRI), at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and from 1992 to 1993, was the first Western lecturer in economics at the National University of Economics in Czechoslovakia.

Sarah V. Stewart is the Executive Director of the Silverado Policy Accelerator, a non-profit focused on advancing American prosperity and global leadership in the 21st century and beyond. Prior to Silverado, Ms. Stewart led the public policy efforts at Amazon on US trade policy and export controls. Stewart also worked for the Office of the United States Trade Representative from 2013 – 2018, with her most recent position as DAUSTR  for Environment and Natural Resources. 

Jake Colvin is Vice President for Global Trade Issues at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and leads efforts to shape global digital trade rules by engaging with multilateral organizations including the WTO and APEC.  He also serves as Executive Director of NFTC’s Global Innovation Forum and is a cleared advisor to the U.S. Government as a member of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee. 

Yuko Fukunaga is Professor at Waseda University, where she teaches public international law and international economic law. She is also an Executive Council Member of the Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) and a Board Member of the Japan Association of International Economic Law. Prior to Waseda, Professor Fukunaga was an assistant legal counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) (The Hague, 2012-2013).