WITA Webinar Featuring:
Ralph Carter, Staff Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, FedEx Corporation
Phil Levy, Chief Economist, Flexport
Curtis Robinhold, Executive Director, Port of Portland
Evelyn Suarez, Principal, The Suarez Firm
Ralph Carter serves as Staff Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, for FedEx Corporation. As Staff Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Mr. Carter leads a team of regulatory attorneys responsible for compliance and policy advocacy at FedEx Express. Areas of responsibility include aviation law, security, customs, export controls, workplace safety and trade policy. Mr. Carter also coordinates global regulatory and trade policy across all FedEx international regions. Mr. Carter’s team advocates for simpler, more open trade rules that reduce barriers and help FedEx customers expand their international business. Mr. Carter is a frequent speaker and contributor to international trade and economic policy organizations including APEC, the WTO, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
Mr. Carter has also served as Managing Director in the legal department of FedEx’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Brussels Belgium. Prior to FedEx, Mr. Carter served in the State Department as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
Dr. Phil Levy is Chief Economist at Flexport where he leads qualitative and quantitative economic research informed by public policy developments and proprietary data. Dr. Levy’s research informs the market on global trade trends and helps Flexport teams make product and business strategy decisions to best serve clients. Before Flexport, Dr. Levy spent two decades researching and forming global trade policy. Prior to joining Flexport, Dr. Levy served as Senior Fellow on the Global Economy at Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Adjunct Professor of Strategy at Northwestern Kellogg. Previously, Dr. Levy served twice at the White House on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, most recently as Senior Economist for Trade, and was a member of the Policy Planning Staff for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
He has testified before numerous congressional committees and has written regularly for Forbes, The Hill, and Foreign Policy. He is the author of Rebuilding a Bipartisan Consensus on Trade Policy. He has also taught global economic policy and international trade at Georgetown, Columbia, the University of Virginia, and Yale. Dr. Levy holds an A.B. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D in Economics from Stanford University.
Curtis Robinhold became the Executive Director of the Port of Portland (Port) on July 1, 2017. He joined the Port as Deputy Executive Director in February of 2014. The Port, governed by a nine-member Commission appointed by the Governor, consists of four marine terminals, two general aviation airports and Portland International Airport (PDX). The Port has about 818 employees and annual operating revenues of approximately $329 million. The value of foreign trade moving through the Port is $14 billion annually.
PDX handled almost 20 million passengers in 2019 aboard 16 domestic and international airlines, including all major U.S. carriers and five foreign flag airlines. PDX provides nonstop passenger service to 62 U.S. cities, and serves 11 international markets. The airport provides integrator services on a global basis, and ANA Cargo offers main deck freighter service from Tokyo and Cathay Pacific offers main deck freighter service to Hong Kong.
The Port’s Marine and Industrial Development Division comprise several diverse lines of marine cargo operations, as well as acquisition, development and management of an extensive industrial real estate portfolio. The Port recently completed development of a 350 acre industrial park in Troutdale, and a 221 acre business park in Gresham. Both parks have attracted major employers such as FedEx Ground, Amazon, Subaru and Element 6, resulting in significant employment in East Multnomah County (projected at more than 4,000 new jobs at completion of the parks). The Port oversees four marine terminals in the harbor, handling a diverse range of cargoes including agricultural bulks, mineral bulks, liquids, breakbulk, containers and automobiles. Portland is one of the major ports of entry and exit in the United States for finished automobiles and remains a significant export load center for grain and other bulk commodities. The Port recently reestablished direct container shipping to Asia with the commencement of SM Line’s weekly transpacific service from Terminal 6.
Prior to joining the Port, Robinhold was Chief of Staff to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, where he oversaw the Governor’s policy agenda, staff and policy advisors.
Before joining the Governor’s team, Robinhold was CEO of an energy efficiency finance company in Portland, Oregon. Until 2010, Robinhold was Managing Director of BP Alternative Energy’s global gas-fired power business. He had financial and operational accountability for over 3500 MW of generating capacity and served on the board of several subsidiary companies.
At BP, Robinhold also served in commercial and finance roles in the wind and gas-fired power business in Europe and Asia. He was instrumental in developing the strategy for the Alternative Energy unit within BP, as well as subsequent growth in renewable energy business in new markets such as India and China.
Before joining BP, Robinhold spent 10 years working for Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber on natural resource issues and for Congressman Peter DeFazio. Robinhold was raised in Eugene, Oregon. He and his wife Angela Uherbelau live in Portland with their two daughters. He holds a BA from the University of California at San Diego, as well as an MBA and Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from Yale University.
Evelyn Suarez provides legal and consulting services to companies engaged in international trade, particularly related to customs, anti-corruption and trade policy. She assists clients with a wide array of issues from those arising at the border with Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to the interpretation of changes in U.S. trade policy, such as those reflected in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). She has worked with clients in regard to the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs and Section 301 tariffs on imports from China and to obtain product exclusions. Over the years, she has assisted clients with import and export compliance and enforcement in various industries and has worked with all segments of the international trade community, including importers, exporters, customs brokers, transportation and logistics companies.
Ms. Suarez represents clients before all trade agencies and in litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court and on legislative matters. Ms. Suarez also has extensive experience handling high profile investigations, including the U.N. Volcker Committee and various Congressional investigations into the U.N. Oil-for-Food Programme.
Ms. Suarez spent her early professional career at the U.S. International Trade Commission and at the predecessor agency to U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
Today, Ms. Suarez is a frequent speaker on current trade policy initiatives, most especially USMCA and the Section 301 and 232 tariffs and product exclusion process. She has written extensively on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. She is a past President of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) (2016-2017 term) and serves on the District Export Council for D.C. and Virginia, the Advisory Council to George Washington University Center for International Business Education & Research, and on the Advisory Board to Georgetown University Law Center International Trade Update.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the DC Bar. She is proud to have received the Martindale-Hubbell 2019 Judicial AV Preeminent rating and is consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America for International Trade and as a “Super Lawyer” in International Trade law in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers magazine.