Add to Calendar 2020/07/16 11:00 AM 2020/07/16 12:00 PM America/New_York Three Former USTRs on the WTO in a Time of Change WITA Webinar
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Three Former USTRs on the WTO in a Time of Change

Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
WITA Webinar WITA Online Event

WITA Webinar Featuring: 

  • Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative, 2013-2017
  • Ambassador Susan Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative, 2006-2009
  • Ambassador Carla Hills, U.S. Trade Representative, 1989-1993
  • Moderator: Wendy Cutler, Vice President, and Managing Director, Washington D.C. office of the Asia Society Policy Institute


Ambassador Michael Froman is a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and vice chairman and president, strategic growth, at Mastercard. He served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the U.S. trade representative from June 2013 to January 2017.  He worked to open foreign markets for U.S. goods and services, enforce America’s rights in the global trading system, and foster development through trade.

Major initiatives under his leadership included the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in the Asia Pacific and negotiations toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union; the negotiation of agreements on trade facilitation, agriculture, information technology products, services and environmental goods at the World Trade Organization; the monitoring and enforcement of U.S. trade rights, including through the launch of the Interagency Trade and Enforcement Center; and congressional passage of Trade Promotion Authority, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Generalized System of Preferences program, and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act.

From January 2009 to June 2013, Froman served at the White House as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, where he was responsible for coordinating policy on international trade and finance, energy security and climate change, and development and democracy issues. He served as the U.S. sherpa for the Group of Twenty and Group of Eight Summits during and after the global financial crisis and staffed the president for the APEC Leaders Meetings. In addition, he chaired or co-chaired the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, the Transatlantic Economic Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum, and the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. He played a leading role in the launch of the Obama administration’s Power Africa, Trade Africa, and Feed the Future development initiatives.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Froman served in a number of roles at Citigroup, including as chief executive officer of its international insurance business, chief operating officer of its alternative investments business, and head of its infrastructure investment business. He also has served as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

In the 1990s, Froman spent seven years in the U.S. government. He served as chief of staff and as deputy assistant secretary for Eurasia and the Middle East at the U.S. Department of Treasury. He also worked at the White House, where he served as a director for international economic affairs at the National Security Council and National Economic Council.

Froman received a bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University, a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, and law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

He has published a book and several articles on international relations, international law and trade. He has received numerous fellowships and scholarships, including a White House Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship in International Law, a Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Peace and Security, and a Fulbright Scholarship. In 2016, he was selected by Fortune magazine as one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” and by Politico as one of the “50 thinkers, doers and visionaries shaping American politics in 2016.”

Froman was born in California. He, his wife, Nancy Goodman, and their two living children, Benjamin and Sarah, currently reside in Washington, DC.

Ambassador Susan Schwab serves as a strategic advisor for Mayer Brown’s International Trade practice in addition to her professorship at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, where previously she had served as Dean, and as President of the University System of Maryland Foundation. From 2005-2009 she served as US Trade Representative and Deputy USTR in the George W. Bush administration. She also sits on several corporate boards, and is a frequent speaker at associations, corporations, and think tanks.

During her tenure as the USTR, Ambassador Schwab successfully opened markets for US products and services in every region of the world, and across a variety of business sectors and industries. She concluded the US’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea and launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. Ambassador Schwab also helped to achieve congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam, FTAs with Oman and Peru, and the bipartisan “May 10th, 2007 deal” on trade, labor and the environment. She also oversaw implementation of FTAs with 6 Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) countries, Bahrain, Oman and Peru. Additionally, she negotiated in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round with major economic powers such as the European Union, China, India, Brazil and Indonesia; resolved a longstanding dispute with Canada over softwood lumber; negotiated the US bilateral WTO accession agreement with Russia; and filed and resolved multiple cases in defense of US commercial interests before the WTO.

Ambassador Schwab has more than three decades of international trade and policy experience. She began her career in the USTR’s office as a trade negotiator for agriculture issues. After two years, she headed to Tokyo where she served as a Trade Policy Officer at the American Embassy. She later spent 8 years working for Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo), first as Chief Economist and Legislative Assistant for International Trade and then as Legislative Director. In 1989 she became the Director General of the US & Foreign Commercial Service at the US Department of Commerce, where she oversaw 200 international and domestic field offices with 1300 employees and a budget totaling $115 million. Following that, she worked as a senior executive at a major US company negotiating deals to access the Chinese market. 

Ambassador Carla A. Hills served as United States Trade Representative from 1989 to 1993.  As a member of President George H.W. Bush’s Cabinet, Carla was the President’s principal advisor on international trade policy.  She was also the nation’s chief trade negotiator, representing American interests in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations throughout the world.  Carla negotiated and concluded the North American Free Trade Agreement and also led the U.S. negotiations on the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization.  During her tenure, the United States entered into a large number of trade and investment agreements with countries around the world.

Earlier, Carla served as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (the third woman to hold a Cabinet position).  She also served as the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Before entering government, Carla co-founded and was partner in what is now the Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP law firm.  She also served as an adjunct professor at the University of California at Los Angeles Law School teaching antitrust law, and co-authored the Antitrust Adviser, which was published by McGraw-Hill.  Carla’s prior expertise in antitrust and federal civil matters informs her understanding of business.

Over the years, Carla has served on a number of corporate boards, including AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Corning Glass Works, Gilead Sciences, IBM, Time Warner, Trust Company of the West, and United Airlines.  She is currently on the international advisory board of J.P. Morgan Chase.  Carla also serves in leadership positions with not-for-profit organizations. She is Chair of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; Co-Chair of the Inter-American Dialogue and the Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Chair Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations (after serving as Co-Chair until July 2017); Honorary Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; and Executive Committee member of the Trilateral Commission.

Carla graduated from Stanford University, attended Oxford University’s St. Hilda’s College, and obtained her law degree from the Yale Law School.  She holds honorary degrees from a number of colleges and universities.  In 2000, she was awarded the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor given by the Mexican government to a non-citizen.

Wendy Cutler joined the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) as vice president in November 2015. She also serves as the managing director of the 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 an illustrious career of 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. In that capacity, she was responsible for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, including the bilateral negotiations with Japan. She also was the chief negotiator to the U.S.-Korea (Korus) Free Trade Agreement. 

Cutler received her master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University.