Local and international experts to discuss critical issues around trade

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Local and international experts to discuss critical issues around trade

Experts will discuss critical issues surrounding international trade in Nebraska this week at the inaugural CME Group Foundations Symposium of the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. Entitled “Changing Governments, Changing Trade: Impacts from Global to Local," the event will be held Tuesday, March 13 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus conference center. While free and open to the public, advance registration is requested.

“Agricultural exports make up approximately 90% of total exports from Nebraska, and in some recent years have been as high as $7 billion,” said Ron Yoder, senior associate vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Understanding international trade policy and the financing that drives international trade is vital for the continued growth of this segment of the Nebraska economy.”

Speakers for the symposium include Tim Groser, New Zealand's ambassador to the United States; Kirsten Hillman, Canada's deputy ambassador to the United States; Brian Kuehl, executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, and Andrea Durkin, editor-in-chief for TradeVistas, an online platform helping to foster more informed dialogue about trade (a joint initiative of the Hinrich Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies).  Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Smithfield, a global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer, will give the keynote address. 

The interdisciplinary nature of trade creates a conducive environment for bringing together people from a variety of industries and fields to discuss a topic that, directly or indirectly, affects all Nebraskans. Similarly, these discussions and the Yeutter Institute, itself, leverage the strengths of different areas of the university, including Nebraska’s College of Business, College of Law and College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“Trade issues are resolved through a variety of perspectives, including economics, business, law, policy, and diplomacy. There is not a more important time for the future of Nebraska to be examining these issues,” said Matthew Schaefer, Veronica Haggart & Charles Work Professor of International Trade Law and Co-Director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program at Nebraska.

In addition to the strength of faculty members’ academic and practical expertise in international trade, the university’s collaboration with the state government creates a more concerted effort to expand economic opportunity for Nebraska, as seen with the recent developments with the Nebraska-Yangling Demonstration Farm in China and relationships with industry partners in Japan, among others.

“Nebraska’s international agricultural trade is driven by global economic conditions and impacted more broadly by geopolitical shifts,” said Josh Davis, assistant vice chancellor of global engagement, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Understanding these trends and shifts is essential if Nebraska is to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world.”

This year’s symposium will be held in conjunction with the final Heuermann Lecture of the 2017-2018 season, also free and open to the public (lecture begins at 3:30 p.m. at the  Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center auditorium as well as live-streamed). The talk will feature Kuehl and Durkin discussing the local impact of global change. As Heuermann speakers before her, Durkin will also engage with the university community during her time in Nebraska: visiting with faculty, participating in a roundtable on trade negotiations with students studying international trade law and serving as a guest lecturer in two undergraduate classes focused on agricultural trade and global food economics.

About the Yeutter Institute:

Renowned trade expert, former U.S. Trade Representative, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Nebraska alumnus, Clayton Yeutter made a $2.5 million leadership gift through outright and planned gifts to establish the Clayton Yeutter International Trade Program Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation in 2015. The Yeutter Institute prepares students to understand, participate in, and shape global trade and finance in a world that is increasingly interconnected. It builds on the strengths of several colleges across the university to offer undergraduate and graduate education, facilitate faculty research and conduct outreach efforts, all related to international trade and finance.