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Conference on USMCA and Global Supply Chains

An Assessment After One Year

Oct. 21–22, 2021
Location: Virtual

Sponsored by the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Overview

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect on July 1, 2020, during unprecedented global uncertainty. The pandemic, trade wars, natural disasters and rising geopolitical tensions affected the resilience, robustness and reliability of regional and global supply chains. The purpose of this conference is to assess the USMCA after its first year of operation, and to generate actionable responses to the unanticipated challenges and opportunities it has faced.

The two-day virtual invitation-only conference gathers three groups of experts—academic researchers, business leaders and policymakers—to provide an assessment of the USMCA one year after its implementation. We focus on four aspects of the USMCA that have direct implications for supply chain operations: Rules of Origin, Labor Standards, Policy Uncertainty and the U.S.-China Strategic Competition.

Each panel will begin with brief opening remarks from speakers, and follow with discussion from all conference participants. The conference intends to deliver a set of recommendations that find consensus among the three groups of participants. We expect robust participation from all conference attendees.

Each day of the conference will begin with a public event. CCD’s Global Leaders Forum brings world leaders to UC San Diego to share insights on current trends in global policy and politics, leadership and life lessons. The forum enriches the diplomacy dialogue at GPS and the wider San Diego community, and is an essential learning experience for the next generation of world leaders educated at the school. Previous speakers include Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness. We are pleased to welcome Christopher Landau, Former United States Ambassador to Mexico, and Robert Zoellick, Former President of the World Bank as guests in our forum.

Download the conference program (PDF)

Agenda

The conference is under Chatham House Rules. Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. There will be no video recording or audio transcript; chat will not be saved.

Oct. 21, 2021

8–9:15 a.m. – CCD Global Leaders Forum
COVID: A Stress Test for USMCA - A discussion with Christopher Landau

  • Welcome Remarks by Renee Bowen, Professor and Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Introduction by Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Keynote Address by Christopher Landau, Former United States Ambassador to Mexico
  • Discussion Moderator by Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, and Daisy Alfaro, Master of International Affairs Graduate Student, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Closing Remarks by Renee Bowen, Professor and Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

9:15–9:50 a.m. – Break

9:50–9:55 a.m. Opening Remarks by Rafael Fernández de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

9:55–10:55 a.m. – Panel 1: Rules of Origin
Rules of Origin (ROO) in the USMCA stipulate how much manufacturing must come from within the free trade area in order to receive duty-free treatment—a challenge for industries with global supply chains. ROO changes were among the largest differences between NAFTA and the USMCA, particularly in the automotive sector. How have these changes affected supply chains?

Panelists:

  • Arvind Panagariya, Professor of Economics, Columbia University
  • José Zozaya, Executive President, Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz
  • Moderator: Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group

10:55–11 a.m. – Break

11 a.m.–12 p.m. – Panel 2: Labor Standards
USMCA established new and updated provisions for protecting worker rights and enforcing labor commitments, and several complaints have now been filed. How effective are these new labor provisions and enforcement procedures and what impact have they had on supply chain operations?

Panelists:

  • Brian Kovak, Associate Professor of Economics & Public Policy, Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Mark Agnew, Senior Vice-President, Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Rachel Micah-Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.
  • Moderator: Beatriz Leycegui Gardoqui, Former Undersecretary for Foreign Trade in Mexico

12–12:05 p.m. Closing Remarks by Renee Bowen, Professor and Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy


Oct. 22, 2021

8–9 a.m. – CCD Global Leaders Forum | Register
The Idea of North America - A discussion with Robert Zoellick

  • Opening Remarks by Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Keynote Address by Robert B. Zoellick, Former President, World Bank
  • Discussion Moderator by Caroline Freund, Dean and Gurkriti Ahluwalia, Master of Public Policy Graduate Student, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Closing Remarks by Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

9–9:40 a.m. – Break

9:40–9:45 a.m. Opening Remarks by Renee Bowen, Professor and Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

9:45–10:45 a.m. – Panel 3: Policy Uncertainty 
Policy uncertainty puts a drag on business activity and reduces cross-border trade and investment. Has the USMCA reduced overall policy uncertainty and helped to stabilize supply chain relationships?

Panelists:

  • Kyle Handley, Associate Professor of Economics, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Alvaro Santos, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas (CAROLA), Georgetown Law
  • Leila Aridi Afas, Director, International Public Policy, Toyota North America
  • Moderator: J. Lawrence Broz, Professor and Associate Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

10:45–10:50 a.m. – Break

10:50 –11:50 a.m. – Panel 4: U.S.-China Strategic Competition and USMCA
The USMCA was negotiated in the shadow of strategic competition between the U.S. and China, and these tensions are continuing. Are global supply chains pivoting toward the USMCA? What are Mexico's advantages and disadvantages relative to suppliers in Asia?

Panelists:

  • Enrique Dussel Peters, Director, Center for Chinese Studies, Professor, Graduate School of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of Canadian Chamber of Commerce, former Progressive Conservative Member of the House of Commons and Cabinet Minister
  • Meredith Lilly, Associate Professor, Carleton University and Former Foreign Affairs and International Trade Advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister
  • Moderator: Barry Naughton, So Kwan Lok Chair of Chinese International Affairs, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

11:50 a.m.–12 p.m. Final Remarks

  • Rafael Fernández de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Renee Bowen, Professor and Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Participants

Keynote Speakers

Speakers

  • Mark Agnew, Senior Vice-President, Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Leila Aridi Afas, Director of International Public Policy, Toyota North America
  • Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of Canadian Chamber of Commerce, former Progressive Conservative Member of the House of Commons and Cabinet Minister
  • Renee Bowen, Professor and Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • J. Lawrence Broz, Professor and Associate Director, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Enrique Dussel Peters, Director, Center for Chinese Studies, Professor, Graduate School of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM
  • Rafael Fernández de Castro, Professor and Director, Center for U.S-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Caroline Freund, Dean, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Kyle Handley, Professor of Economics, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Brian Kovak, Associate Professor of Economics & Public Policy, Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Beatriz Leycegui Gardoqui, Former Undersecretary for Foreign Trade in Mexico
  • Meredith Lilly, Associate Professor, Carleton University and Former Foreign Affairs and International Trade Advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister
  • Rachel Micah-Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.
  • Barry Naughton, So Kwan Lok Chair of Chinese International Affairs, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Arvind Panagariya, Professor of Economics and the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy, Columbia University
  • Alvaro Santos, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Transnational Legal Studies, Georgetown Law
  • Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group and Senior Fellow, Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Jose Zozaya, Executive President, Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry

Panelist Paper and Reading Submissions

Brian Kovak

Beatriz Leycegui Gardoqui

Rachel Micah-Jones

Enrique Dussel Peters

Arvind Panagariya 

Alvaro Santos

Etel Solingen