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The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) held its 12th annual Trade and International Affairs Symposium on September 20, 2023, at the Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C.

The CHLI Trade & International Affairs Symposium connects international business leaders, experts on trade, the diplomatic community, and U.S. government officials to discuss trade issues and international affairs that affect U.S. global competitiveness and the impact of the U.S. Hispanic and Portuguese communities in a global economy. Primarily, this year’s theme specifically explored the economic integration in the Western hemisphere.

Held during Hispanic Heritage Month, the Symposium commenced with welcome remarks by CHLI Co-Founder, The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (from the State of Florida); CHLI Corporate Board Member and CHLI Chair of the Trade Symposium, Sara Decker (Walmart) and Joshua Bolten, CEO of the Business Roundtable.

CHLI Vice Chairman, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) gave insightful remarks on trade, border security, immigration, trade in the Western Hemisphere and more.  Congressman Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), also a CHLI Board Member, shared his perspectives on the importance of trade, border security and current geopolitical concerns.

Senator Rick Scott (FL) shared his views on matters affecting the economy, national security, and U.S.-Latin America relations.

The Honorable Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR) discussed the importance of trade and the economic impact on Puerto Rican families.

The first panel discussion centered around business opportunities for growth through trade and diplomatic relations. The discussion was moderated by Jennifer Thornton, Advocacy and Trade Lead at The Business Roundtable. The panelists were Amanda Blunt, Counsel, Legal Affairs & Trade, General Motors; Maria Luisa Boyce, Vice President of International Policy for Global Public Affairs, UPS; and Erica Johnson Creamer, Senior Direct, Federal Government Affairs, Walmart.

Following the panel was a fireside chat with Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46) and Arrow Augerot, Director, Americas Public Policy, Amazon.  The conversation revolved around empowering small businesses across the Western Hemisphere through digital trade.

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Daniel Watson provided an update on the Administration’s work on trade policy with Latin America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada.