Dear UC San Diego,

We at the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy (CCD) are excited to share our accomplishments over the last few months and plans for the new year in this quarterly update. As the world continues to experience unprecedented uncertainty due to the pandemic, trade wars, natural disasters and heightened domestic political tensions, our mission – to advance global economic cooperation – is more relevant than ever. We are committed to the philosophy that meaningful solutions are possible when academic rigor, business experience and practical policymaking find common ground. 

Two important events in the fall made progress on this front. The conference on USMCA and Global Supply Chains, featured insightful keynote presentations by Christopher Landau and Robert Zoellick. Informed by these addresses and discussions among panelists, our takeaways gave guidance to policymakers on how to leverage the USMCA trade agreement to reduce uncertainty for supply-chain operations throughout North America. The Climate and Trade Task Force launched its report at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland on Nov. 9, 2021. The Task Force Report provided the much needed insight that climate cooperation is impossible without trade coordination. 

Continuing this trend of high impact events, our next Global Leaders Forum will take place on Feb. 25 and feature Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the first African woman to lead an international organization. The event will kick off our annual conference on the Trade and Labor Markets to explore rising inequality and its consequences for international trade. We aim to provide actionable recommendations for policy and businesses to alleviate labor market frictions.

As we begin this new year, we are grateful to everyone that has supported the center’s mission, and we invite your continuing participation as we strive to make the world a more prosperous and safer place.


With appreciation,




In November, the CCD Climate and Trade Task Force convened a panel discussion at COP26 to release its first policy report “The Role of Trade in Addressing Climate Change: Recommendations for Policies and Practices.” Watch the report launch video here, see photos and view a presentation, plus read our report and press release.


In October we held a USMCA and Global Supply Chains Virtual Conference with 60 leading academics, business leaders, diplomats and policymakers from the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The conference, cohosted with the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies resulted in four concrete takeaways for policymakers to address the causes of uncertainty identified during the discussions. View the takeaways.


The USMCA and Global Supply Chain Conference started with a Global Leaders Forum discussion with Christopher Landau, former United States Ambassador to Mexico. In his public remarks, Ambassador Landau made the case that trade agreements help minimize and contain the disruptions from exogenous shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video.


Our second public Global Leaders Forum talk featured Robert B. Zoellick, the 11th President of the World Bank, who discussed "the idea of North America'' and shared insights from his extensive experience in policymaking. He highlighted the need to keep a strategic vision in mind. Watch the video.


On Nov. 4, we hosted Petros C. Mavroidis, one of the world’s leading experts on the World Trade Organization, who discussed that the crisis in dispute adjudication will not be resolved until the U.S. and China address friction in their economic and political relationship. Watch the video.



On Dec. 13, 2021, Renee Bowen appeared on the top Korean news program Arirang News Daily Report to share a U.S. policy perspective on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement coming into effect in 2022. Watch here. 



CCD Associate Director Lawrence Broz and UC San Diego trade economist Marc Muendler are working to identify the impact of WTO dispute settlement decisions on U.S. presidential elections. Their motivation here is to understand why the U.S. has taken actions that have rendered the WTO’s dispute settlement system inoperable.


The center is collaborating to create a WTO Disputes Data Hub to serve as the go-to source for comprehensive and verified information on trade disputes adjudicated by the WTO. The project will include a user-friendly web interface that will allow academics, policymakers and business leaders to access any aspect of a trade dispute that they are interested in.


Kyle Handley, who was recently nominated to be a Research Associate at NBER has co-authored, “A Long View of Employment Growth and Firm Dynamics in the United States: Importers vs. Exporters vs. Non-Traders.” In this work, they examine the “BDS-Goods Traders” program from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics. Read here.


As part of our Political Economy Lunch Speakers Series this past fall, we hosted five leading North American scholars in economics and political science to discuss their research and meet with our students. 



In the past six months, the center has established a group of CCD Senior Advisors composed of accomplished business leaders who provide guidance on strategic orientation, activities and networking. We are pleased to welcome Charles Dallara, Advisory Partner and Chairman of the Board of Partners Group USA; Wainwright Fishburn, Partner at Cooley, San Diego; Mary Machado Schammel, Co-Founder and CEO of Venture Advisors Business Sales & Acquisitions; Vivek Lall, Chief Executive of General Atomics Global Corporation; and Rafael Pastor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (Retired) of Vistage Worldwide Inc.

New Affiliated Faculty


Teevrat Garg was recently awarded tenure at UC San Diego. His research is at the intersection of environmental and development economics with an emphasis on the role of public policy and institutions in helping the poor cope with environmental changes from climate change to water and air pollution. Read his latest research here. 


Steve Wu is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at UC San Diego. Wu’s research covers important areas of open economy macroeconomics. One branch of his agenda sheds light on the corporate-sovereign nexus in emerging countries. Empirically, he finds that higher levels of corporate dollar debt increase the risk premium but not the default premium on sovereign debt.


Carlos Fernando Avenancio-León is an assistant professor of finance at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. His research agenda focuses on equitable finance – the role of financial mechanisms in economic redistribution and its implications for disadvantaged communities and inequality. His broad finance interests include corporate finance, household finance and labor and finance. 


Global Leaders Forum: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Feb. 25, 2022 at 8 a.m. PST | Register

We are honored to host Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, the first woman and African to hold the position. She is an economist, served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, and has been ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (2015).

Future of the Global Trading System: Trade and Labor Markets Virtual Conference 

Feb. 25, 2022 | By Invitation Only

The conference will explore rising inequality in the U.S. labor market and its consequences for international trade. Academics, business leaders and policymakers will discuss three aspects of labor markets that have particular relevance for international trade: Labor Standards in Trade Agreements, Trade and Unions and Place-Based Policies and Workforce Development.

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Center for Commerce and Diplomacy

UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

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