In a panel discussion with Tina Brown that was a delightful mix of candor and wisdom, Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky shared her insights on the global perception of the U.S. at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston last Friday.
Go4IT–the license plate on a passing automobile–was the sign that Barshefsky was waiting for when considering the role of the U.S. Trade Representative.
During the second Clinton Administration, she served as the nation’s chief trade negotiator, principal trade policymaker, and member of the Cabinet. Ambassador Barshefsky ushered in a new era of alliance-building through global economic agreements, most notably the historic market-opening negotiation with China on its entry into the World Trade Organization.
Her background and legal expertise in international relations and trade law have made her a moving force in bilateral U.S.-China relations. She believes that going back to the basics and investing in the core fundamentals of innovation, R&D and education are critical for the U.S. to regain its global position of power.
More open immigration laws and an easier path to naturalization are other areas that Barshefsky believes the U.S. needs to address to keep from losing its competitive edge. While the recession and the financial overhaul have crippled the economy, Barshefsky believes that these are bumps along the way and the competitive spirit and the resilience of the nation will help chart the course for the U.S. to become a leader once again.
In her current practice as a senior international partner at WilmerHale, she advises several Fortune 100 and other multinational corporations on their trade and investment activities in China, Europe, and the U.S. Ambassador Barshefsky also serves on the boards of the American Express Company, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Intel Corporation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and the Council on Foreign Relations.