2020 Symposium Agenda


Tuesday, Apr. 28th - Opening Reception at the Mexican Cultural Institute

5:00-8:30pm - Armchair Discussion on Adapting to Disruption

Wednesday, Apr. 29th - Full Day Symposium at the Wilson Center

8:30-9:15am - Registration and Breakfast

9:15-10:45am – Plenary 1: Mass International Migration: Can North America Coordinate a Unified Response?

11:00-12:30pm – Plenary 2: The U.S.-China Trade War’s Impact on North America

12:30-1:45pm - Lunch with Keynote Address on the USMCA

1:45-3:45pm - Working Groups Sessions

Symposium attendees are invited to develop specific and realistic recommendations for North American cooperation as part of one of the following Working Groups:

Group A: A Unified North American Response to Mass Migration

Group B: The U.S.-China Trade War’s Impact on North America

Group C: USMCA

Description of plenaries and keynote

Plenary 1: Mass International Migration: Can North America Coordinate a Unified Response?

The world is currently experiencing the highest level of global migration ever recorded, both as an aggregate (258 million migrants are living abroad) and as a percentage of the world’s population (3.4%), according to the International Organization for Migration. North America is no exception, as record waves of Central American Migrants (CAM) and Venezuelans are coming to Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

Labor mobility is a key part of North American competitiveness, but irregular migration patterns cause uncertainty and draw additional resources towards border protection in each country. If implemented, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will provide new opportunities for labor mobility between all three countries, but these opportunities may be threatened if there is no unified approach to working with increasingly high numbers of migrants and asylum seekers in North America.

Trilateral cooperation between Canada, the United States, and Mexico benefits the economic health and security of all three countries, and this panel will discuss security, economic and trade opportunities, as well as potential areas of migration policy alignment and cooperation in North America. The region needs a comprehensive plan to boost economic development for the Northern Triangle of Central America, with strong accountability, that can provide economic opportunities and diminish migrant flows.

Plenary 2: The U.S.-China Trade War’s Impact on North America
In 2018, the United States started a trade war with China over China’s abuse of U.S. companies’ intellectual property and its enormous trade deficit of $378.6 billion, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Although these measures were directed to force China to comply with international trade rules, it caused a dislocation of U.S. supply chains, especially in telecom and tech industries.

As tariffs made Chinese goods more expensive, U.S. companies moved their supply chains to Mexico and Canada. In early-2019, Mexico replaced China as the U.S.'s largest trading partner. But at the same time, Mexican and Canadian companies that export Chinese manufactured goods to the U.S. have been negatively affected by tariffs.

With so much change, disruption, political tension and uncertainty in global supply chains, how are companies adapting? And more importantly, how can Mexico, Canada and the U.S. work together to stabilize global trade, so that the North American trading block stays competitive in the world economy?

Keynote: USMCA

Description and full title to come