Carla A. Hills
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Carla A. Hills

Chairman and CEO, Hills & Company International Consultants; Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations and Inter-American Dialogue; Chair, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1975–1977)

No issues are more important to the U.S. and world economies than global trade and investment, and no one is more qualified to speak on these topics and the historic challenges facing the international order and open trading system than Carla Hills.

NAFTA and North America’s Untapped Economic Opportunities

Over the last two decades, dynamic, integrated supply chains have developed across North America tightly linking the three major economies in ways that are mutually beneficial. America’s original NAFTA negotiator explains how our collaboration has made the region the most competitive in the world. We don’t simply sell to each other, we make things together. Forty percent of what the United States imports from Mexico consists of U.S. content, and 25 percent of imports from Canada contain U.S. content. It is in our national interest to build on the vibrant commercial connections that have developed over the past two decades – and an updated NAFTA is critical to that effort. The former U.S. Trade Representative shares the winning recipe on how to move ahead with the issues that will make a positive difference for businesses, large and small, make workers more secure, and build on a vital North American partnership.

How to Work with China

A strong U.S.-China relationship is essential to domestic and global prosperity and security. Yet, mutual mistrust between the two nations threatens to undermine cooperation between the world’s two largest economies. Both countries face considerable economic and political uncertainties. China’s reform efforts have slowed, while the role of the state has increased in recent years. Against this challenging backdrop, one of the leading public voices on U.S.-China commercial relations and doing business in China offers her insights on how to work collaboratively and get results in the world’s largest market.

Preserving the Benefits of Trade and Globalization

America’s political rhetoric is increasingly heated and hostile to trade, but turning inward would be catastrophic to U.S. interests.  Trade has been an engine of growth for the United States that has strengthened the economies of our partners and allies, lifted billions out of poverty, and brought the world closer together on a range of important policy issues. While educating the public about the economic, development and security benefits of trade is critical, our leaders must also launch programs to create jobs for those whom trade has not necessarily brought prosperity, especially those in industries with rapidly changing technology.  Responding effectively to the deep and understandable anxiety over a rapidly-changing workplace is essential to building and sustaining the popular support to keep markets and borders open. As a former USTR and negotiator of landmark trade agreements like NAFTA, Hills offers a unique vantage point on one of the most controversial issues of our time.

Doing Business in a Global Environment

International business executives’ inboxes present more overseas risks and opportunities than ever before. Traditional global challenges to doing business have expanded beyond tariff and other border restrictions to an array of non-tariff and regulatory barriers to success. Added to these more conventional issues that international businesses must navigate are the ever-changing policies of foreign governments, fluid populist movements, rapid technological advances, and a greater awareness of the importance of sustainable development. No one is better positioned than Hills – a former USTR, two-time cabinet officer, respected founder of a national law firm and global advisory consultancy, and member of numerous Fortune 500 boards –  to offer insights at the intersection of business and world politics.

Meet Carla A. Hills

No issues are more important to the U.S. and world economies than global trade and investment, and no one is more qualified to speak on these topics and the historic challenges facing the international order and open trading system than Carla Hills.

A two-time cabinet officer (third woman to hold a cabinet position), business executive, respected lawyer, and board member of numerous Fortune 500 companies, Ambassador Carla Hills is one of the world’s most influential voices on international trade, commerce, and investment. Her presentations draw on the lessons and insights from a lengthy career full of experiences and are infused with spirit, candor, and humor. Hills served as the United States’ original NAFTA negotiator. She is widely-recognized for her experience and relationships in China as Chair and CEO of Hills & Company International Consultants, a firm she founded in 1993 that is dedicated to helping companies overcome obstacles and achieve success in today’s globalized market. As U.S. trade representative from 1989 to 1993, Hills was President George H. W. Bush’s principal advisor on trade and investment policy and the nation’s chief trade negotiator, representing American interests on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral negotiations. She has served on the boards of AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Gilead Sciences, IBM, Time Warner, and United Airlines, among others. Hills is a member of the JP Morgan International Council. In addition, she chairs the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, co-chairs the Inter-American Dialogue, and serves as Chair Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations after serving as its co-chair until July 2017. An advocate for open global markets and expanded commerce, Hills has earned a reputation for achieving positive solutions to international commercial issues, as a trusted bipartisan adviser to Presidents and CEOs and an effective advocate on behalf of leading U.S. companies. Earlier in her career, she served in President Ford’s cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. An expert on antitrust and federal law practice, Hills also served as Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division and as a co-founder and partner in the well-regarded national law firm now known as Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.

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