The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is pleased to present the
2022 Washington Trade Symposium
Join USFIA in Washington DC for an in-person event. Meet with policy-makers and colleagues to talk about the key issues and politics affecting the fashion industry. From forced labor enforcement to textile policy to the future of the China 301 tariffs, don't miss this opportunity to hear insights and solutions.
Join USFIA tohear from insidersnetworkexpand your knowledgethis July in DC!
What to Expect
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
All Symposium attendees are invited to join us for an evening cocktail reception hosted by Barnes & Thornburg LLP at The Zo from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
The Main Event: USFIA Washington Trade Symposium
Don't miss out on your chance to join USFIA and hear:
- Updates from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the State Department
- Up to the minute information about the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and enforcement
- The latest in textile news
- Trade facts and sourcing trends for the fashion industry
- And discover what the Washington insiders know
This is a great opportunity for new staff to get a quick policy overview and network with the decision-makers at other companies.
We also offer discounts for multiple attendees from the same company. Please email email@example.com to inquire about a multi-attendee discount.
The Symposium runs from 9:00AM until 4:45PM
This agenda is preliminary and subject to change prior to the event.
8:30 AM to 9:00 AM
Registration & Networking
9:00 AM - Opening Remarks
- Julia K. Hughes, President, United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA)
- Anna Walker, VP of Public Affairs at Levi Strauss & Co. and Chair of the USFIA Board of Directors
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
The Washington Insiders on Trade Policy & Politics
Moderated by Anna Walker, USFIA Board Chair
- Scott McCandless, Principal, Washington National Tax Services, PwC
- David Spooner, USFIA Washington Counsel and Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP
- Josh Teitelbaum, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump
10:00 AM - 10:40 AM
Perspectives on Textile Trade Policy in the Biden Administration
- Bill Jackson, Assistant USTR for Textiles, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
- Jennifer Knight, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials, Department of Commerce
10:40 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
KEYNOTE: Next Steps in the Fight Against Forced Labor
- Robert Silvers, Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security and Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Responsible Business Conduct: From the State Department's National Action Plan to the OECD Guidelines
- Lynn Sicade, Director of the Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Department of State
- David Sullivan, U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct and Sr. Advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, Department of State
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
KEYNOTE: Trade Facts for the Fashion Industry
- Ed Gresser, Vice President and Director for Trade and Global Markets at PPI
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Update from U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Moderated by Ed Fitzgerald, GEODIS
- AnnMarie Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
2:00 PM - 2:15 PM
2:15 PM - 3:00 PM
Trade and Sourcing Trends for 2022: Results of the Fashion Industry Benchmarking Survey
- Dr. Sheng Lu, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Material Exchange's POV: A Totally Digital Industry in 2027
- Andrew Olah, Chief of Textiles, Material Exchange
- Emily Olah, VP of Strategic Partnerships, Material Exchange
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Workshop: Building the CAFTA-DR Fabrics and Apparel Souring App
- Francisco Estrazulas, Inter-American Development Bank, Integration and Trade Sector
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
The New Era of Human Rights Enforcement: Practical Approaches to Reducing Risk
- Avedis Seferian, President & CEO, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
Inter-American Development Bank, Integration and Trade Sector
Francisco manages ConnectAmericas.com, a social network for businesses led by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). ConnectAmericas currently hosts 750,000 businesspeople from over 200 countries, and has generated over US$2.3 billion in foreign trade deals. Being part of ConnectAmericas since its inception, Francisco has been involved in all aspects of the project, including conceptualization, design, development, growth, and fundraising.
As a Trade and Investment Senior Specialist at IDB, Francisco leads sovereign guarantee loan operations on matters related to optimization and digitalization of trade and investment procedures, border crossing and logistic infrastructure, and strengthening of trade and investment promotion organizations. Most common counterparts on the lending side are Ministries of Trade, Ministries of the Economy, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade Promotion Agencies, Customs Agencies, and Ministries of Public Works/Transport.
Francisco also led the design and development of Build the Americas (BTA), a mobile app created to help increase competition in IDB-funded infrastructure projects. BTA disseminates information about infrastructure tenders that will be published in the next 5 years and helps connect international infrastructure developers with local partners and suppliers for each specific tender.
Prior to joining IDB, Francisco was a Manager at Castalia Strategic Advisors where he advised governments and private clients on economic, financial, and regulatory matters related to transport, logistics, water and sanitation, and energy in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Francisco holds a Master´s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard University and a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College.
Vice President and Director for Trade and Global Markets
Ed Gresser is Vice President and Director for Trade and Global Markets at PPI.
Ed returns to PPI after working for the think tank from 2001-2011. He most recently served as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Policy and Economics at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). In this position, he led USTR’s economic research unit from 2015-2021, and chaired the 21-agency Trade Policy Staff Committee.
Ed began his career on Capitol Hill before serving USTR as Policy Advisor to USTR Charlene Barshefsky from 1998 to 2001. He then led PPI’s Trade and Global Markets Project from 2001 to 2011. After PPI, he co-founded and directed the independent think tank ProgressiveEconomy until rejoining USTR in 2015. In 2013, the Washington International Trade Association presented him with its Lighthouse Award, awarded annually to an individual or group for significant contributions to trade policy.
Ed is the author of Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the Global Economy (2007). He has published in a variety of journals and newspapers, and his research has been cited by leading academics and international organizations including the WTO, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. He is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia Universities and a certificate from the Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union.
Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade
Ms. AnnMarie R. Highsmith is the Executive Assistant Commissioner (EAC) of Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Ms. Highsmith oversees a diverse portfolio of trade enforcement, security, and facilitation to enable legitimate trade, contribute to American economic prosperity, and protect against risks to public health and safety. Her work ranges from enforcing over 500 U.S. trade laws and overseeing 14 trade agreements, to directing CBP’s seven Priority Trade Issues in collaboration with 49 partner government agencies.
From 2013 to 2021, Ms. Highsmith served as the Deputy Chief Counsel for CBP, where she was the chief operating officer of one of the premier legal offices in Government, managing and directing a staff of 400 legal professionals in 31 offices nationwide. In 2020, Ms. Highsmith served as Acting Chief Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In that capacity, she provided effective leadership for the agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring public safety and the security of the national food supply chain, while protecting American jobs. Ms. Highsmith joined the Senior Executive Service (SES) as the Associate Chief Counsel (Trade and Finance), CBP, in Washington, D.C. In that role, she served as the principal legal advisor for CBP on all matters involving customs laws, as they impact on trade, and a broad range of fiscal matters. In 2013, she served as the Acting Associate General Counsel for General Law, in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security, providing leadership and timely, practical legal advice and guidance to successfully implement the over $3 billion sequestration. A native Californian, Ms. Highsmith began her legal career in 1992 as a Staff Attorney with the U.S. Customs Service, at the Office of the Regional Counsel, in Long Beach, California.
Ms. Highsmith received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1992, and her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Pepperdine University in 1988. She is a 2011 graduate of the Harvard University Senior Managers in Government program. In 2017, Ms. Highsmith was awarded a Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award.
Assistant United States Trade Representative for Textiles
Bill Jackson was named the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles in April 2016. He is responsible for conducting and overseeing negotiations affecting textile and apparel products, advising the U.S. Trade Representative on textile and apparel trade policy matters, and working to expand the industry’s access to foreign markets. He was the lead negotiator on textiles and apparel for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Mr. Jackson served as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference program from 2010 to 2016 and Director for African Affairs at USTR from 2002 to 2010, during which he worked on a wide variety of U.S.-African trade and investment issues, including administration of the African Growth and Opportunity Act trade preference program.
Before coming to USTR, Mr. Jackson was Director of Government Relations and Policy at the Africa-America Institute, a leading American nongovernmental organization involved in education and exchange programs for and with Africans. He also served for thirteen years as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State, where his assignments included postings in Sri Lanka and Liberia and policy jobs in African and Central Asian Affairs.
Mr. Jackson is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has a master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials
Industry and Analysis
Knight leads the work of TCGM to advance the global competitiveness of the U.S. textile and manufacturing industries through the development and execution of international trade and investment policies and promotion strategies.
Through her strategic vision, passionate leadership, and management skills Knight combines her unique understanding of the traditional textile industry with her proven experience in manufacturing and e-commerce to achieve success.
Her previous experience includes leading startups, family-owned, and private equity-owned companies through growth, turnarounds, and ownership transitions as a former C-suite executive. She was previously the president and COO of American Woolen Company and a partner at Newport Board Group, a national professional services firm that provides executive level and Board of Directors advisory services to emerging growth companies. Knight was also founder and president of GetawayStyle, an e-commerce site offering content and product recommendations of Made in the USA, eco-friendly home furnishings to second and retirement homeowners.
Prior to that, Knight spent almost 15 years in the U.S. textile industry leading several companies through growth and turnaround situations. She has navigated challenges in the domestic manufacturing industry and international markets, including setting up operations in Central America and China.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Women’s Studies from Brown University and earned a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Outside of work, she is an avid gardener and hiker along with her wife, Chiqui Cartagena, who is a well-known expert on the U.S. Hispanic market.
Dr. Sheng Lu
Associate Professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies
University of Delaware
Dr. Sheng Lu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware. He also serves as a consultant for the International Trade Centre (ITC) co-run by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN). With over 70 publications in academic and trade journals, Dr. Lu’s research focuses on the economic and business aspects of the textile and apparel industry, including international trade, trade policy, and the governance of the global apparel value chain. Dr. Lu received the 2014 Rising Star Award and 2019 Mid-Career Excellence Award from the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) to recognize his research and teaching excellence. He is also the multiple-time recipient of the Paper of Distinction Award at the ITAA annual conferences for his study on the textile and apparel specific-sectoral impact of mega free trade agreements. Several of his studies were cited by government reports such as the Congressional Research Service (CRS) studies prepared for members of U.S. Congress, U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) official assessment on the economic impacts of free trade agreements as well as the World Bank, International Labor Organization, and the United Nations research publications. Dr. Lu’s published works also have been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Thai and regularly featured by the media outlet.
Principal, WNTS Tax Policy Services
Scott McCandless is a principal in PwC’s Tax Policy Services (TPS) practice within the Washington National Tax Services practice. Prior to re-joining PwC in 2014, Scott served as Tax Counsel to Congressman Tim Griffin, a Member of the U.S House of Representatives, Committee on Ways & Means. Scott advised Congressman Griffin on a wide range of tax and trade matters including tax reform proposals.
Previously, Scott spent 2011 and 2012 serving as Tax Counsel to U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Senator Snowe was one of the senior Members of the Senate Finance Committee and Scott handled the Senator's broad portfolio of tax and trade issues.
Prior to joining Senator Snowe, Scott was a director in PwC’s Washington National Tax Services practice where he provided strategic advice as well as legislative, executive branch, and regulatory representation for domestic and international clients of PwC on a broad spectrum of issues including taxation and international trade, with a focus on energy tax policy. Scott has authored several articles published in Tax Notes regarding the energy tax titles in recent legislation and on broader energy policy.
CEO and Partner, Olah Inc.
He helped produce the capstone jeans brand course at the Fashion Institute of Technology for fifteen years.
Andrew believes in sharing ideas and creating community to implement the changes needed to move the denim industry into being more environmentally viable,
With this in mind he started Kingpins Transformers in 2014 which became the Transformers Foundation in 2020.
Andrew Olah has worked in the textile business since 1976 and focused on the jeans industry since 1979. He is the second generation leader of his company which in 2022 will celebrate their 63rd year in business.
In 2004 Andrew created the Kingpins Show – the first-ever denim supply chain trade show.
Executive Director, Transformers Foundation
She is the third generation of Olah's to enter into the family denim business. She is active in the textile, apparel, product development and sales divisions as well as devoting much of her efforts in sustainability and traceability, which she feels will be the new premium standard for apparel.
Avedis H. Seferian
President & CEO
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
Avedis H. Seferian joined WRAP in 2004 and became its President and CEO in 2012. He has extensive knowledge of social responsibility issues within the highly complex worldwide supply chains of the apparel, textile and footwear sectors. A recognized expert in the area of social compliance and responsible sourcing, Mr. Seferian was named by Assent Compliance as one of the Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Leaders for 2020. He often speaks on topics in this field at different forums around the world and has contributed to many leading trade publications and news outlets. Mr. Seferian is the Chairman of the Executive Board (and a member of the Stakeholder Board) of the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) and sits on the Impartiality Committees of several audit organizations; he also served on the Board of Advisors of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
Mr. Seferian began his career working for a business research and development organization before migrating over to legal research. Prior to joining WRAP, he was with a small law firm in Washington, DC. Mr. Seferian has also taught in various capacities in the business and legal arenas, including as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College. He speaks five languages, has lived in four countries and holds three degrees from three continents - a Bachelor’s in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University in India; an MBA from the American University of Armenia; and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center in the United States, where he was a Law Fellow and made the Dean’s List.
Mr. Seferian is a member of the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. He resides in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife and their 2 sons.
Director of the Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State
Lynn Sicade is the Office Director of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs (DRL/MLGA). DRL/MLGA handles an array of human rights and democracy policy issues with respect to the United Nations (UN), Internet freedom and technology, business and human rights, marginalized populations, civil society, good governance, and visa issuance.
Ms. Sicade began her career in the U.S. Department of State in 1990. She has served in El Salvador, the United Kingdom, the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau and the East Asia and Pacific Bureau. She joined DRL in 2001. An expert on human rights and the United Nations, Ms. Sicade has represented the U.S. at the UN where she negotiated and delivered positions on behalf of the U.S. She has authored several UN resolutions, most notably the resolution that created the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly. She has received numerous superior and meritorious honor awards.
Prior to joining DRL, Ms. Sicade served as a special assistant to the U.S. representative to the Guarantors of the Rio Protocol. In this capacity she worked with the team that set the foundation for peace between Ecuador and Peru.
Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans
Robert Silvers was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans on August 5, 2021. He is responsible for driving policy and implementation plans across all of DHS’s missions, including counterterrorism; cybersecurity, infrastructure security, and resilience; border security and immigration; international affairs; and trade and economic security.
Mr. Silvers previously served in the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama-Biden Administration as Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy. In that role he oversaw private sector engagement, federal government incident response, and diplomatic outreach pertaining to cybersecurity and emerging technology. Mr. Silvers also previously served as DHS’s Deputy Chief of Staff, managing execution of policy and operational priorities across the entire Department.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Silvers was a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings LLP, where his practice focused on cybersecurity and data privacy, government security review of foreign investments, and investigations and litigation at the intersection of law and national security. After graduating law school, he clerked for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Silvers holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught as an adjunct professor in the M.S. in Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy Program co-offered by the NYU Law School and NYU Tandon School of Engineering. A New York City native, Mr. Silvers lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their two children.
U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (on Responsible Business Conduct), and Senior Advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Previously, David was a senior State Department attorney. He joined the Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser in 1998, and since then served as an Attorney-Adviser in offices for international claims, law enforcement, the Western Hemisphere, employment and ethics, human rights, and economic and business affairs. He also served as the senior legal adviser to the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva.
David’s prior legal work has been with the Department of the Treasury, White & Case, and the Alaska Supreme Court. He has also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eswatini and worked for IBM.
David has a law degree from Yale Law School, a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a bachelor’s degree from Yale College. He is from Cleveland, Ohio.
Senior Counsel, Akin Gump
Josh Teitelbaum currently serves as Senior Counsel at Akin Gump where he helps Fortune 500 consumer brands, including USFIA members, and their trade associations navigate Washington’s most difficult issues. He assists clients in developing effective policy responses, political strategies, and communications messages to achieve wins that support their organization’s mission.
Prior to joining Akin Gump, Josh served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials in the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) where he supported negotiations of the textile chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement among other multilateral, regional and bilateral trade initiatives.
Prior to his role at Commerce, Josh held a number of positions in both the House and Senate, advising on a wide range of issues, including health care, trade, education and financial services.
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