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AmCham EU stresses importance of open global trading system at WTO Public Forum

29 Sep 2017
Trade & External Affairs

The global trading system is today vastly integrated and more interconnected than ever. Countries, companies and citizens rely on the ability to move goods, services and ideas across borders at ever-increasing speed.

At the same time, today’s system is characterized by a level of instability and unpredictability that is of growing concern to businesses and which threatens global growth and development. To this end, from 26-27 September 2017, AmCham EU’s Trade and External Affairs committee travelled to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland, to participate in the WTO’s annual Public Forum, which brings together stakeholders from across the political spectrum to discuss challenges and opportunities to trade and investment.   

The highlight of the delegation saw AmCham EU host a panel session entitled, “The disintegration of the global economy? Brexit, the rise of protectionism and the future of international trade.” The discussion featured senior representatives from the governments of France, Pakistan, the US and the UK, as well as AmCham EU member company Chevron. It also featured a presentation from Carsten Dannöhl, ‎EU Government Affairs Manager, Caterpillar and Vice Chair of the Committee. Focusing on the challenges and opportunities in the current global trading system, panelists scoped out potential methods to avoid a slide towards protectionism and considered how to promote growth and development around the world.

In addition to a successful panel, the group held side meetings with officials including the Ambassadors of Mexico, Switzerland and the EU to the WTO, as well as senior WTO officials. Delegates stressed the value of the WTO as a vehicle for global stability, and the need for strong policies at multilateral level that preserve and enhance a rules-based system. For more information, contact Tim Adamson, Senior Policy Adviser at AmCham EU (  

More on the panel:


Jean-Marie Paugam, Permanent Representative of France to the WTO

Christopher Wilson, Deputy Chief, US Mission to the WTO

Syed Tauqir Shah, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the WTO

Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN and other international organisations

Rachel Bonfante, Head of EU Affairs, Chevron


Charles De Jager, International Trade & Dispute Resolution Counsel, Crowell & Moring

Introductory remarks

Carsten Dannöhl, ‎EU Government Affairs Manager, Caterpillar