Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere (retired), U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (retired)
As DAS for the Western Hemisphere, Mr. Andersen was responsible for developing programs, policies and strategies to strengthen the United States' commercial position in the Western Hemisphere. He led both a headquarters team, as well as a network of 24 field offices throughout the region to carry out this mission. Mr. Andersen played a key role in the successful negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mr. Andersen held several senior positions within the Department of Commerce, including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations. He was involved in a number of major international and bilateral negotiations, including the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, and Free Trade Negotiations with Canada, Chile, Central America and the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, and Panama. He was a key member of two Presidential Commissions focused on providing assistance to a free Cuba. Mr. Andersen served as Chairman of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprise Working Group for the 2015-2016 APEC years. During his tenure, he ensured that this vital group would have permanent representation within APEC. He was awarded the Department of Commerce's Gold Medal, as well as three Department of Commerce Silver Medals. Mr. Andersen has a Masters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin and a BA with honors, in history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Since his retirement, Mr. Andersen has remained active in hemispheric issues, as well as, freelancing as a voiceover actor.
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The ravages of back-to-back hurricanes compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to historic economic devastation in Central America’s Northern Triangle region. With the pandemic being far from under control (e.g., less than 0.02% of Guatemalans have been vaccinated) and much of the economic infrastructure damaged, our panelists will discuss the socio-economic consequences of this historic economic disruption and the pre-conditions they believe necessary for economic recovery, including identifying possible opportunities.
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