Video On Demand

Revitalizing American Commercial Diplomacy Conference

April 11, 2023 • 9:00 am – 1:30 pm EDT

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers and over 80 percent of global purchasing power lying outside the United States and an expanding field of competitors such as Europe, Canada, China, and other economies, the United States must step up its commercial diplomacy efforts if it is to remain competitive.

Commercial diplomacy – coordinated efforts to help American companies successfully market their goods and services abroad has three significant benefits for the United States. It facilitates U.S. exports, which contribute to jobs and growth domestically. It helps create global awareness of the high quality of our goods and services and opens doors to expanded economic cooperation. Finally, it is an important element of “soft power” which helps promote American values and geopolitical interests in other countries.

We are, however, hardly the only player on the field. China, for example, now fields the largest diplomatic network in the world, giving its businesses a competitive edge over the U.S. private sector. If the Biden administration is to achieve its goal of reinvigorating American partnerships and alliances, it must revitalize its outreach efforts. Commercial diplomacy efforts support specific “deals” in other countries and if used effectively, could work to change or eliminate country-specific regulations and other barriers to U.S. exports and commercial ventures. Success ensures that U.S. companies and industries can successfully engage in foreign markets.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD), is pleased to present the Revitalizing American Commercial Diplomacy Conference. The conference will highlight the importance of commercial diplomacy, discuss whether the Biden administration is meeting the challenge of upgrading our efforts, and recommend additional actions the U.S. can take.

Speakers will summarize main points of the conference.

This event is made possible through generous funding from the American Academy for Diplomacy.


Introductory Remarks:

9:00-9:10 AM: Introductory remarks from Bill Reinsch and Amb. Ronald Neumann

9:10-9:40 AM: Keynote remarks from Under Secretary Jose W. Fernandez

9:40-9:45 AM: Introduction to panels

Panel 1: Revitalizing U.S. Commercial Diplomacy: Setting the Scene - 9:45-10:55 AM

Panel 1 will explore the importance of commercial diplomacy and identify where the United States should focus its efforts.


Cathy Novelli, Senior Adviser, Shearwater Global

Amb. Craig Allen, President, US-China Business Council

Amb. Earl Anthony Wayne, Policy Fellow, Wilson Center

Michelle O'Neill, Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Corning


Matthew P. Goodman, Senior Vice President for Economics, CSIS

Break - 10:55 AM - 11:05 AM

Panel 2: Revitalizing U.S. Commercial Diplomacy: Identifying Shortcomings - 11:05 AM-12:15 PM

Panel 2 will focus on the shortcomings of American commercial diplomacy. In particular, it will discuss how the Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act (CABDA) could jump start a renewed commercial diplomacy strategy.


Rep. Colin Allred, (D-TX), U.S. House of Representatives

Amb. Charles E. Cobb, Jr., Managing Director and CEO, Cobb Partners

Amb. Robert Cekuta, Former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan (2015-2018)

Kathleen Ambrose, Vice President, Global Government Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, TE Connectivity

Dale N. Tasharski, Deputy Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service Global Markets, International Trade Administration


Amb. Kathleen Doherty, Former U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus (2015-2019)

Closing Remarks - 12:15-12:30 PM

CSIS and AAD will make closing remarks to conclude the conference.

Break - 12:15-12:20 PM

Adjourn for Lunch (12:35-1:30 PM)

Contact Information

Michelle O'Neill

Michelle O'Neill

Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Corning
Matthew P. Goodman

Matthew P. Goodman

Former Senior Vice President for Economics
Kathleen Ambrose
Vice President, Global Government Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, TE Connectivity
Dale Tasharski
Deputy Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service Global Markets, International Trade Administration