Video On Demand

What’s at Stake for the United States at the 13th WTO Ministerial?

November 20, 2023 • 2:00 – 4:00 pm EST

Please join the CSIS Scholl Chair International Business to discuss the upcoming WTO's 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), which will take place from February 26 to February 29, 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The event will feature keynote remarks from Deputy United States Trade Representative and Chief of Mission in Geneva María L. Pagán and former United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

The Ambassadors' remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion with Bill Reinsch and Meredith Broadbent, and a panel discussion of industry representatives and other WTO specialists/observers to discuss various issues on the agenda at the Ministerial, such as extension of the moratorium on taxes on electronic transmissions; the possible expansion of flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement to cover diagnostics and therapeutics for COVID-19; issues of concern to farmers; and fish subsidy negotiations.

Deputy USTR María L. Pagán

María L. Pagán is Deputy United States Trade Representative and Chief of Mission in the Geneva office. She was previously Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  She is responsible for supervising and providing legal advice to senior USTR officials on all legal aspects regarding trade negotiations, implementation of trade agreements, and trade related legislation and regulations.  She has been the lead U.S. attorney for numerous trade agreement negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Peru and Colombia free trade agreements, and the revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.  Before becoming Deputy General Counsel, she specialized in providing legal advice on services, government procurement, and section 421 (country-specific safeguard), among other things, and also litigated several disputes before the WTO.  Prior to joining USTR in 2003, Ms. Pagán worked as an attorney advisor in the Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce (1993 – 2003).

Ms. Pagán received her law degree and a Masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Tufts University.   

Former USTR Susan Schwab

Susan C. Schwab serves as Chair of the NFTC Board of Directors and strategic advisor in Mayer Brown’s International Trade practice.

Ambassador Schwab’s advisory role for NFTC and Mayer Brown is in addition to both her professorship at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, where previously she served as Dean, and as President of the University System of Maryland Foundation. From 2005-2009 she served as US Trade Representative (USTR) and Deputy USTR in the George W. Bush administration. Ambassador Schwab also sits on several corporate and non-profit boards, and is a frequent speaker at associations, corporations, and think tanks. In 2022, she became board chair of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC).

During her tenure as USTR, Ambassador Schwab successfully opened markets for US products and services in every region of the world and across a variety of business sectors and industries. She concluded the United States’ Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Peru, Colombia and South Korea and launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. Ambassador Schwab helped to achieve congressional approval of FTAs with Oman and Peru, as well as the bipartisan “May 10th, 2007” agreement on trade, labor and the environment. Additionally, she negotiated in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round with major economic powers including the European Union, China, India, Brazil and Indonesia; helped to lead US bilateral WTO accession negotiations with Russia; and engaged in those with Vietnam. Finally, she filed, pursued and resolved multiple cases in defense of US commercial interests with Canada, China, the EU and others.

This event is made possible through general support for CSIS.


Keynote Remarks

2:00 pm

Ambassador María L. Pagán, Deputy United States Trade Representative and Chief of Mission (Geneva)


Ambassador Susan Schwab, Former United States Trade Representative


Discussion and audience Q&A moderated by William Alan Reinsch and Meredith Broadbent.

Panel Discussion

2:45 pm

Alan Wolff, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics 


Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow in the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Unit, International Food Policy Research Institute 


Stephen Kho, Partner, International Trade Policy, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP


Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, and Director, Center for Life Sciences Innovation, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 


Robert DeHaan, Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel, National Fisheries Institute 


Eric Gottwald, Policy Specialist, Trade and Economic Globalization, AFL-CIO 




Meredith Broadbent, Senior Adviser (Non-resident), Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS

Contact Information

María L. Pagán
Deputy United States Trade Representative and Chief of Mission (Geneva)
Meredith Broadbent
Senior Adviser (Non-resident), Scholl Chair in International Business