NAFTA: “The China Factor” Symposium at RIT, May 26-27




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In January 1994, the United States, Canada and Mexico signed The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In forming the world’s largest free trade area, the agreement was designed to bring about economic growth and rising standards of living for people in all three countries. Essentially, NAFTA removed tariff barriers between the countries and allowed market access for agricultural products.

“As we near the tenth anniversary of the implementation of NAFTA, it is important to take stock of its achievements and discuss the pluses and minuses,” explains David Reid, Benjamin Forman Chair, professor of International Business, and director of the Center for International Business in the College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology. “We also want to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation, and discuss opportunities and competitiveness in global markets, particularly China.”

Reid is an authority on international business strategies particularly pertaining to Pacific Rim economies. On behalf of the Center for International Business, he has engaged RIT and cosponsors, Rochester Business Journal and the Rochester Business Alliance to sponsor a symposium on “NAFTA: The China Factor.” The two-day event will be held on Thursday, May 26, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, May 27, from 7:30 to 11 a.m., at RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano Auditorium, College of Computing and Information Science.

“It’s time to examine how a policy initiated by three governments impacts the reality of our lives,” Reid says. “We will have senior figures from the U.S., Canada and Mexico—involving corporate, academia and government—who will meet for the first time to discuss the last ten years since the signing of NAFTA.”

Besides Reid, keynote speakers include Jose Luis Valdes Ugalde, Director CISAN, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Ron Jones, Xerox Professor of Economics, University of Rochester; John LaFalce, former New York Congressman 29th District; Professor Walid Hejazi, University of Toronto, Canada; and Gary Hufbauer, Institute of International Economics, Washington, D.C. The panel discussions will include Rochester Mayor William Johnson, senior representatives from industry, as well as those qualified to reflect the positions of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. government.

The registration fee for the symposium is $100, which includes continental breakfasts, lunch and proceedings. Small businesses with less than 500 employees will receive a 50 percent discount, and the event is free for the RIT community and alumni. For more information, call 475-7431; contact mweimer@cob.rit.edu; or visit www.cob.rit.edu/centers/symposium.

NOTE: RIT’s College of Business is recognized nationally as a leading provider of career-oriented business education, offering undergraduate and graduate level programs in accounting, finance, international business, management, management information systems, marketing and graphic media marketing. U.S. News & World Report ranks RIT’s College of Business among the top 4 percent of undergraduate business programs in the country. The Center for International Business is one of two centers of excellence housed within the College of Business.