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Webinar: What’s New About the New-NAFTA? July 1 and USMCA’s Impacts on California and Its Lawyers

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June 17, 2020 @ 11:00 am 12:00 pm

The program will provide an overview of USMCA focusing on its innovations and setbacks.  Discussion points will include analyses of new chapters (imported from the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] that the U.S. failed to sign) and introduce a new model that enhances labor obligations, especially for Mexico.  It will explore problematic changes such as those involving new domestic content rules for auto manufacturing; diminished enforcement mechanisms of breach of obligations; a sunset clause for the entire agreement and dispute settlement. Special relevance for California will be the analysis of agricultural improvements and ecommerce and digital trade. Vanessa Sciarra, VP for Legal Affairs and Trade & Investment Policy of the National Foreign Trade Council in DC, will be joined two additional speakers (bios to be provided) and the Program will be moderated by Prof. Robert E. Lutz, Treusch Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Legal Studies, Southwestern Law School, and member of the Executive Committee of the International Law Section of the CLA. 

Moderator: Robert E. Lutz, Esq.
Speaker: Vanessa Sciarra, VP for Legal Affairs and Trade & Investment Policy of the National Foreign Trade Council in D.C.


Moderator – Robert Lutz

One of legal education’s foremost authorities on public and private international law, Robert Lutz has held the top posts in several of the most influential organizations in the international law community. He brings tremendous real-world experience to the classroom.  Professor Lutz chaired the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association, as well as the international law sections of the Association of American Law Schools and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and was a co-founder of the California State Bar Section of International Law. He was also the first editor of two of its international publications: the California Bar International Law Section Newsletter and the California International Practitioner (now The California International Law Journal). In 2014, the California Bar honored him with the Warren M. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year Award for “his extraordinary service to the profession in the field of international law” and he now sits on the Executive Committees of California Lawyers Association International Law Section and Editor-in-Chief of Section’s International Law News (“CLA-IL NEWS”).   He also is Board and an Executive Committee member of the California International Arbitration Council (“CIAC”).

Speaker – Angela Marshall Hofmann

For over 20 years, Angela has served as a trusted advisor to members of the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch as well as to CEOs and senior executives in complex, multi-national organizations.  

In the Spring of 2017, Angela co-founded Farmers for Free Trade, a 501©(4), focused on grassroots trade education in support of the U.S. agricultural industry.  The organization now serves as one of the premier bi-partisan, grassroots organization in the country.

In 2015, Angela founded World Strategies, a woman-owned and operated consulting firm which focuses on supply chain and global investment advisory services including crisis management.  She is also a staunch advocate for international trade and leads grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of agricultural producers, manufacturers and small businesses.

In 2002, Angela joined Walmart Stores, Inc. as Director of International Trade in the Federal Government Relations office in Washington, D.C.  She then served the company for over 14 years in several leadership roles including as Vice President, International Corporate Affairs at company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce and sourcing countries around the world.  During her tenure, she launched innovative public-private chain capacity building projects focused on transparency, building safety, agricultural development and women’s economic empowerment in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  

Speaker – Jamaica Gayle 

Jamaica Gayle is Deputy Director for the Global Innovation Forum (GIF), a nonprofit that connects startups with corporations and governments to explore the opportunities and challenges of engaging in the global marketplace in the digital age. Prior to joining GIF, she worked at the National Association of Manufacturers in the policy and government relations department. Jamaica holds a degree in political science from American University in Washington, DC.   

Speaker – Vanessa P. Sciarra 

Vanessa P. Sciarra is the Vice President for Legal Affairs and Trade & Investment Policy at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC).

Vanessa previously served as Vice President of the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT). Her additional experience includes working in the private sector, most recently with the law firm of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP in their Washington, D.C. office. Her law firm experience included a broad range of international trade matters representing a diverse group of clients in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical devices, trucking, and shipping sectors.She advised these clients in the areas of customs, export controls, and economic sanctions compliance as well as antidumping and countervailing duty cases. She routinely appeared before the key U.S. trade agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Vanessa is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Yale College, her M.Sc., with distinction, in Economics (International Relations) from the London School of Economics, and her J.D. from the Yale Law School.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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