GREENVILLE — There will be a panel discussion with Canadian and Mexican officials on the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) April 30 at the Greenville One Building, 1 N. Main St., Greenville.

The panelists include Remedios Gómez Arnau, Mexican consul general; Nadia Theodore, Canadian consul general; David Wilkins, a Clemson University trustee and former U.S. ambassador to Canada; and Tim Rogers, chief financial officer of Continental Automotive. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the panel discussion begins at 6 p.m.

It is presented by the World Affairs Council Upstate (WACU), in association with the Clemson University Canada Center and Office of Global Engagement. The panel will include updates on current negotiations and the potential impact on businesses in the Upstate.

“We are excited to bring experts of this caliber to the area through our collaboration with Upstate International and the World Affairs Council Upstate,” said Didier Rousselière, director of Global Partnerships and Initiatives at Clemson. “It is important that we provide opportunities like this for our community to engage with global leaders on relevant topics that strongly impact our state and can affect our region’s ability to be globally competitive.”

NAFTA was signed more than 23 years ago. Since that time, the U.S. economy and global trading relationships have undergone substantial changes. Last summer, a broad plan which included goals for re-negotiating NAFTA was announced. The panel of experts will share their perspectives on the proposed changes and what that might mean for businesses, small and large. They will also explore the impact that NAFTA has already had in North America and the Upstate in particular so that projections will be better understood against the current context.

“Not only does the Upstate benefit by hearing from renowned experts on critical issues, but those experts also get to learn about the needs and concerns of the community,” said Tracie Frese, executive director of Upstate International and World Affairs Council Upstate. “Our organization is driven to provide learning opportunities like these, which is made possible through partnerships like the one we have with the Clemson Canada Center.”

This event is open to all community members who would like to engage with international leaders and better understand NAFTA’s role in the country and state. Tickets for non-WACU members are $30. Registration is currently open.

Presenting sponsors include Elliott Davis and the Upstate SC Alliance. Additional sponsors include Clemson’s Office of Global Engagement, Greer Walker and Pinnacle Financial.


Upstate International
Founded in 1998, Upstate International is a 501(c)(3) organization that empowers people and businesses of all nations to thrive in the Upstate by connecting them through programs, events and initiatives that foster the dynamic exchange of international cultures and ideas. World Affairs Council Upstate, a program of Upstate International, is dedicated to fostering a deep understanding of global affairs and cultures. As an affiliate of World Affairs Councils of America, Upstate International is part of the largest grass roots organization in the United States that inspires, educates, and engages Americans in the international affairs and the critical global issues of our times.