North American Public Diplomacy: NAFTA and Beyond

A rich and complex history exists between the three North American neighbors of Canada, Mexico and the U.S., providing for unique public diplomacy challenges. How are bumps in these long-standing relationships handled? How do trade relations become public diplomacy challenges? What are the opportunities and lessons we can learn from them?

Center on Public Diplomacy Director Joshua Fouts held a discussion with Ambassador Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Alain Dudoit, Consul General of Canada and Ambassador Ruben Beltran, Consul General of Mexico.

About the Speakers

Mickey Kantor was Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative for President Clinton. Kantor worked with Clinton to conclude more than 200 agreements to expand international trade including NAFTA. Kantor served as National Chariman for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and was appointed by President Carter in 1978 to the Board of the Legal Services Corporation. He currently represents companies in corporate and financial transactions on a worldwide basis for Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP. Kantor has received many awards for his accomplishments and currently serves as a board member for numerous corporations, universities and organizations, including the Board of Councilors for the Annenberg School at USC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National commission on Capital Markets. Kantor's wife, Heidi, teaches at USC and is a former journalist with NBC News.

Amb. Alain Dudoit was appointed Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles in 2004. He has held a number of senior positions at Canada's Privy Council Office, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Finance. He has served as Senior Departmental Assistant to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, Minister-Counselor (Commercial and Economic Affairs) in Paris, Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and Ambassador to Spain. His other headquarters assignments have included Director General, Trade Communication Services, acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications and Culture Branch, Director General, International Cultural Relations, and Chief of Protocol from 1997 to 2000.

Amb. Ruben Beltran a law-graduate, is a career diplomat with wide experience in legal and migration affairs. He was appointed Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles on January, 2004. He served as Consul General of Mexico in Phoenix, Arizona (2001-2004); as Director General of Latin America and the Caribbean at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) (1999-2001); as Director General of Consular Affairs at the SRE (1997-99); as Director of Policy Coordination at UNIDO (the United Nations Industrial Development Organization); in Vienna, Austria (1995-97); as well as Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva (1987-91). He has also served as Director General of Legal Affairs and Technical Secretary of the Mexican Commission for Cooperation with Central America, and as Director of Inventions, Trademarks and Technological Development of the Ministry of Commerce and Industrial Development (SECOFI) in Mexico. On April 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador by the President of Mexico.


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