Currently browsing posts filed under "Susan Schwab ’76"

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NYTimes Williams Mentions

A few quick Williams mentions over the weekend in the NYTimes:

First, Williams is noted as one of three “top flight colleges” Eliot Spitzer’s daughter was accepted to last Spring (I believe she ended up attending Harvard).

Second, the Times published a nice biographical piece on Susan Schwab ’76.


Kyl on Schwab ’76 and International IP

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is not happy with United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab ’76 for bending to the House’s unexplained and quixotic desire to weaken IP protection in free-trade agreements with certain South American countries:

My opposition to the Peru FTA is rooted entirely in the agreement reached by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with members of the other body in May of this year. That agreement forced the U.S. to renegotiate the Peru, Panama, and Colombia FTAs to add new requirements for labor and environmental protections and weakened traditional trade agreement protections for certain U.S. intellectual property (IP) related to pharmaceutical products.

I am concerned about the labor and environment provisions, but I am simply puzzled by the intellectual property changes. I am not sure what my colleagues hoped to gain by weakening standard protections for U.S. intellectual property through this trade agreement. I see no reason why U.S. legislators would want to weaken the ordinary protections that are normally accorded to pharmaceutical intellectual property in our bilateral trade agreements. Peru did not, in the course of negotiations, ask us to weaken the IP requirements. Peru was perfectly willing to abide by the greater protections of the original FTA.

If the goal of these changes was to provide better access to life-saving medicines in Peru, I worry that their effect could have the exact opposite result. Countries with weaker IP protections will have a difficult time encouraging U.S. companies to do business there. Respect for private property-including intellectual property-is essential to encouraging innovation. Without assurances that new and creative products and services will not be stolen by unscrupulous competitors or forcibly devalued by governments, there is a reduced incentive to take the economic risks that are necessary to achieve groundbreaking inventions.

I continue to hope, albeit in vain to date, that Williams would be able to get some of its notable alumni involved in intellectual property (Schwab, Chief Judge Paul Redmond Michel ’63, DHTK ’58 come to mind) together for a panel discussion on some aspect of patent law from their different institutional perspectives.



Can Susan Schwab ’76 save free trade?

Susan Schwab is sitting inside a VIP lounge at Dulles airport near Washington, waiting for a call from The Chairman. Jet fumes hang on the tarmac outside, but what Schwab smells is a deal.

That’s why she’s grounded for the moment on her way to Tampa, where she’s scheduled to give a speech to 1,000 people the next morning. In this twilight March moment, waiting for word from The Chairman, there was no better encapsulation of the power shift that had taken place in Washington: President Bush’s trade ambassador, yellow legal pad on lap, faux quill pen in hand, surrounded by a handful of aides, hoping for Charlie Rangel to call.

That is the kind of humbling moment that makes up Sue Schwab’s lonely crusade to fight the rising tide of protectionism. It was her fate to take this job just months before the Democrats gained control of Congress, bringing with them an end to the unfettered, free-trade era of Bush’s first six years.

During that time Bush and the GOP leadership in Congress rammed through global agreements to open trade in the U.S. and abroad – ignoring a shifting political zeitgeist in which Democrats were jumping off the free-trade bandwagon to complain that American workers were being harmed.

Now Schwab finds herself in the delicate position of pleading for support from the same Democrats who had been bulldozed by her White House boss for six years.

“Hello! Mr. Chairman!” Schwab coos after an aide announces the caller and delivers her cellphone. Even at age 52, draped in a St. John knit and an Herm�s scarf, Schwab has a pixie quality; she’s the classroom good girl whose razor intellect lies just below the surface.

Read the whole thing. Were male trade negotiators described as cooing? Just asking!

Schwab is near the top of two lists: future Bicentennial Medal winners and likely Treasury Secretaries in the next Republican administration. I bet that the former happens before the latter.


Ephs in the Times

Two Ephs were pictured in the New York Times yesterday. Congressman Chris Murphy ’96 (CT-D) in an article on Medicare.

House Democrats celebrating passage of the bill Friday. Representatives
Nick Lampson and Christopher S. Murphy are pictured on the left. Steven
Kagen and Charlie Wilson share a laugh, right.

And Susan Schwab ’76 was pictured along with an article on world trade talks. Unfortunately, the picture does not seem to be available online.

In the old days, I would refer to Murphy and Schwab as an EphHunk and EphBabe, respectively. Do readers miss this sort of light-hearted frivolality?

Trivia: Although pictured on the same day, Murphy and Schwab are in different photos. When was the last time two Ephs appeared in the same photo?

Answer: Vicky Fang ’98 and Austin Chang ’99.


Hat Tips

EphBlog gots two hat tips yesterday from bloggers much more famous than we. The first from Dan Drezner ’90:

As David Kane has observed, both Schwab and I are graduates of Williams College. When I was intriduced to the ambassador, I mentioned that we shared the same alma mater. And, for just a brief second, the wised-up, cautious face of a politician was replaced by the joyful look of recognition when one Eph recognizes another Eph.

Indeed. Do we have any senior Political Economy majors who can fill us in on whether Williams has made a connection with Schwab? She is an ideal Washington connection for the senior project.

The second from former professor KC Johnson:

EphBlog, which focuses on events at Williams College–another institution that combines academic with athletic excellence, if at a Division III level–has been following the Duke case closely. In a perceptive set of remarks, it recently pointed to the relationship between how the Duke faculty has responded to the issue and the declining intellectual diversity on many college campuses, including Duke, today.

A “groupthink”-dominated faculty marginalizes the voices who dissent from the race/class/gender trinity. And in such an environment, extreme actions–such as demanding that Duke divest from companies doing business with a democratic ally of the United States, or publicly denouncing an institution’s own students based only on information supplied by a rogue district attorney–seem routine.

If Dave Barnard followed the race/class/gender trinity (or at least kept quite about his real views), he would still be baseball coach of Williams today. By the way, if you read all the way down that thread, you get to this comment from Rory:

Further, if one person feels wronged by the public statements of another person who feels his statements are appropriate but might need clarification, and if further the first person is relatively unempowered, then a public or private “talk” is not a legitimate option to that first person. What exactly does that person get? To be willing to have a dialogue in that case is either superhuman or unbelievably foolish.

These were not peers talking, this was a highly successful baseball coach and a couple students, even if they were representatives of vista.

Well, this is correct, but not in the way Rory thinks. These were not “peers” because the aggrieved students had the power. Don’t believe me? Well, “highly successful” Barnard was fired while Lisha Perez ’06 went on to win a lovely fellowship. Remind me again who was “unempowered.”



Dan Drezner ’90, still the most popular of Eph bloggers, reports on the collapse of the Doha round of world trade talks. I wonder what Drezner’s take is on the performance of chief US Trade Negotiator Susan Schwab ’76. Not everyone on the web is a Schwab fan, or a fan of global trade agreements at all.

Almost no living American has wracked up more experience making trade policy than Susan Schwab, the new U.S. Trade Representative. Her first job in the field was with consummate Washington wheeler-dealer Robert Strauss, who served as the nation’s chief trade negotiator under Jimmy Carter. (Schwab was too junior to deserve blame for the Carter-Strauss decision to permit Japan to dump America’s consumer electronics industry into the grave.)

Yet judging from some of her first comments after being nominated, it’s clear that few Americans have learned less than Schwab about U.S. trade policy and why it’s been pushing the nation rapidly towards insolvency and de-industrialization.

What President Bush and President Clinton before him have really wanted are low-wage production sites from which U.S. multinational companies can supply the U.S. market – which, unlike Vietnam or Peru and America’s other new third world trade partners, still contains consumers wealthy enough to buy this output. In other words, most of America’s recent trade agreements haven’t been trade agreements at all but outsourcing agreements.

So far, the result has been to push U.S. trade deficits and cumulative deficits to dizzying heights (and increasingly to encourage the foreign purchase of tangible American assets as well as Treasury notes). The willingness of protectionist, export-dependent foreign governments has filled the financial gap created by their own stripping of U.S. productive and earnings capacity.

Eventually, the result will be (1) a protracted nosedive in American living standards as these same governments lose faith in U.S. creditworthiness and start to flee the dollar, followed by (2) an equally severe global downturn as the world discovers that America is irreplaceable as its importer and thus growth engine of last resort.

Consequently, it’s difficult to know which interpretation of Ambassador Schwab’s recent remarks is more troubling: That she rejects this entirely conventional economic analysis; or that she accepts it but plans on leading the nation farther down this path and blaming the messengers for the bad news all the way.

Not sure if Professor Ralph Bradburd would describe this as “entirely conventional economic analysis,” but it’s been 20 years since he taught me economics. Perhaps I need to brush up on my reading!


More Trade

US Trade Representative Susan Schwab ’76 has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

The atmosphere is charged with political pressure and historical significance as trade ministers and negotiators representing World Trade Organization members gather this week. With time running out for a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round, speculation has intensified about what the U.S. and other WTO members will be willing to do to achieve success. I reaffirm here that the U.S. is committed to an ambitious and comprehensive outcome by the end of the year. As President Bush declared last week at the U.S.-EU summit, the Doha Round is too important to fail.

We regard it as our generation’s opportunity to attack the scourge of poverty by opening trade flows between all nations in agricultural goods, industrial products and services. Half-measures that would leave millions in poverty — people who might otherwise have been helped — and that would dampen potential economic opportunities for people in all countries, should not be acceptable.

Good stuff.


Ambassador Schwab ’76

Sean Denniston ’87 sends in news about Susan Schwab ’76.

The President intends to nominate Susan C. Schwab, of Maryland, to be United States Trade Representative, with the Rank of Ambassador. Ambassador Schwab currently serves as Deputy United States Trade Representative. Prior to this, she was the President and CEO of the University of Maryland Foundation, Inc. and USM Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

Longtime reader will recall that Schwab was nominated to be the deputy Treasury Secretary (the number 2 job in the department) 3 years ago. (Note also EphBlog’s correct prediction of Schelling’s Nobel Prize.) Unfortunately, Schwab’s nomination was derailed because of tax issues. That problem seems fixed.

Q Speaking of withdrawals, in December of ’03, Susan Schwab’s nomination to be Deputy Treasury Secretary was withdrawn amid concerns about her tax filings. Has that issue been revisited in advance of today’s announcement?

MR. McCLELLAN: It’s an issue that was resolved. In fact, she was later confirmed by the Senate to the post of Deputy U.S. Trade Representative.

Lesson to would-be presidential appointees: Do your taxes correctly!

The College seems to have trouble finding highly accomplished women to award Bicentennial Medals to. Schwab would be a natural choice. Next year’s Poli-Ec seniors should also seek her out for their Washington projects.


In the category of Williams-grad-makes-good,

In the category of Williams-grad-makes-good, it is nice to note that Susan Schwab ’76 has been nominated by President Bush to be the next deputy Treasury Secretary (the number 2 job in the department). The Washington Post notes that:

Schwab, 48, has been dean of the School of Public Affairs for eight years, moving there from Motorola Inc., where she was director of corporate business development. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a master’s from Stanford University and a PhD from the George Washington University School of Business and Public Management.

If there was ever a job that the Williams Political Economy major (Schwab was one) could be said to prepare one for, it is Deputy Treasury Secretary. This article, although dated, provides a nice overview of Schwab’s career. Note especially the praise from future Nobel prize winner in economics Tom Schelling.

Next year’s seniors in political economy would be foolish not to (try to) make use of Schwab for their Washington work.


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