Inside the Policy Huddle - Trade Talks

Tariffs, trade agreements, trade policy.  How are they interrelated?  What role does the Congress play? Get answers to these questions from a high level panel from the White House, the National Association of Manufacturers, key congressional committees, and one of Canada’s top trade officials. Kevin Messner, AHAM’s senior vice president of policy and government relations, will moderate the discussion.  

  • Tim Pataki, Deputy Assistant to the President, Director of the Office of Public Liaison

Tim Pataki serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison. He previously served during the Trump Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, as well as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of Public Liaison. Tim is a Maryland native and proud graduate of The Ohio State University, whose Capitol Hill experience included stints with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, for whom he served as special assistant to the chief deputy whip; and as a floor assistant for former Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Following his work for the Majority Leader, Tim worked for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

  • Katherine Tai, Chief Trade Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means

Katherine is the lead advisor to the Chairman and Democratic Members of the Committee on Ways and Means on matters of international trade.  She was named to this position in 2017 after serving three years on the Committee as Trade Counsel.

Katherine came to the Committee in 2014 from USTR’s Office of the General Counsel, first as Associate General Counsel from 2007 to 2011 and then as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement with responsibility for the development and litigation of U.S. disputes against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Before joining USTR, Katherine worked in the international trade departments in several Washington, DC law firms.  From 1996 to 1998, she lived and worked in Guangzhou, China teaching English at Zhongshan University as a Yale-China Fellow.

Katherine was born in Connecticut and raised in Washington, DC.  She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

  • Linda Dempsey, Vice President, International Economic Affairs Policy, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

Linda Menghetti Dempsey is the vice president of international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). In this capacity, Ms. Dempsey leads the NAM’s efforts to improve the global competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States by advocating for intellectual property and investment protection, increased export financing and the elimination of trade barriers, as well as pushing for agreements and treaties to open up new export markets to create jobs. Ms. Dempsey is noted for her experience on a wide range of international trade and investment policy issues.

Prior to the NAM, Ms. Dempsey worked in both the private sector and on Capitol Hill as a strong and effective advocate for America’s interests in international economic policy. Most recently, Ms. Dempsey served as vice president of the Emergency Committee for American Trade where she represented Fortune 500 companies on trade, investment and international tax policy. Prior to that, she worked as trade counsel for the Senate Committee on Finance for several years where she advised the committee’s members on trade legislation; multilateral, regional and bilateral trade and investment issues and negotiations; and related matters on international tax, labor and the environment. She also worked as an advisor to former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) on international trade, foreign policy and immigration. Ms. Dempsey began her career as an attorney specializing in international trade law and government procurement.

A native of Pennsylvania, Ms. Dempsey received her B.A. in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University and her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Jeannine Ritchot, Executive Director, Regulatory Policy and Cooperation Directorate, Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada

In 2019, Ms. Jeannine Ritchot became Chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Regulatory Policy Committee, an important international platform to help countries build and strengthen good regulatory practices. Ms. Ritchot comes to this role with over 15 years of experience in the Government of Canada. In June 2016, she joined the Regulatory Affairs Sector of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat as Executive Director, Regulatory Policy and Cooperation Directorate. She administers the federal regulatory policy framework, the Cabinet Directive on Regulation, and leads the Government’s regulatory modernization efforts with a view to increase Canada’s competitiveness in a global market. Ms. Ritchot also leads the Government of Canada’s domestic and international efforts at regulatory alignment with key trading partners, including three formal initiatives: the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council; the Canada-EU Regulatory Cooperation Forum, which she co-chairs; and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table. Alongside Global Affairs Canada, she negotiates regulatory measures in trade agreements.

Prior to joining the Regulatory Affairs Sector, Ms. Ritchot gained significant executive experience as a regulator in the health portfolio. She has also worked at the Privy Council Office and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. Jeannine holds a Bachelor of Arts, History, from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Masters of Arts, Conflict Studies, from St. Paul University / University of Ottawa.