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The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium, organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. It acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.
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Rufus Yerxa

National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
Ambassador Rufus Yerxa is President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), a trade association of over 200 companies dedicated to improving the competitiveness of U.S. industry on world markets. Mr. Yerxa has more than three decades of experience as a lawyer, diplomat, U.S. trade negotiator and international official. As Deputy Director General of the WTO from 2002 to 2013 he helped to broaden its membership and strengthen its role as the principal rules-based institution governing world trade. From 1989 to 1995, he served as Deputy USTR under both a Republican and a Democratic President, first as the Geneva-based Ambassador to the GATT and subsequently as the Washington Deputy. Earlier in his government career, he served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Trade for the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to joining the WTO, he spent five years in the private sector, first as the Brussels-based partner with a major U.S. law firm and later as European general counsel for a Fortune 500 company. Mr. Yerxa received his BA from the University of Washington, his JD from Seattle University School of Law and an LLB in international Law from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and a Visiting Professor with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).