Last Night at Trade Prom
Dust off your dress shoes, corsage and crippling insecurity. Last night, we stopped by the Ronald Reagan Building for the hottest trade event of the year: Trade Prom.
The name is shorthand for the awards dinner hosted by the Washington International Trade Association and Washington International Trade Foundation. Sen. Orrin Hatch took home the Congressional Leadership Award. (The prize did not come with a prom crown or sash.) The most senior Republican in the Senate, Hatch chairs the Senate Finance Committee. New Zealand Ambassador to the US Mike Moore, a former WTO director-general and New Zealand Labour Prime Minister, received WITA's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Rep. Paul Ryan, House Ways and Means Chair, and Sen. Ron Wyden, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, also received Congressional Leadership Awards for their work on TPA. Sen. Wyden, right, was introduced by fellow Oregonian Rep. Earl Blumenauer (who we recently saw discussing drones). We snapped them with WITA executive director Ken Levinson during a standing ovation.
At a cocktail reception in the atrium, Albright Stonebridge Group SVP Barry Friedman toasted WITA with Steptoe international trade and investment chair and former Deputy USTR Susan Esserman. (A couple of years ago, we were on hand when Susan was honored with AJC's Learned Hand Award.)
We snapped Rep. Kevin Brady, a past WITA Distinguished Service Award honoree, flanked by Luen Thai president and American Apparel and Footwear Association chairman Rick Helfenbein and Hanes Brands VP Jerry Cook. Drinks from around the world were donated by various embassies, including Peruvian pisco punch, margaritas with assorted tequilas from Mexico, Guinness from Ireland, and many varieties of wine and beer.
Former congressman of 22 years Jim Kolbe, right, is a past WITA Lifetime Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award winner. He's now a German Marshall Fund senior transatlantic fellow. Jim is with Daimler GM Jeff Werner, McLarty Associates managing partner Kellie Meiman Hock, and PwC principal Scott McCandless. Before a sit-down dinner, guests enjoyed live music and hors d'oeuvres including Waygu beef tataki with a jalapeno chili sauce, Australian lamb and chimichurri lollipops, crispy cheese raviolini, and short rib burgers with caramelized onions.
We spotted Kelley Drye DC managing partner Kathleen Cannon (who we recently caught up with on the firm's Georgetown balcony before the WWII flyover in honor of the 70th anniversary of VE Day), with ITC Commissioner Irving Williamson and Cassidy Levy Kent partner James Cannon.
Ira Shapiro Global Strategies president Ira Shapiro, a former Greenberg Traurig partner and chief trade negotiator with Japan and Canada; Policy Connections International managing partners Joanne Thornton and Kathryn Hauser; and Sorini Samet principal Amb. Ronald Sorini.