Local experts discuss the current trade war at symposium hosted by World Trade Center Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber

World Trade Center Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber hosted a Thought Leader Symposium last Friday to discuss the global trade war.

Senator Orrin Hatch was the featured presenter and shared his support of free markets and free trade. With 95% of the world’s consumers residing outside of the United States, Sen. Hatch stressed that our nation cannot afford to be isolated and that “trade serves as a tool for strengthening partnerships and alliances.” As an advocate of free trade, Sen. Hatch shared his belief that protectionist policies, such as tariffs, corrode the economy as well as our global and moral standing in the world. 

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, provided the welcome for the event. “Utah is a globally minded state, an internationally sophisticated state and a trade state. Utah businesses need free markets, fair trading practices and the stability and predictability that comes with strong trade agreements,” said Miller. “The message from Utah should be ‘make deals not war!’ And like in so many ways, Utah can lead out and show the way for the rest of the country on how to make the global economy work for their businesses and their state.” 

“With nearly 1 in 5 Utah jobs tied to international trade, effective trade policy is critical in driving our economic growth and resiliency,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “Expanding international markets, reducing trade barriers, countering unfair trade practices and investing in our workforce are all essential in creating a strong, dynamic free market that allows Utah companies to compete and win in the global marketplace.” 

Hansen acted as the moderator for the event’s panel of experts who discussed the trade war’s impact on our state and country. The panel consisted of the following:


• James Williams, Office of U.S. Senator Hatch
• Ron Gibson, Farm Bureau Financial Services
• Emily Lyons, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
• Preston Perkes, S&S Worldwide



Members of the panel discussed that while President Trump’s trade objectives are correct, they are concerned about the manner in which they are being carried out. Hansen offered the support of WTC Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber who will continue to help Utah companies navigate the challenging environment.