Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
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Join us for a lunch program about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

When: Thursday, March 31, 2016
11:30 AM
Where: Commerce Bank
1000 Walnut Street, 18th floor
Kansas City, Missouri  64106
United States
Contact: Anna Lambertson

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Issue background:  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries, including the United States. It was signed in February 2016 after seven years of negotiations.  

According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the TPP will eliminate or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers across substantially all trade goods and services; facilitate the development of production and supply chains; and promote innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.

WHEN: March 31 - Lunch and program will begin at 11:30 AM - Program will conclude by 1:00 PM.

WHERE: Commerce Bank - 1000 Walnut, 18th floor - Downtown Kansas City, MO

You may park in the Commerce Bank garage. A parking voucher will be provided.


Parking directions: 

Main Street entrance:

The parking garage is at the intersection of Petticoat Lane and Main Street. If you are driving north on Main Street, you will make a right into the garage.

Once parked, take the stairs or elevator to the second level and enter into the Commerce Bank building. Once you enter the building there will be a sign pointing you towards the elevators.

Note: there are 2 sets of elevators; only one set goes to floors 11-18.

Take these elevators to the 18th floor, walk out and to the desk where Patti Carpenter will validate your parking and direct you to the Board Room where the program will take place.

If you need any help, an attendant will be at the information desk by the elevators.   

Parking lot address:

1025 Main Street Kansas City, Missouri 64106


Kate Mellor - International Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Christina Sevilla, Ph.D. - Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Office of the President



Raj BhalaAssociate Dean for International and Comparative Law, University of Kansas School of Law



COST: Regular tickets - $20

Students (university, college, and high school) attend for free. If you are a student, please contact the International Relations Council to reserve your seat: irc@irckc.org or 816-221-4204

Free student tickets have been made available through a generous sponsorship from Commerce Bank.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Monday, March 28 - Refunds cannot be given after March 28.


Kate Mellor is an International Economist in the Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis at the US Department of Commerce (DOC).  Kate is the DOC lead on TPP industrial goods sector analysis and outreach as well as ITA’s FTA Tariff Tool.  Kate is also the DOC lead for government procurement market access negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  She is also responsible for industrial goods trade and tariff analysis on WTO accessions.  She has previously served as a delegate to the OECD Committee on Industry, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and was the DOC lead on all industrial good product issues in U.S. preference programs.    Kate has a Master’s degree in International Economic Relations from American University.

Christina Sevilla is Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Executive Office of the President. She develops and coordinates trade policy and outreach related to small and medium enterprises for multilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements and initiatives. Sevilla is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She has been a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, a Krupp Foundation Fellow, and a Harvard Graduate Prize Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She received a Ph.D. in political science and international relations from Harvard University. Sevilla received a B.A. summa cum laude in political science from Boston College, graduating as Valedictorian of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Raj Bhala is Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law, and Rice Distinguished Professor, at the University of Kansas School of Law. He practiced at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he twice won the President’s Award for Excellence, thanks to his service as a delegate to the United Nations Conference on International Trade Law. He is International Legal Consultant for the Bahraini and Saudi Arabian offices of Blake, Cassels & Graydon (Canada). A Harvard Law School graduate, he completed Masters degrees at LSE and Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, and an undergraduate degree at Duke. Raj is author of one of the world’s leading textbooks in international trade law, International Trade Law: An Interdisciplinary, Non-Western Textbook, and the first treatise on GATT in nearly 50 years, Modern GATT Law. He is the first non-Muslim American scholar to write a textbook on Islamic Law, Understanding Islamic Law (Sharī‘a). His two new books are on the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP Objectively, and the law of India, Business Law of Modern India, both published by Carolina Academic Press (www.cap-press.com).


This lunch program is co-presented by the International Relations Council and U.S. Commercial Service.