Seismic Shifts: U.S.-Japan Leaders on Trade in the Asia-Pacific Region

October 20, 2021
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Business & Policy past event
Live Webinar

Thursday, February 17 at 7-7:45 pm EST | Calculate your local time

Asia’s trade landscape is undergoing seismic shifts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, as well as the U.S.-China trade dispute. It is further complicated by the establishment of two massive trading blocs: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trade deal with 15 member countries including Japan and China, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which China, Taiwan and South Korea have signaled interest in joining. Neither include the United States as a member. How will these trade blocs affect trade between the U.S. and Japan and the Asian region? In this webinar, U.S.-Japan experts discuss trade in the Asia-Pacific region, the significance of RCEP and CPTPP, and the future of trade in Asia.


Akira Amari, Advisor, Research Commission on the Tax System; Head, Headquarters for Economic Security Measure, Policy Research Council; former Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy; Member of the House of Representatives
Michael Froman, Vice Chairman & President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard; Member of the Board of Directors, Japan Society; former U.S. Trade Representative (2013-2017)


Merit E. Janow, Former Dean, School of International and Public Affairs; Professor of Practice in International Economic Law and International Affairs, Columbia University; Chair of the Board of Directors, Mastercard; Member of the Board of Directors, Japan Society


7-7:45 pm    Discussion and Q&A Session

Program Details

This is a free event, with advance registration required. The program will be live-streamed through YouTube, and registrants will receive the viewing link by email the day before the event. Participants can submit questions through YouTube during the live stream.

About the Speakers

Akira Amari is currently Advisor of the Research Commission on the Tax System, Head of the Headquarters for Economic Security Measure for the Policy Research Council, and Member of the House of Representatives. He also served as Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy.

He was born on August 27, 1949, in Kanagawa, Japan, located just south of Tokyo. After graduating from Keio University with a major degree in political science, he joined Sony Corporation in 1972. Two years later, he started working for his father Tadashi Amari, who served as the Member of the House of Representatives. In 1983, Amari began his own political career. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time, and is currently serving his twelfth consecutive term.

Amari has held numerous positions in multiple administrations and in the Liberal Democratic Party including:

-Minister of Labor (1998-Obuchi administration)

-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (2006- Abe administration, Fukuda administration)
-Minister of State for Regulatory Reform, Administrative Reform, and Civil Service Reform (2008- Aso administration)
-Chairperson, Policy Research Council, LDP (2012-)
-Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting Administrative Reform, LDP (2017-)
-Chairperson, Election Strategy Committee, LDP (2018-)

In December 2012, Amari was appointed as the Minister for Economic Revitalization, and the Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Amari’s responsibilities covered policy-making and implementing Abenomics, negotiating and reaching agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, and initiating corporate tax reform. He has been chosen as one of the “50 Most Influential” people in global finance in the 2013 edition of Bloomberg market magazine. Amari is currently the Chairperson of the Research Commission on the Tax System for the Liberal Democratic Party and leads fundamental tax reforms to make Japanese Economy digitally cutting edged and innovative.

Amari resides with his wife in Tokyo and is a father of two daughters. He is also blessed with two little grandchildren.

Mike Froman serves as vice chairman and president, Strategic Growth for Mastercard. In that role he is responsible for growing strategic partnerships, scaling new business opportunities, and advancing the company’s efforts to partner with governments and other institutions to address major societal and economic issues. He and his team drive financial inclusion and inclusive growth efforts and work to develop new businesses key to the company’s strategic growth.

Mike is chairman of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and is a member of the company’s management committee.

From 2013 to 2017, Mike served as the U.S. Trade Representative, President Barack Obama’s principal advisor and negotiator on international trade and investment issues. During his tenure, Mike worked to open foreign markets for U.S. goods and services, reach landmark trade agreements and enforce the rights of American workers, farmers and firms. From 2009-2013, he served at the White House as assistant to the President and deputy national security
advisor for international economic affairs.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mike held several executive positions at Citigroup, including CEO of its international insurance business, COO of its alternative investments business and head of its infrastructure and sustainable development investment business. He helped shape the company’s strategy in China, India, Brazil and other emerging markets. Earlier in his career, during the Clinton Administration, he worked at the White House and the Treasury Department.

Mike is a distinguished fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company and a Member of the Board of Directors for the Japan Society.

Mike received a bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University, a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

About the Moderator

Merit E. Janow is an internationally recognized expert in international trade and investment. She has extensive experience in business, academia and government, and has had life long involved with Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Janow has been on the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Columbia Law School since 1994, and served as Dean of SIPA from July 2013 until December 2021. She has written three books and numerous articles. Professor Janow has had three periods of government service: In December 2003, while at Columbia University, she was elected as one of the seven Members of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body. In the course of her four years of service, she reviewed more than 30 appeals. From 1997-2000, Janow served as the Executive Director of the first international antitrust advisory committee to the Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust of the US Justice Department. From 1989 to 1993, prior to joining Columbia, Janow served as Deputy Assistant USTR for Japan and China in the Executive Office of the President. Janow has also had extensive corporate and nonprofit board experience. She currently serves on the board of Mastercard (Chair), several boards within the American Funds/Capital group, and Aptiv. She was previously Chair of the Nasdaq Stock Market for nearly a decade, Trimble Corp. and Rockefeller Financial. Janow also serves on non profit boards of Japan Society and the National Committee on US China Relations. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. She is on the global advisory council of MUFG and was an inaugural member of the international advisory council of China’s sovereign fund, the China Investment Corporation (CIC). Early in her career, Janow was a corporate lawyer specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan and speaks Japanese. She has a JD from Columbia Law School where she was a Stone Scholar and a BA in Asian Studies with honors from the University of Michigan.

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2021
  • 4:00 pm
  • Online
  • Timed Tickets