All Trade is Local

“All Trade is Local: Strengthening the State’s Role in International Agreements”

Friday, December 15, 10:30 – 12:00 p.m. PST

South Seas Ballroom GH

International trade continues to be a priority issue for the Trump administration. On the first official day of his presidency, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum formally withdrawing the United States from the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and stated his desire to renegotiate other trade agreements, including agreements with the top two markets for U.S. exports—Canada and Mexico—through the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. This session will explain what’s next for free trade agreements and trade policy overall, and how you can best communicate your state’s priorities. 

Welcome and Introductions

Sen. Gary Stevens (Alaska) and Sen. Moises Denis (Nevada), co-chairs

States in the Drivers’ Seat in Attracting International Trade

Kris Sanchez, Director of International Trade for the State of Nevada

Supporting State Preferences in International Trade

Robert Hamilton, Governor’s Advisor for Trade Policy for the State of Washington

Canadian Perspectives on North American Trade

Brandon Lee, Consul General of Canada in Seattle

Mexican Perspectives on North American Trade


International Public Policy Committee Business Session: Policy Resolutions on North American trade and State Trade Coordination



Robert Hamilton

Governor’s Advisor for Trade Policy for the State of Washington

As the Governor’s Advisor for Trade Policy, Robert Hamilton has advised Washington governors on international trade issues, trade agreements and federal trade legislation for over two decades.  He serves as the state’s lead in collaborating with federal officials in defending state programs subject to legal challenge under international trade agreements, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) cases involving federal and Washington state subsidies for Boeing.

As Chair of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IGPAC), he provides state and local government views on international trade agreements to the United States Trade Representative, the federal trade-negotiating agency.  In his role on IGPAC, Robert Hamilton reviews U.S. negotiating proposals to evaluate the potential exposure of state laws and regulations to legal challenge and to influence the final text of trade agreements. 

Prior to working for the state, Robert Hamilton worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC for five years, where he focused on the administration of U.S. fair trade laws and trade with countries of the former Soviet Union.

Brandon A. Lee

Consul General of Canada in Seattle

Mr. Brandon Lee was appointed as Consul General of Canada in Seattle in 2017, with accreditation for Washington State, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Brandon Lee joined the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFATD) in 2004. He has a background leading management and innovation, and he has held several executive and management positions within the department. From 2007 to 2011, he oversaw reform activities to strengthen Canada’s international presence and became the Department’s first Director of Innovation. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Lee held senior positions at the World Trade Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross (both in Geneva), spearheading major organizational and international reform initiatives.  From 2015-2017, Mr. Lee was Consul General of Canada in San Francisco, with accreditation for Northern California and Hawaii.

Previously, Mr. Lee worked in the private sector as a pioneer in online banking in North America and with large-scale telecommunications and IT management consulting firms.

Kristopher Sanchez

Director of International Trade for the State of Nevada, Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

Kristopher Sanchez serves as Director of International Trade for the State of Nevada, Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). Mr. Sanchez, who previously worked as a Congressional staffer in the U.S.House of Representatives, is currently responsible for managing GOED’s International Division and Governor Sandoval’s international trade agenda.

Mr. Sanchez has successfully facilitated and conducted Governor led trade missions to China, South Korea, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Germany, Poland, Australia, and Italy. Further, Mr. Sanchez has completed exploratory missions to Taiwan, Finland, South Africa, Namibia, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Panama, and the Czech Republic, and led business delegations to China, Brazil, Israel, and Poland.

In addition to serving as the Division’s Director, Mr Sanchez is a member of the Executive Office of the President, Office of the United States Trade Representative Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee, a member of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, and a member of the Nevada District Export Council.

Mr. Sanchez’s Congressional experience covers a number of policy areas, such as: defense, homeland security, transportation, veteran’s affairs, and international relations. As a legislative assistant for Congressman Jon Porter in the 109th and 110th Congress, Mr. Sanchez worked closely with Congressional committee staff, policy experts, federal agencies, community organizations and Nevada state officials on a diverse range of issues.

Mr. Sanchez holds master’s degrees in Public Administration and Military History from Norwich University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Stanislaus. Additionally, he has completed course work on terrorism and international relations at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Security Studies at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C