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How Corporations Shape US Trade Policy

The Industry Sector Advisory Committees
November 6th, 2001

One of the ways that corporations work hand in glove with US policymakers on trade issues is through the Industry Sector Advisory Committees (ISAC). The idea is to guarantee that the private sector and government work closely together during trade negotiations.

For example, the International Trade Administration website boasts that top officials "work side-by-side with business leaders who serve as advisors to the U.S. Government. The Department of Commerce and USTR have joint responsibility for operating the advisory committees of the ICP." By contrast, non-governmental organizations and activist groups have no such access to the corridors of power.

The influential Advisory Committee on lumber and wood products claims it is comprised of both environmental and industry groups. However, a look at the list below shows that it is comprised entirely of corporate executives and members of industry lobby groups.

  • International Paper Company
    Chairman Ms. Lyn Withey, VP, Public Affairs

  • Hardwood Plywood Manufactuers Association
    Vice Chairman Mr. Ernest Altman, President

  • APA-The Engineered Wood Association
    Mr. Edward Elias, Director, Int'l Market Division

  • Indiana Hardwood Lumberman's Association
    Mr. John Grunwald President, David R. Webb Company, Inc.

  • The Penrod Company
    Mr. Edward Heidt, Jr., President

  • National Hardwood Lumber Association
    Mr. Paul Houghland, Executive Manager

  • Southern Forest Products Association
    Mr. Karl Lindberg, President

  • Willamette Industries, Inc.
    Mr. Richard Margosian, Technical Manager

  • North Pacific Group, Inc.
    Mr. Paul E. McKay, Vice President, National Accounts

  • Jeld-Wen, Inc.
    Mr. Burton Nelson, Managing Director, International

  • States Industries, Inc.
    Mr. R. Gail Overgard, Vice President, Operations

  • American Lumber Standards Committee
    Mr. Thomas Searles, Executive Vice President

  • National Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association
    Mr. Charles Titus, Executive Vice President

  • Wood Products Int'l American Forest and Paper Association
    Ms. Elizabeth Ward, Executive Director

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

CorpWatch's 2001 coverage of the WTO was made possible through the generous support of the Humanitarian Group for Social Development.