If everything you’d heard about US trade deals came from campaign rhetoric, you’d have a pretty dismal view of pacts current and proposed. But there is another view that challenges much of the conventional wisdom emanating from the 2016 election debate. Former Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Wayne, believes trade has received unfair and inaccurate criticism, and makes that case in this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.


Earl Anthony Wayne, or “Tony”, as he is known, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010 as a Career Ambassador.  He has held a variety of diplomatic and policy positions In Washington and U.S. embassies and is currently a Public Policy Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. From 2011 through July 2015, Wayne served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.  During his tenure, Mission Mexico helped establish the US-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue, the Mexico-US Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council, and new energy and environmental dialogues, while in trade, investment, and tourism grew.  Through the Merida Initiative and bilateral coordination efforts, law enforcement, security, defense, border and consular cooperation improved; and military-to-military cooperation reached new levels.  Wayne received Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle and the State Department’s Cobb Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development. From 2009 to 2011, Wayne served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs and then as Deputy U.S. Ambassador.  Wayne received a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, a Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, and the State Department’s Cordell Hull Award for Economic Achievement.  From 2006 to 2009, Wayne served as the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, where he promoted U.S. commercial interests, improved the U.S. image in the face of strong anti-Americanism, and strengthened cooperation against terrorism and human and drug trafficking.  He received the Paul Wellstone Anti-Slavery Ambassador of the Year Award. From 2000-2006, Wayne worked for three Secretaries of State as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs (EB).  EB played a lead role in organizing major international donor and reconstruction conferences.  Wayne and his team built international coalitions to block money flow to terrorists, and collaborated to place terrorists and their financiers under UN and U.S. sanctions. His team helped steer negotiations of debt relief and economic reform and supported U.S. companies in commercial disputes.  The longest serving EB Assistant Secretary, he received a State Department Distinguished Honor Award and a Presidential Meritorious Service Award.  From 1996-2000, Wayne served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Canada.  He promoted relations with the European Union and OECD.  He played a key role in building G8 consensus on the situation surrounding Kosovo and in organizing the 1999 Stability Pact Summit in Sarajevo, for which he received a Presidential Distinguished Service Award.

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program