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We advocate at the local, state and federal level representing the needs of our members and the greater Louisiana business community when it comes to policy that impacts international trade. We support legislation that can enhance the business environment for local and foreign direct investment, which enables Louisiana-based companies to explore and expand into overseas markets. Our partnerships with government and economic development agencies, institutions, and NGOs enhance our advocacy capabilities at all levels of government.

Top Policy Priorities

  • Agriculture and Food
  • Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Infrastructure
  • Logistics and Transportation
  • Oil & Gas / LNG Project Development
  • Small and Medium Size Business Development
  • Water and Coastal

The industry committee system was created to ensure that the organization’s advocacy efforts adequately reflect stakeholder and member interests. Committees meet on a monthly or quarterly basis and access is limited to eligible WTCNO members and investors. The industry committees of the WTCNO are comprised of executives and experts from the public and private sector. Committee members provide advice and expertise on specific areas and issues pertinent to Louisiana industries. Committee discussions are shaped by current challenges, threats, opportunities, and trends affecting Louisiana’s industry sectors.

If you’re interested in joining or initiating an industry committee, please contact:
[email protected].

Policy Committee

The Policy Committee acts as a sounding board for each of our individual committees. This committee discusses local, regional and national projects and policies impacting international trade policy and determines the level of advocacy needed to address various issues.

Co-Chair: Hon. Edward T. Hayes, Partner, Leake and Andersson, LLP
Co-Chair: Ben Billings, Principal, Sentinel Strategies

International Business Committee

The International Business Committee hosts speakers and reviews and recommends policy positions to strengthen the development of international trade, investment, and related services in Louisiana. The committee actively takes steps to ensure that the business environment in Louisiana is attractive and profitable for potential international investors and organizations.

Co-Chair: Larry Collins, Executive Director, Office of International Commerce, Louisiana Economic Development
Co-Chair: Michael Olivier, CEO, Committee of 100 for Louisiana, Inc.
Co-Chair: Marc Hebert, Partner, Jones Walker LLP

Transportation Committee

The Transportation Committee discusses regional transportation and infrastructure initiatives, and recommends and highlights policies and projects that will increase awareness of Louisiana’s multi-modal transportation system, including policies and regulations relevant to Louisiana’s trade economy.

Chair: William “Billy” App, Jr., President & CEO, J.W. Allen & Co., Inc.
Vice-Chair: Kristi App, Vice President, Business Development
Vice-Chair: Robert “Rusty” Barkerding, Jr., President, Admiral Security Services, Inc.

Agriculture, Specialty Food & Beverage Committee

The Agriculture, Specialty Food & Beverage Committee provides purpose and voice to Louisiana’s food, beverage and agriculture sector. With respect to international trade, this committee aims to enhance Louisiana’s ability to strengthen export/import opportunities for agriculture and food-based businesses.

Chair: Rene Simon, Director, Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority and Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Energy, Manufacturing & Value-Add Committee

The Energy, Manufacturing and Value-Add Committee recommends policy positions and programs to strengthen development of Louisiana’s energy sector, including existing growth industries such as petro/chem and emerging industries such as LNG. The Committee also engages with manufacturing companies to explore value-add opportunities within the state and region.

Co-Chair: Eric Smith, Tulane Energy Institute
Co-Chair: Jason French, VP of Government and Public Affairs, Tellurian, Inc. | Driftwood LNG

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