Scroll to top


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

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

Did you know the World Trade Center New Orleans committee by industry 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 World Trade Center New Orleans members and investors. The industry committees of the World Trade Center New Orleans 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].

Advocacy & Policy Committee

As the voice of international trade of la and the gulf coast region, The World Trade Center New Orleans Advocacy & Policy Committee acts as our conduit for advocacy, operating at the local, state, and federal levels to represent the needs of our business community on policies that affect international trade. The Committee aims to help create an environment that bolsters trade efficiencies and opportunities throughout the state, and it strives to remove roadblocks to our continued success.
Through our advocacy work, World Trade Center New Orleans’ clients gain access to congressional leadership in Baton Rouge, LA and Washington, D.C. We make your voice heard on trade agreements, policy changes, tariffs, regulations, compliance, and all other trade related matters. WTCNO serves as the state’s premier, internationally focused advocacy organization, protecting and representing companies both big and small in Louisiana.

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 meets to takes steps to ensure that the business environment in Louisiana is attractive and profitable for potential international investors and organizations The Committee is charged with coordinating an annual International Business Program

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

Transportation Committee

The Transportation Committee meets quarterly to discuss regional transportation and infrastructure initiatives, and recommends and highlights policies and projects to the World Trade Center’s Advocacy and Education efforts that will increase awareness of Louisiana’s multi-modal transportation system. This includes policies and regulations relevant to Louisiana’s international trade economy. The Committee is charged with coordinating an annual Transportation Program.

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 a forum to Louisiana’s food, beverage and agriculture sector. With respect to international trade, this committee works to bring awareness to our businesses serving sector to sell internationally and to enhance Louisiana’s ability to strengthen the export/import opportunities for agriculture and food-based businesses. The Committee is charged with coordinating an annual Agriculture, Specialty Food and Beverage Program.

Vice-Chair: Chair: Open


Energy, Manufacturing & Value-Add Committee

The Energy, Manufacturing and Value-Add Committee meets to recommend policy positions and programs to strengthen development of Louisiana’s energy sector, including existing growth industries such as petroleum/chemical and our regions emerging industries such as Liquid Natural Gas(LNG). The Committee engages with manufacturing companies to explore value-add opportunities within the state and region. The Committee is responsible for conducting an annual program focusing on the these sectors.

Co-Chair: Eric Smith, Tulane Energy Institute
Co-Chair: David E. Dismukes, Professor, Executive Director and Director of Policy Analysis, Center for Energy Studies, Louisiana State University

Technology & Cyber Security Committee

In today’s global security and economic environment, boundaries no longer begin and end at rivers, oceans or borders protect. Our World Trade Center (WCT) clients must be protected. The Technology & Cyber Security committee provides an active focal point within the WTC for encouraging the exchange of ideas on best practices in IT and Cyber Security, advance preparation for or relief from cyber-attacks and coordinating an annual technology and cyber-related activities program.

Chair: Andy Lee, Partner, Jones Walker LLP.