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Welke Customs Brokers USA Sponsoring Series of Discussions on NAFTA

Welke Customs Brokers USA, headquartered in the City of Tonawanda, will sponsor a series of panel discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and St. Catharines beginning on January 18, in conjunction with Global Chamber Buffalo (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse) and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (St. Catharines). A panel of international trade experts will discuss the future of NAFTA under the Trump administration, impacts that might be felt even as that future takes shape, and what companies currently utilizing NAFTA should be doing to prepare for whatever might come.

"There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty about the future of NAFTA, especially in a border region like ours, where people live NAFTA every day, and it has a huge impact on our economy," said Damon Piatek, Welke president and CEO. "No one quite knows what's going to happen, but we've assembled a great panel of experts who understand North American trade, and will offer their perspectives on what's coming, where we go from here, and how importers and exporters should be evaluating their own operations to be ready. We're looking forward to some great discussions."

  • BUFFALO: January 18 - 10 a.m. to noon - Welke Customs Brokers USA, 36 Delaware Street, Tonawanda (city)
  • ROCHESTER: January 19 - 10 a.m. to noon - Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 860 Holt Rd, Webster, NY
  • SYRACUSE: January 19 - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Homewood Suites by Hilton Syracuse, 6006 Fair Lakes Rd, East Syracuse, NY
  • ST. CATHARINES: January 31 - noon to 1:30 p.m. - Coppola's Ristorante & Banquet Facility, 203 Carlton Street, Saint Catharines, ON, Canada

Expert panelists for the discussion include Piatek, a Licensed U.S. Customs Broker and Customs Compliance Specialist, with over 18 years of experience in the import/export, customs, transportation, and logistics sectors, as well as:

LOUIE DiPALMA (St. Catharines) - As the Director of SME Programs, Louie is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce that are designed to strengthen the business climate of Ontario and support our members by providing them with access to resources. During his career with the Government of Ontario, Louie held a number of senior management positions in policy, planning and direct operations with several Ministries including the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services, the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation and the Ministry of Health Promotion.

EILEEN MARTIN (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse) - Eileen is the Chair of Barclay Damon Immigration Practice Area, and she has been concentrating her practice on immigration law for over 20 years. She is a licensed foreign legal consultant and assists individuals from around the world with various immigration matters, including visa issuance, port-of-entry issues, work permits, family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, immigrant and nonimmigrant waivers, and assessment of U.S. citizenship.

MARK FISHER (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse) - President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. Prior to his appointment, he was a foreign policy advisor in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office where he focused on advancing Canada's relationship with the United States and Mexico in the areas of trade, security, energy and the environment.

STEVEN KING (Syracuse) - Steven is currently the Executive Director of the Central New York International Business Alliance (CNYIBA), based in Syracuse, NY, which is implementing a Brookings Institute Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). His twenty-five (25) plus years of international trade experience includes over thirteen (13) years with Fortune 500 companies Colgate, Palmolive, and also Bristol Myers Squibb.

NASEEM MALIK (St. Catharines) - Naseem Malik is counsel in the firm's Labour & Employment Group in Toronto. He is certified as a Specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada in the areas of Citizenship & Immigration Law and Immigration. His practice focuses on business immigration law. Mr. Malik assists his clients, which range from large multinational corporations, financial institutions, industrial and high-tech companies to musicians and entertainment groups, in order to facilitate their entry into Canada for business-related purposes.

MARTIN J. SADKIN (Rochester) - Martin is a Global Logistics Executive with twenty-eight (28) years' experience, specializing in creating Global and North American logistics solutions to maximize customer efficiencies, improve customer service, and increase profits. Martin is currently the Chairman of Sam-Son Logistics Inc., and President of Eastern Door Logistics Inc.

The panel discussions will be moderated by Craig Turner, executive director for the Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway Organization (Buffalo, Rochester), and Christopher Scalisi, executive director for Global Chamber Buffalo.

Those wishing to attend any of the sessions can find more information at www.welke.com/events. Space is limited. 

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