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AUGUST 25 - 27, 2020

Conference Speakers


Pete Mento, Ph.D.

Managing Director/Practice Leader, Crowe LLC


Pete Mento is the Managing Director and Practice Leader for Crowe LLP’s Global Customs and Duty practice. In this role he is responsible for the growth and development of a multinational practice that focuses on the elimination, recovery and reduction of tariffs for their clients as well as assisting them in matters of trade compliance and cargo security.

Pete recently served as Vice President of Global Trade and Managed Services for Crane World Wide. In this role he lead the development, marketing and innovation of Customs, Regulatory and Global Trade Products, Secured Transportation Offerings, Management Consulting, Integrated Managed Services and Software Solutions. It was also here he started the wildly popular “Trade School” online training series which become the standard for both up to the minute information on global trade as well as insightful and entertaining instruction on issues of international business.

Pete was Practice Leader and Principal of Ryan Tax LLC's Customs and Global Trade Practice. While there, he managed the recovery and avoidance of global duties and VAT for importers all over the world.

Pete is a Customs House Broker, Foreign Relations Expert and Trade Academic. He is one of the world’s leading experts on International Trade Policy and Supply Chain Security. He is also an often-quoted source on the development of the U.S. and Global Economy and the role that trade policy has played.

Mr. Mento also served as the Principal Consultant of Expeditors Tradewin where he spent 7 years managing and leading the organization.

Pete received his ALM in Government (Trade Theory Focus) from Harvard University and did his undergraduate work at Maine Maritime Academy where he served five consecutive terms as a member of the advisory board.

Mr. Mento is a Trade Academic who has written many articles and work papers on Trade Theory and Trade Practices. His PhD studies at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom in Trade Law focused on applied economic theory toward cargo security.

Because of his passion for the topic and his skill at illuminating complex (and often dry) topics in international trade and economics, Pete is a highly sought-after speaker all over the world. A former professional standup comedian, he has conducted sold out lectures to tens of thousands of people in every imaginable venue – from University lecture halls to night clubs. His style of mixing economics, history and humor is always a welcome change for his clients and students. He is the most unlikely trade nerd you will ever meet.

Tuesday, August 25
9:00 am - 9:45 am
Shifting Trade Winds and Markets I

Fighting the Good Fight: Protecting Your Ideas and Supply Chain During a Trade War

The American economy is moving from one that has been focused on service and exportation of high-engineered products and more toward an innovation economy focused on ideas.

The current trade war is one in which we are trying to protect these ideas. It is these very ideas that are going to catapult us into the economy that we really ought to be managing for the next century and maybe beyond, which is one in which it doesn’t really matter where something is made, but it does matter that the idea was created, curated, and protected in the United States.

Over the past year, tariffs have been weaponized as a means of diplomacy. It appears that we’re hearkening back to the days of the early 20th century when we used import taxes to protect certain industries and impose our political will on other nations, making them think twice about how they were going to manage their international trade relations with regards to the American economy. No matter who is in the White House, we are going to see this tactic used in one form or fashion.

Mento’s keynote will focus on the idea that you’re going to need multiple plans in case this happens again. He’ll cover the over-dependence of purchasing all things from just one country like China or India and the idea that there is only one way of buying things. His talk is about Plan B or Plan C and the importance that manufacturers and service providers have those plans in order, and how this is going to be the way other countries aside from the US are likely to approach their own trade policy.