About & Contact

I am a business and policy entrepreneur big on advancing free trade and small businesses competitiveness in the global economy, and innovating in the nexus of trade, technology, and finance. I am the Founder and CEO of two companies: TradeUp, a new financing platform for export-driven U.S. small and mid-size companies, and Nextrade Group, LLC, a consulting firm on leading-edge issues in world trade.

I also serve as Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, currently working on a great project with eBay on catalyzing online SME exports and on my idea of Aid for eTrade, to accelerate digitization and trade globally. I also serve as Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where I teach Global Macroeconomics and International Business Economics to fabulous MBA and Executive MBA students. I chair a 25-member global expert commission on regional trade agreements for the E15 Initiative of the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum, and ideated the RTA Exchange, a new clearing house on regional trade agreements that is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and ICTSD, and that Nextrade Group is building to a Beta version by mid-2014. We announced the RTA Exchange during the WTO ministerial in Bali in December 2013.

I have published more than 70 articles and 9 books on trade and U.S. role in the global economy. I am now authoring a book on the future of globalization, in light of the rise of such new technologies as 3D printing which I see as revolutionizing the way we work and play in the global economy. My latest book is forthcoming, a flagship report for the Inter-American Development Bank on SME internationalization in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2012, I published Peerless and Periled: America’s Leadership in the Global Economic Order (Stanford University Press, 2012). Gary Hufbauer and my volume Globalization at Risk (Yale University Press, 2010) was named as one of the best books of the year in relations by Foreign Affairs. Before that, I published 5 books on trade and regional economic integration.

I have got lucky more than once, with great opportunities to work with the sharpest minds and staunchest advocates of global trade. In the past, I served as Trade Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington (2003-2010) and as Fellow in U.S. and Global Economics at the German Marshall Fund, also in Washington (2010-2012).

In TradeUp, I get to work with a great team to help American business owners get access to capital to grow their global sales, and with investors who grasp the growth opportunities these globalizing companies present. In Nextrade Group, I serve world-class clients with a common goal: to accelerate value-creation and prosperity in the 21st century through the oldest and best engines of growth: free trade, disruptive technologies, and financial innovation. Some of our recent clients are the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Brookings Institution, ICTSD, the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), IDB, ConnectAmericas, USAID, AusAID, and Carana Corporation. We are currently also building three technology new platforms aimed to erase barriers to ecommerce and small business trade globally.

I publish regularly with such media as Foreign Policy, Ideas Lab, RealClear World, and Voxeu.org, the leading global site for economists. I have had a change to speak in the U.S., Asia, Americas, and Europe on international trade, market access, regional economic integration, and macroeconomics at such venues as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, WTO, OECD, European Commission, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. International Trade Commission, Organization of American States, United Nations, Eurasia Group, Chatham House, National Intelligence Council, Asia Society, Asian Development Bank Institute, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) senior officials’ meetings, Korean Institute of Economic Policy, Korea-ASEAN Economic Ministerial, Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA), Mexican Ministry of Economy, and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

My commentary has appeared in such media as Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, BBC, CNN, CSPAN, Time, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Economist Intelligence Unit, GlobalBiz Circle, US News and World Report, Politico, USA Today, Associated Press, AFP, Investor’s Business Daily, Small Biz Daily, Global Journal, China Daily, 21st Century Business Herald, Life News (China), Le Temps (Switzerland), Pravda (Slovak Republic), La Reforma, Economista (Mexico), Expansión (Spain), Rzeczpospolita (Poland).

I am Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, American Assembly’s Next Generation Fellow vintage 2010, and member of Women in International Trade. With an early passion in trade integration in the Americas, I started my career working on Western Hemisphere affairs at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

I gained an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, going through the Executive MBA program with hands-down 100 greatest people you’ll meet, and a PhD in Political Economy and International Affairs in 2004 from UC San Diego, with a focus on international trade. I also earned an M.A. in International Studies from Boston University and B.A. Political Science and International Relations at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where I had the best job in my life holding a full tennis scholarship and captaining an NCAA Division I team.

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Suominen Publications and Presentations

Picture Suominen RTA Exchange

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