Washington International Trade Association

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The Washington International Trade Association (WITA) is an organization which hosts forums for discussing issues of international trade in the United States. The meetings hosted by WITA have used by members of congress to discuss their goals on trade.[1] Operating as a non-profit, non-partisan organization, WITA itself does not engage in political discussion or debate.


WITA was founded in 1982 as a way for those involved in international trade to network and communicate with each other.[2]

By 2006 WITA had grown to include 1400 individual members and over 90 corporate sponsors and group members. WITA’s membership is a unique blend of federal officials, representatives of businesses and NGO’s, academics, diplomats, consultants and lawyers, and others interested in international trade. Currently, WITA members exceed 1,800 and is growing in numbers everyday.

WITA does not take positions on trade issues or lobby Congress or the executive branch on legislative, regulatory, or enforcement issues. WITA maintains its neutrality through a balanced, bipartisan board that represents the various segments of the trade community; and by ensuring that multiple views of an issue are represented in our programs.

Specially, what WITA does is sponsor “events” (such as panel discussions, featured speakers, roundtables, and networking events) that give members of Washington DC’s trade community a chance to hear what policy makers are planning, to give access and the chance to give input and ask questions, and to connect the members of the trade community with each other to promote their personal and professional growth. WITA educates, informs, and connects the Washington DC trade community.


The Washingtonian named WITA "One of Washington's Top 20 Networking Groups"[3]

WITA members include business executives, consultants, lawyers, federal government officials, diplomats, academics, and others interested in the sphere of international trade.[4] WITA prides itself on adapting to changing times and new trends in thinking by offering programs of topical interest, special events, and co-sponsored activities of importance and concern to our membership. Trade Policy and Professional Development programs provide a neutral forum for idea exchange and policy review, while our Diplomatic series offers unsurpassed access to pivotal international players. WITA programs are held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and other prestigious venues.

Past events[edit]

In addition to an Annual Awards Dinner,[5][6] WITA holds approximately 30-40 international trade related events every year. Many of the events take place in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Congressmen, trade ministers, and other notable figures in the international trade sphere have been part of panels and informational sessions regarding international policy. Previous event speakers at WITA have been Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA),[7] and Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX).[8] In 2010, the South Korean Trade Minister spoke at an event sponsored by WITA.[9] In addition, WITA hosted an event that was held on June 8, 2010 in honor of the FIFA World Cup 2010.[10] The trade event featured a Trade in the Americas Panel and A World Cup Kickoff Celebration afterward.[11]

A recent event at WITA; a Trade in the Americas Panel and World Cup Kickoff Celebration was hosted in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on June 8, 2010.

In 2011, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) were honored at the WITF/WITA Annual Dinner for their extraordinary contributions toward the facilitation of international trade. The following year, on July 18, 2012 at the WITA/WITF Annual Awards Dinner, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Congressman David Dreier (R-CA) were honored. Often, events held by WITA are mentioned in the Washington Tariff & Trade Letter and other trade publications [12]

On October 11, 2012, WITA was the host of a prestigious reception in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The event was held 50 years to the day that President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order creating the Office of the Special Trade Representative - Oct. 11, 1962.

Beginning in 2010, WITF and WITA began to organize the Governors and Ambassadors World Trade Reception. The event is attended by officials from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and executives from companies looking to do more international trade.[13]

In 2013, the World Trade Reception featured the Kentucky Bourbon Trail bar, with exclusive and rare bourbons from master distillers of Kentucky. Participants learned how bourbon is made, enjoyed, mixed and savored.

Related organizations[edit]


  1. ^ Vicki Needham (8 Feb 2015). "Ryan launches trade agenda". The Hill. Retrieved 7 Nov 2015. 
  2. ^ Washington International Trade Association, "All About WITA-the Washington International Trade Association", 2008, "[1]," May 27, 2010
  3. ^ Washingtonian, Magazine (2004). "Top 20 Networking Groups". 
  4. ^ Washington International Trade Association, "All About WITA, the Washington International Trade Association", 2008, "[2]," May 27, 2010
  5. ^ Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, "Tradewinds:Newsletter of the International Trade Center," 2007 "[3]," May 27, 2010
  6. ^ Tradewinds Autumn 2010. Viewer.zmags.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  7. ^ Washington International Trade Association, "Senator Chuck Grassley: Remarks Before the Washington International Trade Association (WITA)," 18 June 2009, "[4]," May 27, 2010
  8. ^ Washington International Trade Association, "Washington International Trade Association-U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady," 31 March 2009, "[5]," May 27, 2010
  9. ^ Tom Barkley, "South Korea Trade Minister: Won't Renegotiate US Free Trade Deal," 27 May 2010, "[6]," May 27, 2010
  10. ^ "[7]," June 17, 2010
  11. ^ "World Cup of soccer moves into trade policy event in Washington DC" June 11, 2010, "[8]," June 17, 2010
  12. ^ Washington Tariff & Trade Letter, "WTTL," 2010 "[9]," May 24, 2010
  13. ^ "Governors and Ambassadors World Trade Reception". Washington International Trade Association. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ Washington International Trade Association, "YTP Overview", 2008, "[10]," May 27, 2010

External links[edit]