CABC Digital Task Force
The process of modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has begun in earnest with the launch of official negotiations in Washington, D.C.
NAFTA renegotiation provides a much-needed opportunity to incorporate strong digital trade provisions. In an increasingly globalized world, it is essential that our nations establish a framework of rules that:
• Ensure regulatory coherence among the NAFTA parties in order to facilitate and enhance cross-border trade and investment, taking into account new business models;
• Address critical issues related to trade in the digital economy (detailed below); and
• Foster digital inclusion and promote sustainable growth, leading to shared prosperity.
The Canadian American Business Council (CABC) is pleased to announce the establishment of a task force to develop recommendations for consideration by negotiators. The CABC Digital Task Force, co-chaired by Lena Trudeau and Gabe Batstone, will produce a report on the Digital Framework for NAFTA, to be delivered to the negotiators as well as Ministers.
The CABC Digital Task Force will focus on how NAFTA can foster the North American digital ecosystem; promote cross-border data flows; further liberalize trade in digital goods and services, including customs duties on digital products and tariffs on information technology hardware; and address regulatory issues that create barriers or inefficiencies in digital trade.
Members of the Task Force include:
Recommendations from the Task Force will be presented to the CABC Board of Directors for consideration at its September board meeting, and ultimately to NAFTA negotiators.
Task Force Members
Lena E. Trudeau, Nuage Cloud Strategies
Lena Trudeau is the Founder and CEO of Nuage Cloud Strategies, a firm that provides technology, strategy and advisory services to a broad range of clients, with a focus on digital adoption and government transformation.
Previously, Lena led the Amazon Web Services Public Sector business in Canada where she helped leaders in government, education, health care, and not-for- profit organizations find better, more cost-effective ways to serve their customers and constituencies. Also at AWS, she led global expansion efforts for the Public Sector division and ran global programs focused on scientific computing, open data, and educating the next generation of IT professionals.
Lena also served as member of the U.S. Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service. As Associate Commissioner at the U.S. General Services Administration, she stood up the Office of Strategic Innovations with a mandate to leverage technology to transform business operations. She spearheaded the creation of 18F, an in-house digital delivery team that builds effective, user-centric digital services and directed the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, a highly competitive program that pairs government experts with private sector entrepreneurs to tackle the nation’s biggest challenges.
Lena is a frequent commentator, speaker and advocate on government modernization, digital adoption, digital inclusion and women in technology. She is a two-time recipient of Federal Computer Week’s prestigious Federal 100 award, which recognizes government and industry leaders who have played pivotal roles in the U.S. federal government IT community, and was named one of FedScoop’s Top 50 Women in Tech.
Gabe Batstone, Contextere
Gabe has over 15 years of experience in software and technology development in aerospace, automotive, defense, and energy markets working or market leaders NAVTEQ, CAE, and NGRAIN.
Gabe serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian American Business Council (CABC), where he currently holds the position of Chief Operations Officer. Gabe also founded Teagan’s Voice a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting children’s rights following the murder of his 8-year-old daughter in December 2014.
Gabe holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts, specializing in Geographic Information Systems, from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore. Gabe is a frequent public speaker, published writer and has completed postgraduate studies at the United Nations Institute for Training & Research, University of Chicago and Harvard Law School.
Steven De Eyre, Amazon
Steve de Eyre leads Amazon’s public policy and government relations efforts across Canada. Previously, Steve served at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. as the representative for the Department of Innovation, Science & Economic Development. Steve holds a B.A. (Honours) in Political Studies from Bishop’s University, and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Christina Erling, Barrick Gold U.S.A.
Christina Erling is the director, federal affairs for Barrick Gold USA. As the primary advocate for Barrick in Washington, DC, she engages with a wide range of external stakeholders, including members of Congress, the administration and industry associations to identify, monitor and influence developments in industry-related policy. She provides strategic direction, support and guidance with regard to Barrick’s government relations efforts and on matters of reporting and compliance.
Colin McKay, Google
Colin is responsible for setting strategy and implementing advocacy campaigns for Google in Canada on issues related to innovation, internet regulation, data protection and trade policy, among many others. Previously worked on privacy, innovation, transportation and immigration policy and communications with the Government of Canada. A member of the past Government Advisory Committee on Open Data, and Vice Chair of the Board of MediaSmarts, the national digital literacy organization.
Jennifer Sloan, Mastercard
Jennifer joined Mastercard Canada in 2015 as the Vice President, Public Policy. In her role she develops and strategically manages Mastercard’s public affairs and government relations programs in Canada and is a member of the Canadian Leadership Team (CLT). Jennifer has brought to Mastercard ten years of private sector experience in various senior leadership roles including EVP, Corporate Affairs, for nickel mining giant Vale (Inco) Ltd.; inaugural Vice President University Relations at York University and was the Director of Government Affairs at Target (Canada) leading the national team responsible for the government affairs activities as Target entered the Canadian market. For over 20 years, Jennifer worked with some of Canada’s leading government and political figures in Ottawa and in New York City. She is a Past President of the Canadian Club (Toronto) and continues to serve on its Board. She is a G(irls)20 Board Director. She served on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2009-2017. Currently, Jennifer is a member of the University of Georgia’s Grady College Board of Trust this after having served two separate terms as Chair of the Grady College Alumni Board at the University of Georgia.