Biden Trade Policy - What's Ahead?

  • Friday, April 30, 2021
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST
  • Online from any computer or mobile device
  • FREE - for *Member and Non-members

*AMCHAM Canada - Pacific Chapter members will gain an additional benefit through a special invitation to a private, 30-minute round table discussion with the speaker post-event.

With a new Biden Administration comes a new global agenda on trade.  How does that Biden Agenda compare to his predecessor’s and what changes can we expect in the coming four years? 

As the geopolitical landscape and the trade pressures continue to ebb and flow, the next four years will be critical for the US and the world.

Meet The Speakers

Shaun Donnelly
Senior Advisor, US Council for International Business

Until his retirement from USCIB in April 2020, Shaun Donnelly led USCIB’s work on foreign investment policy, treatment of multinational and state-owned enterprises, and financial services. In retirement, he now serves as a part-time Senior Advisor to USCIB leadership. A career diplomat in the US Department of State’s Foreign Service, Donnelly joined USCIB’s Washington office in 2011 after a thirty-six-year career in US government service. With USCIB, Donnelly became a leading spokesman around the world for US and international business on international investment policy issues.

In his State Department career, Donnelly served as US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Deputy Ambassador in Mali and Tunisia, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs (the third-highest economic policy position in the Department), and Assistant US Trade Representative in charge of Europe and the Middle East. After retiring from the State Department in 2008, Donnelly held senior positions at the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce. He holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University.

Moderated By

Maria Rajanayagam
Chair of the Board, American Chamber of Commerce in Canada, Pacific Chapter

Maria Rajanayagam is an Account Manager with the Commercial team at RBC Royal Bank with 14 years of experience in financial services.  In her role she finds creative solutions to finance operating companies.
Maria is also the President of Franmar International Importers Ltd., which imports the Original Garden Broom product.
Prior to joining RBC, Maria was the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka.  With over 100 offices outside the United States, the American Chamber is the largest business federation in the world.
Maria also has experience working for the Canadian Federal Government with both the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the National Research Council (NRC).
Maria is the Chair for the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada, Pacific Chapter, and a Mentor for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.
Maria holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia.


AMCHAM & SelectUSA Virtually Presents: Doing Business in the USA


Understand Your Options, Determine Your Structure, Expand Your Sales

  • Thursday, May 6, 2021
  • 10:00 am - 12:30 pm PT
  • Online from any computer or mobile device
  • FREE - During COVID19 Pandemic

Brought to you by the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AMCHAM Canada) and the US Commercial Service, SelectUSA, the DBUSA webinar is an informative online conference dedicated to helping Canadian business owners enter the American marketplace. Gain access to our panel of carefully selected Immigration and Cross-Border Lawyers, Tax Specialists, Customs Brokers, and Logistics Professionals coming together from Cascadia Cross-Border Law, Law Offices of Gene Moses, MNP, PCB Customs Brokers, and PCB Freight Management. Hear from The US Commercial Service, SelectUSA speaker on free resources available to help you invest in the US market.

This session will provide you with invaluable data on the best state to expand and introduce you to essential partners. Whether opening a storefront with a US address or partnering with a distribution center for your eCommerce activity, our seasoned panel will present options that will help you determine your export strategy and understand your responsibilities with local and federal government agencies such as the US Customs and Border Protection, Secretary of State and US Citizen and Immigration Services.

AMCHAM Canada - Pacific Chapter members will gain an additional benefit through complimentary 30-minute consultations with each of the speakers following the event.


Topics Include

Subjects are presented by experts in their field. The content focuses on current trends seen in the USA/CDN cross-border market and based on the experiences of each speaker/company. Small to medium sized businesses in the export development planning stage who attend this event will walk away with the knowledge of all available resources and determine/understand:

  • Optimal structure for US presence
  • Cost-effective logistics and distribution channels
  • Responsibility for federal and state tax
  • What is considered "working" in the US
  • US consumer purchasing behavior
  • Canadian export requirements and US import compliance
  • Investment opportunities



Attend the whole session or only the topics that interest you.

10:00 - 10:05 am
Maria Rajanayagam, Chair, AMCHAM Canada - Pacific Chapter

10:05 - 10:15 am
SelectUSA Resources to Invest in the US
Sarah Fox, Principal Commercial Officer, US Department of Commerce
Bojan Opsenica, Investment Specialist, US Department of Commerce

10:15 - 10:35 am
How to Access Immigration in the US
Halley Fisher, Attorney at Law, Cascadia Cross-Border Law

10:35 - 10:55 am
How to Form Legal Entities: Structure, Formation and Compliance
Gene Moses, Founder and Principal, The Law Offices of Gene Moses P.S. 

10:55 -11:15 am
How to Expand to the US the Smart Way
Sid Rao, Partner, US Tax Services, MNP LLP

11:15 - 11:35 am
How to Import Your Goods into the US
Breanna Leininger, US Operations Manager, Pacific Customs Brokers

11:35 - 11:55 am
How To Optimize Logistics Efforts
Alex Haukaas, Operations Manager, PCB Freight Management

11:55 -12:30 pm


Meet the Panel

Sarah Fox
Principal Commercial Officer, US Department of Commerce
Sarah Fox is the Principal Commercial Officer overseeing Western Canada. Previously, she was the Commercial Officer overseeing the Philippine, Myanmar, and Indonesia Desk for the U.S. Department of Commerce (3/2018-7/2019), and worked as part of an interagency team to advance U.S. strategic interests in the ASEAN and Pacific Basin region. She also had served as the Principal Commercial Officer for southern Taiwan (7/2016-3/2018) and promoted all industries including energy, smart technology, marine and defense/aerospace. Before her time in Taiwan, she served as the resident Commercial Diplomat at the Export Assistance Center in Miami, Florida (7/2014-7/2015). Prior to her service in Miami, she was Vice Consul of Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, China, (1/2011-7/2014) managing commercial relations in many critical industries, including healthcare, food safety, medical devices and biotechnology. With her fluency in Mandarin Chinese, Ms. Fox represent the Department of Commerce at the Joint Commission of Commerce and Trade (healthcare sub-committee) for two consecutive years. Prior to her tour in Shanghai, Ms. Fox served as Commercial Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea (8/2008-1/2011). Bilingual in Korean and English, she was a key facilitator for U.S.-Korean business relations in critical industry sectors and participated in bilateral negotiations.

Bojan Opsenica
Investment Specialist, US Department of Commerce
Bojan Opsenica covers the foreign investment portfolio at the US Consulate in Toronto. As the SelectUSA representative in Canada, he specializes in assisting Canadian companies expanding to the US by providing resources to potential investors. Services offered by SelectUSA include market research, connections to state and local governments, and help navigating the US regulatory system. Bojan also works with State governments to help facilitate investment in their region by organizing investment missions, counselling state representatives, and developing market-specific strategies. During his time at the US Commercial Service, Bojan has also worked to help US companies find Canadian partners in the IT, Construction and Finance sectors. Bojan has a Master’s in Economics from the University of Toronto and an Honors BA from Western University.

Halley Fisher
Attorney at Law, Cascadia Cross-Border Law
Halley Fisher joined Cascadia Cross-Border law full-time after receiving her Juris Doctor degree from Northeastern University School of Law in May 2019, graduating with honors. Halley is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and her practice focuses on citizenship and immigration matters.
During law school, Halley completed a year-long project creating an asylum manual for pro-bono attorneys practicing in the Sixth circuit. This experience led her to intern with Alaska Institute for Justice, an immigration and environmental law nonprofit that represents survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in immigration matters. Halley also served as a judicial intern to Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy at the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, and in the Human Trafficking Division of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General in its Summer Legal Internship Program.

Gene Moses
Founder and Principal, The Law Offices of Gene Moses P.S.
Gene R. Moses is the founder and principal of the Law Office of Gene R. Moses P.S. located in Bellingham, Washington. Mr. Moses specializes in the formation and compliance of cross border business entities. The Law Office of Gene R. Moses P.S. has represented business entities throughout the world for 44 years.

Sidhartha (Sid) Rao, JD, LL.M.
Partner, US Tax Services, MNP LLP
As a partner with MNP’s International Tax Services group, Sid specializes in helping high-net-worth individuals and Canadian businesses with US activities navigate the complexities of cross-border tax so they can concentrate on the things that make them successful. He draws on his legal background and exposure to accounting to deliver cross-border tax solutions tailored to clients’ unique situations. Sid’s services include evaluating exposure to US state and local taxes, US individual and business compliance, structuring investment into the US, and consulting US persons on expatriation. His experience includes working with Canadian retailers and wholesalers expanding to the US as well as Canadians investing in US real estate.

Breanna Leininger, CCS, LCB
US Operations Manager, PCB Customs Brokers
With almost two decades in the industry, Breanna has been at the forefront of customs clearances and compliance concerns for a full spectrum of commodities at all ports of entry and all modes of transportation. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Government, is a Licensed Customs Broker as well as Certified Customs Specialist. As an NCBFAA Government Affairs Conference Emerging Leaders and Mentors nominee, Breanna has a deep passion for politics, global affairs, and how communication shapes policy and international business relationships. She feels very fortunate to work in an industry that allows her to take part in how policy impacts the global economy and domestic businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Alexandra Haukaas
Operations Manager, PCB Freight Management
Alex Haukaas is a logistics professional who has been in the freight forwarding, NVOCC, and brokerage industries for over seventeen years. Alex has worked in all transportation modes, including air, ocean, truck, rail, and project cargo, with a strong background in project management and business development. Her successful management style is a hands-on approach in identifying her team's strengths, which results in a positive and cohesive work environment. Alex currently holds the Canadian International Freight Forwarding Association (CIFFA) and Forum For International Trade Training (FITT) designations.


About The Organizations

SelectUSA works with the US and Foreign Commercial Service and entities across government to facilitate job-creating business investment into the United States and raise awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the US economy.

Cascadia Cross-Border Law is a US immigration law firm known for providing exceptional representation, personalized attention, and responsive service to its clients. As reflected in its industry ratings, the firm's commitment to excellence has earned it a reputation as an effective, efficient, and ethical provider of immigration-related legal services. The firm has assisted clients from all over the globe access business opportunities in every area of the US for over three decades.

The Law Office of Gene R. Moses P.S. works with an international network of Canadian Chartered Professional Accountants, US Certified Public Accountants, immigration lawyers and customs brokers. Based in Bellingham, Washington Gene is a business lawyer and Law Society of British Columbia Foreign Legal Consultant who provides cross-border legal advice to Canadian and international corporations doing business in the USA including the formation of US Subsidiaries and other Legal Entities, and a broad range of Business Legal Services.

MNP LLC is a leading national accounting, tax and business consulting, with over 80 offices across Canada. Through partner-led engagements, we provide a collaborative, cost-effective approach to doing business and personalized strategies to help organizations succeed across the country and around the world. We proudly serve clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

PCB Customs Brokers is your trusted customs expert specializing in international trade with roots dating back to 1954. The company was founded on one simple principle: serve the client well. Today, thousands of importers employ us to import their goods into Canada and the US with our services growing to include freight management, trade advisory and a comprehensive learning center. If you have complex trade problems, you can trust us to provide the solution.

PCB Freight Management has built a reputation for getting the job done over the years. Drawing on the competence of an experienced team of logistics experts, a world-wide network of freight agents and in-house licensed customs brokers, our clients get a comprehensive range of global logistics services. We do more than just shipping your cargo, we manage your freight! As a key company within the PCB Group of Companies, PCB Freight Management has become a major North American link to many trans-ocean shippers and freight forwarders. A single point of contact for international freight movements providing freight and logistic solutions to freight forwarders and shippers.


Browse our listing of past events or visit us on Instagram to see photographs.