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US EXIM Program on China and Transformational Exports: Boosting American Competitiveness in Central Asia and Globally

Event Date: 7 April 2021
Event Time: 08:00 AM - 09:30 AM
Location: Zoom
RSVP by: 7 April 2021

in partnership with

Webinar Invitation


US EXIM Program on China and Transformational Exports: Boosting American Competitiveness in Central Asia and Globally


8:00 AM – 9:30 AM EST

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Register in advance for this webinar:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Greetings from Partner-Organization

Marlene Laruelle, Director, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES)

Director, Central Asia Program, The George Washington University



Flin Hyre, Government Affairs, CNH Industrial


Official Remarks

Matthew Edwards, Director, Office of Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia, Global Markets Unit,

U.S. Department of Commerce



Travis M. Thul, White House Fellow, Export-Import Bank of the United States



Charles Barnett, Vice President, Program on China and Transformational Exports, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Andrew Rollo, Vice President, Program on China and Transformational Exports, Export-Import Bank of the United States



Claude Fontheim, CEO of Fontheim International, LLC, and Chairman of civil society organizations GlobalWorks Foundation and GoodWeave International


Please join our discussion on how the program can help boosts American competitiveness in Central Asia and globally.


As per the EXIM’s historic seven-year reauthorization (P.L. 116-94), signed into law December 20, 2019, a new “Program on China and Transformational Exports” was established to "...support the extension of loans, guarantees, and insurance, at rates and on terms and other conditions, to the extent practicable, that are fully competitive with rates, terms, and other conditions established by the People’s Republic of China or by other covered countries (as designated by the Secretary of the Treasury). The law charges EXIM with a goal of reserving not less than 20 percent of the agency’s total financing authority (i.e., billion out of a total of 5 billion) for support made pursuant to the program."


The discussion will review the program's two critical aims:


  • To directly neutralize export subsidies for competing goods and services financed by official export credit, tied aid, or blended financing provided by China or by other covered countries.
  • To advance the comparative leadership of the United States with respect to China, or support United States innovation, employment, and technological standards, through direct exports in industries of significant importance to the United States.



Charles Barnett, Vice President for China and Transformational Exports, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Charles Barnett has 25 years of international business and finance experience in the private sector and U.S. government. He is a Vice President in EXIM Bank’s Program on China and Transformational Exports and has also served at EXIM as loan officer and in other roles. In 2019, Charles took leave from EXIM to advise the management consultancy A.T. Kearney on their development of a greenfield Saudi EXIM Bank. Before EXIM, Charles worked in the private sector, managing business operations in China for six years: at Meet China, a U.S.-Chinese joint venture and early Alibaba.com competitor, and ESO-ASIACOM, where he oversaw product-sourcing operations. Charles has a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and conversational Indonesian. Charles and his wife and children live in Washington DC.


Matt Edwards, Director, Office of Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia, U.S. Department Commerce, International Trade Administration

Matt Edwards was appointed as Director of the Office of Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia in the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration in 2012. The Office is responsible for assisting U.S. companies and industries in reducing market barriers and promoting American exports in countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

From 2001-2012, as the Office’s Russia Team Leader, he oversaw the Commerce Department’s efforts to assist American companies facing market access obstacles in Russia. He

participated in numerous U.S. delegations in long-running negotiations on Russia’s WTO accession, and has traveled regularly to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to assess business conditions and the concerns of U.S. companies in those markets. From 2009-2012, he served as the Commerce Department’s staff contact for the Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

From 1998-2000, Mr. Edwards was an attaché in the Commercial Section of the American Embassy in Moscow, where he served as acting deputy section chief. He played a key role in the Embassy’s business advocacy and counseling efforts, and visited cities across Russia to gauge local business conditions. Based in Washington from 1995-1998, he led the Department’s efforts in organizing and conducting the U.S.-Russia Joint Commercial Tax Dialogue, which generated several pro-growth tax policy recommendations subsequently adopted by the Russian government. Mr. Edwards previously served as a trade specialist with the Department’s medical device industry office, where he worked to ease foreign regulatory obstacles. He has led or accompanied American industry delegations to China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as well as Russia and Ukraine.

A native of Pittsburgh, Mr. Edwards earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.


Claude Fontheim, CEO, Fontheim International, LLC, and Chairman, GlobalWorks Foundation and GoodWeave International

Claude Fontheim is the CEO of Fontheim International, LLC, and Chairman of civil society organizations GlobalWorks Foundation and GoodWeave International. He has decades of experience advising global businesses regarding ESG as well as policy, regulatory and political challenges and opportunities facing global businesses.

Mr. Fontheim speaks regularly on these issues.

Mr. Fontheim served previously on the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations, as well as the advisory committees on Africa for the U.S. Trade Representative and on international economic policy for the State Department. He was also a partner in a global law firm.

Mr. Fontheim received his J.D., M.P.P., and B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Flin Hyre, Government Affairs, CNH Industrial

Flin Hyre is a Government Affairs Specialist for CNH Industrial. He was appointed to his current position in January of 2020. Mr. Hyre is responsible for developing and implementing CNH Industrial's political engagement strategy with federal, state and local elected officials, regulatory agencies and key policymakers. He provides strategic advice on growth and cost reduction issues at the US federal level, concentrating on agricultural, construction, labor, and trade issues. His global responsibilities include representing and reinforcing CNH Industrial executives and country officers to achieve their respective operating strategies and business plans. 

Prior to his current position, Mr. Hyre spent five years as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Pat Roberts. His portfolio included International Trade, Labor, Judiciary, Small Business and Education issues. 

Mr. Hyre is from Alexandria, Virginia and holds a BA in Political Science from Clemson University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of the U.S-Turkmenistan Business Council and is a member of the U.S-Ukraine Business Council’s Executive Committee. He works and resides in Washington, DC. 

CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI) is a global leader in the capital goods sector with established industrial experience, a wide range of products and a worldwide presence. Each of the individual brands belonging to the Company is a major international force in its specific industrial sector: Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr for tractors and agricultural machinery; Case and New Holland Construction for earth moving equipment; Iveco for commercial vehicles; Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus for buses and coaches; Iveco Astra for quarry and construction vehicles; Magirus for firefighting vehicles; Iveco Defence Vehicles for defence and civil protection; and FPT Industrial for engines and transmissions. More information can be found on the corporate website: www.cnhindustrial.com


Andrew Rollo, Vice President for China and Transformational Exports, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Andrew Rollo serves as a Vice President for China and Transformational Exports at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM).  In this role, Andrew helps lead EXIM's efforts to ensure that U.S. exports can compete against exports supported by Chinese subsidies.  Andrew's career is focused on international trade, customs, and national security.  In addition to EXIM, Andrew has worked for the White House, with the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Economic Council (NEC), the Senate Finance Committee (SFC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  Andrew has extensive experience with international investment, trade enforcement and trade facilitation; e-commerce; supply chains; legislative and regulatory processes; interagency coordination; representing the U.S. government before foreign officials and international forums; and providing direction to U.S. departments and agencies on economic, national security, and foreign policy issues. Andrew holds a M.A. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut.


Travis M. Thul, White House Fellow, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Travis Thul serves as a White House Fellow at the Export-Import Bank of the United States and has helped lead the establishment of the bank’s Program on China and Transformational Exports office. Travis is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard, an educator, an engineer, and an entrepreneur. He has led national level security operations and disaster response, including maritime Deputy Incident Commander for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, infrastructure reconstitution in Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria, and Hurricane Florence triage operations. Travis previously served as Dean of Trades and Technology at Minnesota State College Southeast. Here, he and his team of 35 faculty reimagined vocational-technical education. This included the Rural Advanced Manufacturing Education Hub, deploying tech-college education to regional high schools; the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative, raising over M to build rapid prototyping labs; and the world’s first Bicycle Design and Fabrication degree, providing vocational training to Generation Z. Travis also chaired the American National Standards Institute Working Group for Wireless Power. Travis is a licensed Professional Engineer and holder of multiple patents. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, a Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Doctor of Engineering from George Washington University.