Cargill Chairman and CEO David MacLennan has laid out a strong case for open and inclusive trade policies in his keynote address at the Financial Times Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland.
MacLennan maintained that the world is at a critical tipping point in international trade policy, and called on industries represented at the event to join together to support the development of sound trade agreements and to be on guard against a growing sentiment toward more restrictive trade measures.
“The success of our companies, our employees and the wider world depends on us making a strong, collective stand for trade,” MacLennan told global commodity leaders assembled at the event.
“It’s our shared responsibility to stand up for trade because it’s good for people and communities. Trade facilitates prosperity and peace by helping us connect and share talent, ideas and markets,” said MacLennan.
In addition to advocating for comprehensive trade agreements, MacLennan argued for public policies that will result in the creation of a “new workforce paradigm” in which the public and private sectors work together to provide ongoing education and training to workers—including those whose jobs are threatened either by the consequences of trade, or by other factors such as greater implementation of robotics and information technology.
MacLennan said, “As companies, we can make sound investments in our future workforce, but public policy and the education system need to keep pace. We all have a role in filling the skills gap.”