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Shanker Singham

Director of International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs

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Shanker Singham

Shanker Singham is a UK and US citizen and one of the world’s leading trade and competition lawyers, a recognized author and advisor to governments and companies.

He has authored the leading academic textbook on the subject of trade, competition, and regulatory frameworks, as well as lectured, written and spoken extensively, including over one hundred articles and book chapters. He has been featured in various articles and media publications surrounding his expertise in the fields of trade and competition. His more recent developments have been in the areas of Anti-Competitive Market Distortions and the efforts to reduce barriers to free trade on a global basis. Shanker has also begun work on identifying and measuring international inhibitors to entrepreneurship and the successful creation of the preconditions necessary for individuals’ success. He is the founder of the International Roundtable on Trade and Competition (1997), the Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities Project (“CECP”) (2013), and the lead author of the SRB economic model to measure Anti-Competitive Market Distortions. He has worked on a number of trade negotiations including the Free Trade Area of the Americas, US-Colombia, US-Peru, US-Panama, TTIP, and TPP. He was also co-chair of the small business working group of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue.

Shanker is CEO of Competere Ltd., a company focused on promoting international trade and competition policy throughout the world. He is also the Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit (ITCU) at the Institute of Economic Affairs and is an IEA Academic Fellow. The ITCU is focused on providing advice to the UK government, industry and media on the Brexit negotiations, among other trade policy issues. As one of the world’s leading trade and competition lawyers, he has worked on the privatization of the UK electricity market, the transition of the Soviet, Central and Eastern European economies and the apertura in Latin America. He has worked on the accession of Poland and Hungary to the EU, the WTO accessions of a number of countries, including China and Russia. He built the Latin American trade practice of Steel Hector and Davis in Miami and led the market access practices of Steel Hector and Davis in Miami, and Squire Sanders in Washington, DC. He has lived in London, Hong Kong, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

He was educated at St. Paul’s School, London and has an M.A in Chemistry from Balliol College, Oxford University and postgraduate legal degrees in both the UK and US (at the Guildford College of Law, and University of Miami Law School).

Shanker founded the Roundtable on Trade and Competition in 1997 as a way of promoting the notion of free trade, competitive markets and property rights protection around the world, having learned the lessons of the openings in the former Soviet sphere, Latin America and China and India’s re-insertion into the global economy.

Shanker is a cleared advisor to the United States Trade Representative and Department of Commerce and is a Non-Government Adviser to the International Competition Network. He has also been a senior trade and economics adviser to a number of political candidates including Democratic Governors Lawton Chiles and Buddy McKay of Florida as well as Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign of 2016. He briefly ran for Governor of Maryland in 2013/4 in the Republican primary.

He has worked with governments and multi-national companies on trade, competition and regulatory issues in fifty countries around the world. Between 1997 and 2005, he chaired the International Roundtable on Trade and Competition which hosted an annual meeting in Miami for the heads of competition agencies in Latin America, as well as other government ministries. Between 2005 and 2008, the Roundtable hosted a meeting in Singapore for Asian competition agencies.

He is regularly quoted on issues of trade, competition, regulatory systems and their ability to lift the poor out of poverty. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Cosmos Club.

Shanker Singham Sessions

  • June 19, 2019 @ 10:45 am - 11:45 am

    Invisible Borders and the Movement of Goods: AEOs and the Future of Government/Private Sector Partnerships

    This panel will discuss border development and government-private sector partnerships to facilitate movement of goods, including Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programs and progress under the SAFE Framework. The panel will include a discussion on the Iceberg Theory of border control, i.e., alternative compliance measures, inspections and controls away from the frontier in the light of major Customs challenges like Brexit....

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