We advocate at the state and federal levels, representing the needs of our members and the greater Louisiana business community when it comes to policy that impacts international trade. We support legislation that can enhance the business environment for local and foreign direct investment, which enables Louisiana-based companies to explore and expand into overseas markets. Our partnerships with government and economic development agencies, institutions and NGO’s enhance our advocacy capabilities at all levels of government.

Top Policy Priorities

  • Logistics and Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties
  • Small and Medium Size Business Development
  • Water and Coastal
  • Agriculture and Food
The industry committee system was created to ensure that the organization’s advocacy efforts adequately reflect stakeholder and member interests. Committees meet on a monthly or quarterly basis and access is limited to eligible WTCNO members and investors.

The industry committees of the WTCNO are comprised of executives and experts from the public and private sector. Committee members provide advice and expertise on specific areas and issues pertinent to Louisiana industries. Committee discussions are shaped by current challenges, threats, opportunities, and trends affecting Louisiana’s industry sectors.

If you’re interested in joining or initiating an industry committee, please contact:

Policy Committee

The Policy Committee acts as a sounding board for each of our individual committees. This committee discusses local, regional and national projects and policies impacting international trade policy and determines the level of advocacy needed to address various issues.

Policy Committee Chair: Hon. Edward T. Hayes, Partner, Leake and Andersson, LLP
Co-Chair: Ben Billings, Principal, Sentinel Strategies

International Business Committee

The International Business Committee hosts speakers and reviews and recommends policy positions to strengthen the development of international trade, investment, and related services in Louisiana. The committee actively takes steps to ensure that the business environment in Louisiana is attractive and profitable for potential international investors and organizations.

International Business Committee Chair: Michael Olivier, Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Committee of 100
Vice-Chair: Larry Collins, Executive Director, Office of International Commerce, Louisiana Economic Development

Transportation Committee

The Transportation Committee discusses regional transportation and infrastructure initiatives, and recommends and highlights policies and projects that will increase awareness of Louisiana’s multi-modal transportation system, including policies and regulations relevant to Louisiana’s trade economy.

Transportation Committee Chair: William “Billy” App, Jr., President & CEO, J.W. Allen & Co., Inc.
Vice-Chair: Kristi App, Vice President, Business Development
Vice-Chair: Robert “Rusty” Barkerding, Jr., President, Admiral Security Services, Inc.

Agriculture, Specialty Food & Beverage Committee

The Agriculture, Specialty Food & Beverage Committee provides purpose and voice to Louisiana’s food, beverage and agriculture sector. With respect to international trade, this committee aims to enhance Louisiana’s ability to strengthen export/import opportunities for agriculture and food-based businesses.

Agriculture and Specialty Food & Beverage Committee Chair: Rene Simon, Director of LAFA, Louisiana Department of Agriculture

Energy, Manufacturing & Value-Add Committee

The Energy, Manufacturing and Value-Add Committee recommends policy positions and programs to strengthen development of Louisiana’s energy sector, including existing growth industries such as petro/chem and emerging industries such as LNG. The Committee also engages with manufacturing companies to explore value-add opportunities within the state and region.

Energy, Manufacturing & Value-Add Committee Chair: Eric Smith, Tulane Energy Institute