WMU News

Free versus fair trade examined in economics lecture

Oct. 13, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A leading authority on trade will be the first speaker in this year's Werner Sichel Lecture-Seminar Series at Western Michigan University.

The 2004-05 series, which will focus on "Regional Economic Development: Current Issues," begins Wednesday, Oct. 20, with William Schweke, vice president at the Corporation for Enterprise Development and former president of Interchange, a firm specializing in public policy exchange between the United States and Europe. His presentation begins at 3 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall and is titled "Getting Beyond Argument and Invective: Can we Bridge the Gap Between Free and Fair Trade Advocates."

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Schweke is a specialist in development finance, plant closings, small and community business, environmentally compatible development and local development planning. He has written reports on investing pension funds in business development, operating small business initiatives, designing and running statewide and local economic adjustment programs, reforming business incentives and launching urban low-income neighborhood development initiatives.

In his technical assistance work, he has advised a variety of state and local governments, community-based organizations, foundations, trade unions, chambers of commerce, private utilities and governmental authorities in the United States and Great Britain. In the area of training, he has developed courses on rural development, community economic development and local development planning.

His current research focuses on the impact of trade and investment liberalization on domestic economic development policies and practices, plant closings and globalization, economic adjustment programs for displaced workers and business incentive reform.

Schweke is among six nationally known economists who will focus on economic development issues in this year's series. The series is named for a current faculty member and longtime chairperson of the WMU Department of Economics and co-sponsored by the department, the College of Arts and Sciences and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Upcoming speakers and dates of their presentations are:

Nov. 17, Michael I. Luger, professor of public policy, business and planning and director of the Carolina Center for Competitive Economies in the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise at the University of Nor Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jan. 12, Andrew Isserman, professor of urban and regional planning and agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois.

Feb. 2, Stuart Rosenfeld, president of Regional Technology Strategies Inc. in Carrboro, N.C.

Feb. 23, Edward Hill, senior research scholar in the Urban Center and professor in urban studies and public administration at Cleveland State University.

April 6, Ann Markusen, a professor at the University of Minnesota and director of the Institute's Project on Regional and Industrial Economics.

All of the lectures are from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall. The presentations are free and open to the public. In addition to a public lecture, each guest will present a seminar aimed at the economics faculty and graduate students.

This year's series is directed by Dr. Bassam Harik, chair of the WMU Department of Economics. For more information, contact Harik at (269) 387-5536 or <bassam.harik@wmich.edu>. Information also is available on the Web at <www.wmich.edu/economics/sichelsem.htm>.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400