Third Annual Diplomatic Conference Hosted at UVU


Ambassadors, consul generals, and trade commissioners gathered at Utah Valley University on Nov. 5, for the third annual Diplomatic Conference in Utah. The conference provided an opportunity to dialogue with local government, business professionals, academicians, students, and the public. Discussions centered around free trade, foreign investment, innovation and technology, and sustainability.

UVU’s Office for Global Engagement sponsored the event with President Astrid S. Tuminez as host. The conference was promoted in partnership with by Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah State Legislature, the Utah Consular Corps, the World Trade Center of Utah, U.S. Commercial Services, U.S. Department of State Foreign Missions, Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, chambers of commerce, universities, and local nongovernmental organizations. 

The lunch speaker, Wade Jacoby, a BYU political science professor and author, told the audience international trade is tricky.

“As a country’s consumption falls, business has less incentive to invest, and that falls too,” said Jacoby. “If that happens, then the only source of growth left is trade — making money through exports because either consumption or investment (or both) become weak sources of growth.”

He said in the U.S., those without an education are deeply impacted by the current economic model, which leads to not just exporting goods — but also jobs.

“The least educated are the most hurt, but the pain can hit quite a few households and hit them quite hard. And as a country, we’ve done a generally terrible job of retraining or otherwise helping those most hurt,” Jacoby said. 

Utah Valley University’s open-admission policy and dual mission, which offers a wide array of educational opportunities, from professional certification to associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, were identified as a solution.

“Here’s where UVU comes in. Its dual mission can make a big difference, particularly in getting nontraditional students the education, training, and credentials to compete in a modern economy,” Jacoby said. “This would help address the inequality problems at the root of our trouble.”

For a summary of Professor Jacoby’s remarks, click here.

Utah Valley University Professor Wade Jacoby

Flags displayed at the 3rd annual diplomatic confrence at Utah Valley University.