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What Does the USMCA Mean for Texas?
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 to Sunday, July 28, 2019
Category: Optional Meeting


2019 Optional Meeting • July 24-28 • Montreal, Canada

Register for the meeting

This conference will explore topics on global relations and trade between the United States and Canada, with a specific focus on Texas’ place in that trade environment. The United States and Canada have long had strong ties that span military, economic, and cultural relationships, as well as the largest trading relationship of any two nations in the world. Trade with the United States’ closest neighbors in Canada and Mexico is an important economic driver for our country and for Texas. Texas sells $27 billion in goods and services to Canada alone, and 460,000 jobs in Texas depend on trade and investment with Canada. Maintaining this important trading relationship is vital to economic growth and job creation for both Texas and Canada.

For more than 25 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) drove the strong trading relationship between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAFTA was renegotiated last fall into the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This updated trade deal was the result of nearly two years of tumultuous negotiations and political debate about the benefits and costs of the original NAFTA Agreement and trade overall. While the USMCA was signed by leaders from all three countries, it must still be ratified by legislative bodies in each country.

Conference attendees will hear discussions on topics of global relations and leadership, the latest developments in trade, and the impact this issue has on our communities and economies back home.

Hotel Information

Dates: Wednesday, July 24-Sunday, July 28
Hotel: Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
Location: 900 René-Lévesque Blvd W., Montreal, QC H3B 4A5, Canada 
Rate: $309 CAD (Fairmont View: King/Double room), $379 CAD (Jnr Suite: King + parlor w/ pullout)
Make a reservation:


We recommend flying into Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport- YUL.

Registration Rates

Directors/Alumni/ Guests (Day & Night activities): $750
Day Pass (Thurs/Fri 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. conference sessions only): $500 
Night Pass (guests/spouses): $500
Children: $300
Cancellation & Refunds


Wednesday, July 24

 5:30-7:30 p.m. —  Reception at Consul General’s Residence 

Attire: Business  

Thursday, July 25

9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Sessions at Montreal Science Centre (includes lunch)

Attire: Business Casual  

Setting the Stage: A Primer on TradeMatt Rooney, Managing Director, Economic Growth, George W. Bush Institute
What Does Trade Mean to Texas? | Patrick Schaefer, Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness
Conversation with the U.S. Consul General | Consul General Robert ThomasUnited States Consul General Montreal
The USMCA: What Is It and Will It Be Ratified? | Matt Rooney, Managing Director, Economic Growth, George W. Bush Institute & Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
An Insider's Look at Trade NegotiationsRon Kirk, Senior Of Counsel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

4:30-9 p.m. — Folkloric Evening at Sucrerie de la Montagne "Sugar Shack" (authentic maple farm)

Attire: Dressy Casual  

Includes dinner and tour; 120 maximum; children welcome

Friday, July 26

9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Sessions at The Phi Center (includes lunch)

Attire: Business Casual  

Trade, Tariffs, and Their Effects on BusinessFerio Pugliese, Senior Vice President, Air Canada Express and Government Relations; Helene Gagnon, VP, Public Affairs and Global Communications, CAE; TBD from Toyota North America; Moderated by Matt Rooney, Managing Director, Economic Growth, George W. Bush Institute 
The Practical Implications of Trade on Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses | Jeffery Wagstaff, CEO, Cosnova; Jean-Pierre Guay, Sention VP of Operations, McLean Power Systems | Moderator: Jean-Marc Clement, Clement Legal Study
Trilateral Relationships in EnergyKurt Knight-Turcan, Enbridge; Gary Sutherland, HydroQuebec
Borders and Immigration | Jason Leffler, Customs and Border Protection Attache to Canada

5-9 p.m. — Cirque du Soleil Dinner & Tour
Attire: Dressy Casual  

100 maximum; no children; see child care options below.

Saturday, July 27

Open — Optional Tours or explore Montreal on your own
See options below; additional fees apply.

8-11 p.m. — Cocktails and Fireworks Display, Auberge du Vieux-Port
Attire: Dressy Casual  

120 maximum; children welcome

Saturday Optional Tours

These tours are just a few options you may choose for your free Saturday in Montreal. You are also free to explore Montreal on your own. Please note: If not enough spots are reserved for the Old Montreal Tour, Montreal Mural Tour, or Beyond the Market Food Tour, the tour company reserves the right to combine tour groups. Deadline to register for these tours: Friday, June 28.

Old Montreal Tour - 20 maximum - $22 USD (3-5:30 p.m.)
It’s like a Montréal 101, for those who are willing to leave the Old Town. Our walking tour from historic Old Montréal up to the funky borough of the Plateau Mont-Royal. Learn about our city’s foundation, see architectural gems you won’t find on any tourist map and some of your guide’s favorite institutions along the entertainment district. This walking tour of the city is also your chance to see street art and pop in for a snack and drink along the way.
Montreal Mural Tour - 20 maximum - $22 USD (1-3 p.m.)
Over recent years Saint-Laurent boulevard has been transformed into the country’s premier street art corridor. Since the creation of the first graffiti culture gathering over 20 years ago, the more recent MURAL Festival, municipal and public non-profit organizations, our city, and rightly so, has become a world leader in the urban arts scene.
Beyond the Market Food Tour - 10 maximum - $65 USD (1-4 p.m.)
Where to eat in Montreal? We’ve got you covered. The city’s best food tour takes you to at least 6 of your local guide’s favourite eateries and watering holes. From artisanal charcuteries to thirst quenching craft beers, discover the surrounding areas of Jean-Talon, our largest food market on our walking tour!
Quebec Day Trip - 12 minimum, 14 maximum - $400 USD (7 a.m.-9 p.m.)
Includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tour will only take place if minimum number of people (12) register. You will be invoiced for this experience once this tour is confirmed.

Vieux-Québec (Old Québec City) was recognized as a World Heritage Treasure by UNESCO in 1985. Place Royale and the National Assembly will provide visitors with the opportunity to discover a rich past that blends with the daily life of this charming city. Included are stops at historic buildings, the Plains of Abraham - site of the decisive, final battle between the armies of Montcalm and Wolfe - and Le Petit Champlain, the oldest street in North America. Explore the winding streets and lanes of the older sections of the city. Shoppers will delight in the excellent selection of antiques, local art and specialty goods all available within easy walking distance.

7:00-10:00 a.m.: Transfer to Quebec City with guide
10:00-11:30 a.m.: Orientation bus tour w/ step-on local guide
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Lunch at a selected restaurant
1:00-2:00 p.m.: Second portion of tour
2:00-4:00 p.m.: Free time to explore the city
4:00-6:00 p.m.: Dinner at a selected restaurant
6:00-9:00 p.m.: Transfer back to Montreal to guide

Additional Tour Companies You May Book on Your Own

Fitz & Follwell
Spade & Palacio Tours

Babysitting Options

Friday evening's Cirque du Soleil Dinner & Tour is not a kid-friendly event. If you need childcare for this evening, you may contact the concierge at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth to assist you in reserving a sitter for the evening ([email protected]). The cost will be around $25/hour with a 3-hour minimum. Please contact the concierge no later than two weeks prior to the meeting for reservations.

You can also use to find local childcare. 

Sponsorship opportunities
Register for the meeting

Cancellation and Refunds

As Directors of the Lyceum, we have a fiduciary responsibility to the organization. Optional Meetings in particular have increased costs that we incur for each attendee and typically require final counts sooner than in-state meetings. In light of that, we ask you to follow the guidelines below for you and your guests:

  • Cancellation requests must be submitted by email to [email protected] on or before Wednesday, July 17.
  • A $75 cancellation fee will apply for each cancellation received prior to the deadline.
  • No refunds will be made after the deadline.
  • Excursions are non-refundable from time of registration.