A Love-Hate Relationship

UCSB’s Economic Forecast Project presents its 37th Annual Santa Barbara Economic Summits

Few topics are as hot these days as trade, so it’s appropriate the subject will be the star of the show at UC Santa Barbara’s 37th Annual Economic Forecast Project (EFP) Economic Summit, where speakers will take on trade agreements — and disagreements — including the North American Free Trade Agreement, the costs and benefits of trade and trade/budget deficits, cross-border trade/travel and immigrant labor markets.

Titled “Trade: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It,” this year’s South and North County summits will take place on Tuesday, May 8 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, 1214 State Street, and on Wednesday, May 9 at the Santa Maria Radisson, 3455 Airpark Drive.

“The last year has witnessed substantial changes in regulations, rhetoric and record rainfall situations. The Economic Summit will analyze these changes and discuss how they affect all of us,” said EFP Executive Director Peter Rupert, who will present the latest in local and regional economic trends.

This year, both summits will feature the same topics and speakers:

Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign minister of Mexico. Castañeda served under former President Vicente Fox. A renowned public intellectual, political scientist and prolific writer, he has an interest in U.S.-Mexican/Latin American relations, including migration, trade and security. He is currently a Global Distinguished Professor of Politics at New York University.

Megan McArdle, a columnist for the Washington Post. Author of “The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success,” McArdle has written for the Daily Beast, Newsweek and The Economist and founded the blog “Asymmetrical Information.”

Amity Shlaes, an author and political commentator. She is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression.” She chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and serves as Presidential Scholar at the King’s College in New York City.

Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez, the current Mexican Consul serving the Tri-County region since 2016. As a career diplomat, he has served in many high-level positions in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including appointments to embassies and consulates in Cuba, Hungary, Puerto Rico, Texas and California.

Peter Rupert, the executive director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project. Rupert also is the associate director of the UCSB Laboratory for Aggregate Finance with Nobel Laureate Finn Kydland. He has served as a senior research advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for 13 years.

South County Summit

The South County Summit kicks off at about 7:30 a.m. with a breakfast reception on State Street in front of the Granada Theatre. The program will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. with a welcome from UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang and EFP South County Board of Directors Chair Karen Chackel. Rupert will then present a brief primer on trade.

After the preliminaries, the program’s speakers will take the stage. Each will give a roughly 15-minute presentation, followed by an approximately 30-minute presentation on local economic trends from Peter Rupert.

At about 10:30 a.m. the panelists return to the stage for a discussion moderated by McArdle, and the program closes shortly after 11 a.m.

North County Summit

The North County’s breakfast reception begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Radisson in Santa Maria. The program begins at 8 a.m. with a brief welcome from EFP North County Board Chair Karen O’Neil, followed by Rupert's presentation on trade.

At roughly 8:25 a.m. the speakers take the stage with their presentations, followed by a 25-minute segment from Rupert on local economic trends. At about 9:50 a.m., the speakers return for a panel discussion, again moderated by McArdle, and the program closes at approximately 10:30 a.m.


The summits are open to the public; admission for the South County Summit is $200 per person; cost for UCSB students is $25. Admission to the North County program is $50 per person. Copies of the 2018 Economic Outlook reports are included with admission.

For tickets to and information about the South County event, visit www.artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu; or call the Arts & Lectures box office at (805) 893-3535.

For event information, call (805) 893-5148. Tickets may be purchased for the North County event at the door on the day of the summit.

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