Q&A WITH BECKY WATKINS, CRCBFA Education Chair
What brought you in to the International Trade Industry?
Teaching English, and my desire to retain ties to Japan, led me to a position with Nissho-Iwai American Corp. At the time it was the 7th largest trading company in Japan. In Portland they handled all of Nike’s business, including setting up documents for the various Customs brokers. It was my stepping stone into the larger world of trade and Customs brokerage.
What do you love most about being involved with the CRCBFA?
I love the people, the level of interest and the ever-evolving ideas that help propel the CRCBFA forward.
In your career so far, what has been the best moment?
That’s easy. The best moments are when I see the “ahha moment”, or the dawning of how the pieces in trade fit together, in clients’ or colleagues’ eyes.
If you could instantly become an expert on any one aspect of this industry, what would it be and why?
ADD/CVD because it is a far reaching Priority Trade Issue that has and will have great impact on both broker and importers for a long time to come. I think it is complicated both in regulation and in practice and is often misunderstood.
If you could have dinner with anyone from CBP or one of the other 40 government agencies who would you have dinner with and what would you ask them?
Richard DiNucci. Given his 20+ years of working with CBP, and especially given his role with C-TPAT, ISF and the Safe Port Act initiative, I would ask him about trade safety. Although he could not share numbers, it would be interesting to hear how many potential acts of terrorism or efforts to harm US citizens have been thwarted as a result of CBP’s initiatives.
If this industry had a mascot, what would it be, and what would its name be?
This industry’s mascot would be the Elephant; an animal which is large, highly intelligent, sometimes slow-moving and has the ability to use human language cues to discriminate the level of risk groups of people pose. Its name would be Shirley (as in slow but surely/steady).
What are some of your favorite place to visit in the Columbia River region?
My favorite places are many and all include good hiking trails, amazing views and all the best Oregon has to offer.