And Mexicoâ€™s candidate to head the WTO
, Herminio Blanco
, is a heavyweight.
Blancoâ€™s heavyweight credentials begin with the Ph.D. in Economics he
earned at the University of Chicago
His career quickly took off that year: he became senior advisor to Mexicoâ€™s finance minister.
taught economics at Rice University
, in Houston, Texas, from 1980 â€" 1985; from 1985 â€" 1988 he
was a member of the Council of Economic Advisors
, which advised President Miguel de la Madrid, an economic reformer.
As vice-minister for international trade negotiations in 1993 and 1994, Blanco
was Mexicoâ€™s chief trade negotiator, leading his
country into the successful completion of the Gattâ€™s Uruguay Round in 1994.
He then went on to become minister for trade and industry, serving until 2000.
lead the Mexican governmentâ€™s lobbying to approve the Nafta trade deal with Canada and the United States
- no small political accomplishment, and a valuable education in what universities call â€œpolitical economy.â€
In the last decade, Blancoâ€™s been active in the private sector: member of the boards of CYDSA
, the Mexican chemical manufacturer, and of the countryâ€™s leading bank, BANORTE; and also of the pro-trade Cordell Hull Institute
In 2002 Blanco founded and became chairman of the board of Soluciones Estrategicas, which provides high-tech security - associated with cloud computing, database protections, and so forth - with IT security providers like Websense and Palo Alto.
And in 2005 he founded IQOM Inteligencia Comercial, which provides online daily analysis of government trade measures that affect corporations involved in Latin America.