A group of students from the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, and from the Texas A&M School of Law recently interviewed Texas A&M President Michael K. Young regarding his insights on trade barriers in North America, the subject of a capstone research project. President Young has special expertise in this area, having served as ambassador for trade and environmental affairs in the Department of State during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. During his tenure, he assisted in the formation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a key component of the students’ research.
“It is really a privilege to have a university president so willing to engage with students,” said Benjamin Dierker, a second-year student at the Bush School who participated in the interview. “President Young has such a wide breadth of knowledge, and his insight really elevated the caliber of our report.”
As a part of the capstone research project, students at the Bush School and TAMU Law School interviewed a number of stakeholders in the trucking and freight industry in North America in order to determine trade barriers that exist as trucks move across North America. President Young was interviewed in order to provide background on the many trade provisions within NAFTA and their impact on trade among North American countries. The capstone research project is the first joint capstone effort between the Bush School and the Texas A&M Law School. President Young currently has a faculty appointment at both schools.
Capstones at the Bush School are team-based, applied research projects led by a faculty member and conducted on behalf of a client organization from the public, private, or nonprofit sector. The North American Trade Barriers Capstone is conducting research on behalf of the North American Strategy for Competitiveness, a tri-national network of North American governments, businesses, and educational institutions driven by a common interest in collaboration along commercial corridors and trade networks. The capstone group includes two semi-independent teams: one researching trade barriers at the US-Mexico and US-Canada border and among US states along I-35 and a second team researching “Buy America” legislation and its effects on American consumers. The capstone is led by Dr. Jeryl Mumpower, head of the Public Service and Administration Department, and Executive Professor William Henning of the Law School.