Business icon and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and former Senator and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus provide illuminating analysis on issues of trade and taxes, offering varied perspective and tangible insights for organizations across industries.
As the former head of the Senate Finance Committee (2007-2014) and Ambassador to China (2014-2017), Baucus adds an insider’s nuance to the debates on U.S. taxes, sanctions and tariffs; Asia’s advancement of their own trade agreements with other nations; and the evolving landscape imposed by Europe’s shifting trade environment and the wave of protectionism worldwide.
A bestselling author and renowned authority on monetary policy and the global economy, Forbes brings his tremendous business and political acumen to the conversation surrounding tax structure and international trade relations.
The resulting combination is masterful insight on our trade alliances, the impact of new tax policies, and the effects on the economy and political landscape.
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Former United States Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus is a leading voice on business, public policy, and international affairs. In his years as an elected official and diplomat, Baucus was engaged in the most consequential issues of the past half-century, and continues to provide counsel as co-founder of the Baucus Group.
Montana's longest-serving senator Baucus established himself as one of the Senate’s most productive and least partisan members, building a record of accomplishment on a broad range of policy issues both domestic and foreign. As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee for seven years, Baucus served as the principal author and advocate for the Affordable Care Act, and led the passage and enactment of Free Trade Agreements with 11 countries and worked to increase U.S. exports by knocking down trade barriers. He was also deeply involved in orchestrating congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations with China in 2000 and in facilitating China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001, and is credited with holding China accountable on issues of intellectual property, human rights and currency.
In-demand by numerous private companies and public organizations, Baucus currently serves on the board of directors of Ingram Micro and previously served on the board of advisors to Alibaba Group until May of 2019, and the External Advisory Board to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency until July of 2019. He now devotes much of his time to the Max S. Baucus Institute at the University of Montana, founded to give young adults opportunities in politics, government, and overseas studies.
Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, and an internationally respected authority in the worlds of economics, finance, and corporate leadership. With the economy at the forefront of conversation on a global level, Mr. Forbes offers long-standing insights that capitalism, free markets, and a flat tax are essential to a healthy economy. This is a message Mr. Forbes has been delivering as editor of one of the world’s most successful business magazines for decades, and he continues to be one of the most sought-after speakers on this and other economic issues leading the economic debates around the world.
Max Baucus is a former United States senator and ambassador to China, active today in business, public policy, and international affairs. In his years as an elected official and diplomat he was engaged in the most consequential issues of the past half-century, and continues to provide counsel as co-founder of the Baucus Group. He is a native of Montana – the state where he was raised in a ranching family, appeared on the ballot nine times, and never lost an election.
After earning degrees in economics and law at Stanford University, he took up the legal profession and by 1973 held his first public office, as a Montana state representative. The following year, he was elected to the first of two terms as congressman from Montana’s first district, serving in the House during the post-Watergate years of the Ford and Carter presidencies. In all, his Congressional career extended across seven presidential administrations, during which time he gained a reputation as a determined, capable legislator who worked easily with colleagues.
First elected to the Senate in 1978, Baucus went on to be his state’s longest-serving senator, and a steady legislative influence in the tradition of his friend and political model, Montana’s Senator Mike Mansfield. On a broad range of policy issues both domestic and foreign, he established himself as one of the Senate’s most productive and least partisan members, building a record of accomplishment in areas from agriculture and environmental protection to public works, taxes, and trade. As a home-state newspaper put it, “those who knew him best say Baucus was a senator who worked the legislative trenches to tackle problems he saw facing Montana, rural America and the nation – regardless of the politics.”
On the Senate Agriculture Committee, he led in securing reauthorization of numerous farm bills. As a member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, he guided many highway bills and other infrastructure legislation to passage. He was Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, and was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – or “Super Committee” – the Congressional effort to stabilize government finances in the years after the crisis of 2008.
During his fifth term, Senator Baucus rose to the chairmanship of the Committee on Finance, a position of far-reaching responsibility. During his seven-year tenure as chairman, he was the principal author and advocate for the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. He led as well in gaining approval for new free trade agreements with 11 nations.
A longtime supporter of a broader, rule-based trading system, the Senator was instrumental in opening permanent normal trade relations with China, and in promoting that country’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization.
With his sixth term drawing to a close, Senator Baucus announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014. That same year, President Obama nominated him to be America’s ambassador to China. Confirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate, he represented the United States in that post until January 2017.
Following his diplomatic assignment, Senator Baucus and his wife Melodee Hanes formed the Baucus Group LLC. He currently serves on the board of directors of Ingram Micro and previously served on the board of advisors to Alibaba Group until may of 2019, and the External Advisory Board to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency until July of 2019. He now devotes much of his time to the Max S. Baucus Institute at the University of Montana, founded to give young adults opportunities in politics, government, and overseas studies.
The Senator and Melodee Hanes have a blended family of two sons, a daughter, and two granddaughters, and make their home in Bozeman,
Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.
Steve’s newest project is the podcast “What’s Ahead,” where he engages the world’s top newsmakers, politicians and pioneers in business and economics in honest conversations meant to challenge traditional conventions as well as featuring Steve’s signature views on the intersection of society, economics and policy.
Steve helped create the recently released and highly acclaimed public television documentary, In Money We Trust?, which was produced under the auspices of Maryland Public television. The film was inspired by the book he co-authored, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.
Steve’s latest book is Reviving America: How Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity co-authored by Elizabeth Ames (McGraw-Hill Professional).
Steve writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.
In both 1996 and 2000, Steve campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for the Presidency. Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings accounts, a new Social Security system for working Americans, parental choice of schools for their children, term limits and a strong national defense. Steve continues to energetically promote this agenda.