Birgit Matthiesen

Director of Canada-US Cross Border Business Affairs
Birgit works with a team of colleagues to assist companies and business groups with cross-border business interests, ranging from import risk mitigation to broader trade competitive objectives.
Birgit Matthiesen, Advisor, Washington DC at Arent Fox

Birgit serves on the advisory board of Global Business Dialogue of Washington DC and has authored numerous articles on trade related policies for media publications. Along with her colleague, David Hamill, Birgit is often asked to provide her trade insight and analysis for industry webinars and executive-level presentations. A complete list of her recent publications and events can be viewed by clicking on the newsroom tab on the Arent Fox website. Birgit’s widely read “Travels in Canada” are designed to provide readers with both a timely but broader perspective of developing US trade policy.

Birgit is a frequent speaker on the NAFTA renegotiations, and works with clients on how they can best position themselves to minimize risks and create competitive opportunities through compliance and understanding of the NAFTA. Birgit's specialties reflect a career building a network of cross-border interests in North America. She previously served as the US Special Advisor to the President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and prior to this role, she served on the Trade and Economic Policy staff at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC. At the Embassy, Birgit provided advice to companies in North America on the NAFTA implementing rules, interpretation of policy and enforcement targeting.

* Birgit is not a member of the legal practice.

Previous Work

Before joining Arent Fox, Birgit served as the Special Advisor to the President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) as their Washington representative. Her responsibilities included advising CME members on US Congressional and Executive Branch actions that would have ramifications for Canadian companies with operations on both sides of the border. While at CME, Birgit cultivated a close working relationship with US business associations, federal and state government offices, and Washington think tanks to advance a North American Manufacturing Common Cause advocacy effort.

Before CME, Birgit was on the Trade and Economic Policy staff at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC, where she served under a number of distinguished Canadian Ambassadors. During her tenure at the Embassy, Birgit worked directly with Canadian companies and associations to identify and ease US legislative and regulatory barriers for their cross-border interests. While at the Embassy, Birgit also became well known in Washington for her exceptional advocacy reach and her unique capacity to showcase and promote the importance of North American competitiveness in a challenging global environment.

Professional Activities

Birgit serves as a board member of The Global Business Dialogue, Inc. (GBD).

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

  • Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award for Public Service 2012
  • Monthly columnist for 2020 Magazine, a publication of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
  • Interviewed by US and Canadian media (C-SPAN, CTV, CBC, Canadian radio)
  • Invited to speak at numerous business meetings in Canada and the United States
  • Co-authored with former Canadian Ambassador Michael Kergin a report for the Canadian International Council titled “A Border Between Friends”
  • Keynote Speaker at the Hamilton Ontario Bay Area Economic Summit

Life Beyond the Law

Birgit has lived in the United States since 1987 and enjoys dual citizenship. She is fluent in French and English.