US Government Selects Clipper Chairman & CEO Lina Hu to Represent Foodservice Industry on Trade Committee

The Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative have jointly named Lina Hu, Chairman/CEO of Clipper Corporation to represent the foodservice and hospitality sectors on the government’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business. Clipper is a leading global designer, manufacturer and distributor of restaurant supplies and uniforms to market-leading foodservice and retail companies.

Hu arrived in America in 1992 with no contacts and unable to speak English yet went on to start Clipper and build it into a successful company with numerous clients including Burger King Corporation, Denny’s Restaurants, Darden (Capital Grille, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse), UPS and Target Stores. Now with this new appointment, she will provide knowledge to be used by the U.S. government to pursue trade objectives that reflect the concerns and interests of the private sector.

The Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs) are unique public-private partnerships, jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of United States Trade Representative, that engage business leaders in formulating U.S. trade policy which impacts the international economy. The ITACs provide detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations regarding trade barriers, negotiation of trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting industry sectors; and perform other advisory functions relevant to U.S. trade policy matters

The ITACs’ efforts assist the United States in putting forward unified positions when it negotiates trade agreements. The ITACs address market-access problems; barriers to trade; tariff levels; discriminatory foreign procurement practices; and information, marketing, and advocacy needs of their industry sectors. Specific factors Hu will advise on include patterns of actual and potential competition between United States industry and foreign enterprise in international trade along with the character of the nontariff barriers and other distortions affecting such competition.

One of Hu’s first responsibilities in this new role will be to represent the Unites States along with U.S. Trade Representatives and other council members this December at the World Trade Organization's 8th Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations and had a primary function of ensuring that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

"As a foreign-born, female, business-owning American, it is a great honor to be asked to provide my insight to help our government build a competitive landscape for current and future entrepreneurs," states Clipper Chairman/CEO and Founder Lina Hu, the only member on the committee from the foodservice and hospitality industries.

Hu’s role on the Committee will not interfere with her role as Chairman/CEO of Clipper. The Committee meets in Washington DC throughout the year at the call of the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative, currently Rebecca M. Blank and Ron Kirk, respectively. Blank promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans while overseeing nearly 47,000 employees worldwide. Kirk serves as America's chief trade negotiator and is a principal advisor to the President of the United States of America.

Visit to learn more about the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business.