The NZ US Council notes with great sadness the passing of Ambassador Clayton Yeutter ONZM on 4th March 2017.
Ambassador Yeutter was a highly-respected advocate for trade liberalisation over many years in a range of important roles. He served as US Trade Representative from 1985-1989 and as US Secretary of Agriculture from 1989-1991 and as Counselor to President George H. W. Bush in 1992, amongst other notable roles during his remarkable professional career. After leaving Government, he continued to share his wisdom on international trade in his capacity as Senior Advisor at Hogan Lovells US LLP.
Ambassador Yeutter co-chaired the inaugural US NZ Partnership Forum in Washington DC in 2006, alongside Rt. Hon Jim Bolger. This was an important event in the process of warming up the US-NZ bilateral relationship. He also co-chaired the 2007 USNZ Partnership Forum, alongside Rt Hon Mike Moore. He was a key member of the US delegation that attended the US-NZ Partnership Forum in February 2011 which was disrupted by the Christchurch earthquake. During the 2013 US NZ Partnership Forum in Washington DC, Ambassador Yeutter took part in an impressive panel discussion on global trade alongside five other former US Trade Representatives.
Ambassador Yeutter was made an Honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 New Year Honours, for services to New Zealand–United States relations. He was a great thinker, an inspirational leader, a kind friend and he had a wonderful smile. Rest in peace Clayton, we will miss you.