11 episodes

Hinrich Foundation is a unique Asia-based philanthropic organization that works to advance mutually beneficial and sustainable global trade. We believe sustainable global trade strengthens relationships between nations and improves people’s lives. We support original research and education programs that build understanding and leadership in global trade. Our approach is independent, fact-based and objective.

Current Accounts: The Hinrich Foundation Trade Podcast Host: Stewart Paterson

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Hinrich Foundation is a unique Asia-based philanthropic organization that works to advance mutually beneficial and sustainable global trade. We believe sustainable global trade strengthens relationships between nations and improves people’s lives. We support original research and education programs that build understanding and leadership in global trade. Our approach is independent, fact-based and objective.

    Special Ep. - A trade talk with Keith Rockwell

    Special Ep. - A trade talk with Keith Rockwell

    In this special edition of Current Accounts, the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast on global trade, Patrícia Vasconcellos from the US Association of Foreign Press Correspondents and Keith Rockwell, former WTO director and senior research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation delve into the evolving global trade patterns. 

    There is a notable shift in global trade patterns, particularly in case of the US. This is a result of deliberate decoupling initiatives spanning two successive US administrations, marked by tariffs on Chinese imports. The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, sometimes characterized as NAFTA 2.0, emerges as a pivotal factor, fostering enhanced trade relations among the US, Mexico, and Canada. Proximity and integrated economies, as well as the challenges in global shipping routes, contribute to Mexico's increasing competitiveness in supply chains, especially in areas like electric vehicle (EV) production.

    The Biden administration's trade policy alignment with its predecessor reflects a prevailing skeptisim towards trade. Prioritizing industrial and environmental policies, the administration has achieved significant legislative milestones, including the infrastructure bill, semiconductor bill, and the Inflation Reduction Act. That said, the convergence of trade and environmental policies, particularly in the context of EV production and domestic manufacturing requirements, poses a challenge in realizing the government's multifaceted policy objectives.

    Moreover, the ongoing conflicts, such as those in Ukraine and the Middle East, continue to have physical and economic repercussions to global trade. The uncertainty surrounding the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting's ability to forge comprehensive agreements is heightened by challenges ranging from agricultural disputes to disagreements on e-commerce and tariff issues. 

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    Tune into the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast series for insights on international trade.

    • 38 min
    Special Ep. - Why the WTO can't find a path to consensus

    Special Ep. - Why the WTO can't find a path to consensus

    In this special edition of Current Accounts, the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast on global trade, Alan Herrera of the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in the United States (AFPC-USA) and Hinrich Foundation Head of Trade Policy Deborah Elms explore the complexities of decision-making within the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the 13th Ministerial Conference looms.

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    Getting 166 diverse staff to agree on a single lunch order without a boss is a difficult exercise. This is, roughly, an analogy to the situation facing the WTO. Consensus-based decision making has become increasingly strenuous as membership grows and the agenda for managing global trade expands.

    Over the years, the WTO and its predecessor the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade have tried to provide alternative pathways to getting to yes. Key among these are agreements between smaller subsets of members before they are offered organization wide. While recent experiences with the Joint Statement Initiatives puts forward some reason for optimism, the broadening scope of challenges facing the trade policy landscape is poised to underscore more questions than answers for the future of the multilateral trading system.

    Tune in to this special episode of Current Accounts, based on our policy brief titled “The challenge of getting to yes at the WTO” authored by Hinrich Foundation Head of Trade policy Deborah Elms. 

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    Tune into the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast series for insights on international trade.

    • 37 min
    Special Ep. - The semiconductor trade wars

    Special Ep. - The semiconductor trade wars

    The semiconductor is at the forefront of the convergence of global trade and geopolitics.

    McKinsey projects the industry will reach a trillion dollars by 2030, up from US$574 billion last year according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

    The industry, however, is increasingly at the mercy of the most intense geopolitical contest in the world today. Makers of the world’s most advanced chips are based in a handful of countries, though they depend on tens of thousands of components and hundreds of suppliers across the planet. Much of the brain trust for the tech design of advanced chips is American while much of the market demand for chips as components to assemble final products lies in China. The two superpowers are locked in a battle for global domination on nearly every level, including in the semiconductor space.

    Can US allies in the handful of key chokepoints in the chip supply chain, including Taiwan and the Netherlands, be counted on to keep foregoing trade with China in service of US objectives? And is the industry built for the kind of self-sufficiency that both the US and China appear to want for themselves?   

    US chip giant Intel Corp.’s Senior Policy Director and Managing Legal Counsel Robb Gordon joins us for a podcast with our partners at the think tank Pacific Forum, moderated by the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents-USA. Pacific Forum authored a series of papers for the Hinrich Foundation on the American friend-shoring policy, including a paper on de-risking semiconductor supply chains.

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    Tune into the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast series for insights on international trade.

    • 37 min
    Special Ep. - Decarbonizing the global steel industry

    Special Ep. - Decarbonizing the global steel industry

    In this special edition of Current Accounts, the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast on global trade, guest host Nii Akrofi Smart-Abbey from the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in the United States (AFPC-USA) and Executive Director of Asia Trade Center Deborah Elms, discuss how lack of standardization is proving to be a challenge in decarbonizing the steel industry. 

    Iron and steel production accounts for 8% of annual carbon emissions, according to a WTO climate change brief on decarbonizing the steel industry, and global steel production has tripled in the past 50 years with 1.8 billion tons produced in 2020. This is mainly due to the methods used to produce steel which includes combining iron with carbon, recycled steel, and other elements. But that is not all. Decarbonization standards in the iron and steel industries are proliferating. Navigating different standards can create costs and inefficiencies at a time when efforts must strive to be as effective and affordable as possible. The industry is committed to going green but with the lack of standardization, will it be possible for the industry to agree on a single blueprint for reducing carbon emissions?

    Dr. Deborah Elms of the Asian Trade Center and Nii Akrofi Smart-Abbey from the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in the United States (AFPC- USA) discuss the challenges of the steel industry and how feasible its goal of producing low-carbon steel is.

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    Tune into the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast series for insights on international trade.

    • 25 min
    Special Ep. - Is globalization under threat?

    Special Ep. - Is globalization under threat?

    In this special edition of Current Accounts, the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast on global trade, guest host Nii Akrofi Smart-Abbey from the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in the United States (AFPC-USA) talks to Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stewart Paterson, delving into a discussion centered around the question of whether globalization is under threat. This episode was first featured in the AFPC podcast series.

    Globalization is often associated with the notion of technology, making the world a global village after the advent of computers. In fact, it is a complex phenomenon showcasing how trade and technology have made our world a more connected and interdependent place while resulting in economic and social transformations. As globalization has become less appealing due to the stagnant trade intensity and declining foreign trade investment flows, it is imperative to pay attention to the current state of globalization and the evolving dynamics of nation-states within this sphere.

    Globalization is increasingly under threat as it lacks support from a large part of the world where the authoritarian tendency threatening international trade is on the rise. 

    This special episode of Current Accounts highlights the thought-provoking findings of a report titled ‘What went wrong with globalization’, authored by Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stewart Paterson. The report examines contemporary globalization, shedding light on the four factors that have hindered its progress. Additionally, he discusses the diminishing authority of the WTO and proposes remedies. Tune into this episode to uncover valuable insights into the future of global integration.

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    Tune into the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast series for insights on international trade.

    • 30 min
    Ep 5. - Trade digitization is everything, everywhere. Why?

    Ep 5. - Trade digitization is everything, everywhere. Why?

    In this fifth edition of Current Accounts, the Hinrich Foundation's podcast on global trade, Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stewart Paterson speaks with former New Zealand trade negotiator Stephanie Honey on the seeming ubiquity of trade digitization and the resistance in parts of the global trade supply chain to digital facilitation. 

    In the last few decades, the internet enabled a new trade ecosystem in which digital technologies forged new ways to trade and created new products and services. While digital technologies now seem ubiquitous, the rules applied to the digital economy remain disjointed and major parts of the supply chain remain resistant to digitization.

    This episode of Current Accounts turns its attention to this much talked-about but seldom understood area of trade digitization with guest Stephanie Honey, director of Honey Consulting and a former trade negotiator. The episode discusses the definition and prevalence of digital trade, the difference between digitized and digitalized trade processes, and how to address the lack of regulatory guardrails for newer kinds of digital tools that can be used in trade. 

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    Tune into the Hinrich Foundation’s podcast series for insights on international trade.

    • 39 min

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