encouraging informed debate
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Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Shifting Dynamics of US-China Trade Relations

Friday 23 March 2018 (12-1:30pm)

Bloomberg, 25/f Cheung Kong Center, 2 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

As China continues to meet this week for its 13th National People’s Congress, the markets are looking for indications of how they would respond to a more confrontational US trade policy. President Donald Trump cast the first shot by announcing steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, risking retaliation from China and possibly others. But the reality could be that China may actually stand to gain from these actions.

China and the US have a complex and long-standing trading relationship that is often difficult to interpret. Bloomberg and the Hinrich Foundation have invited four leading US, European and China trade experts to discuss whether “Trade wars are good, and easy to win” and how an actual trade war between the two largest economies in the world could unfold in the region.

We have the pleasure of welcoming the following speakers to discuss the above:

  • Edward Alden, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
  • Stephen Olson, Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation
  • Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis and Senior Research Fellow at Bruegel
  • Dong Tao, Vice Chairman Greater China, Credit Suisse Private Banking Asia Pacific

To set the context, Alden will open the discussion by sharing his views on what is driving the shift in US trade policy and possible future developments. Alden is a prominent trade policy expert. He recently co-authored Council on Foreign Relations’ discussion paper: “A Winning Trade Policy for the United States”.


11:45 Registration, coffee/tea
12:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks
12:05 Presentation by Edward Alden
12:25 Panel Discussion, moderated by Enda Curran, Asia Economics Correspondent, Bloomberg News
12:45 Audience Q&A
13:15 Lunch networking

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Participation in this event is free of charge


Edward (Ted) Alden, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness. He is one of the U.S’ leading trade policy experts and a well-respected voice in the Washington DC policy community.

He is the author of the new book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, which focuses on the federal government’s failure to respond effectively to competitive challenges on issues such as trade, currency, worker retraining programs, education, and infrastructure.  

In addition, Alden is the director of the CFR Renewing America publication series and he has co-authored a recent CFR Discussion Paper “A Winning Trade Policy for the United States”

Prior to that, Alden was the project co-director of the 2011 CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force Report U.S. Trade and Investment Policy, which was co-chaired by former White House chief of staff Andrew Card and former Senate majority leader Thomas Daschle.

Alden was previously the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times and prior to that was the newspaper’s Canada bureau chief, based in Toronto. He was also the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as a leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies.

Stephen Olson, Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation

Stephen began his career in Washington DC as an international trade negotiator, and served on the US negotiating team for the NAFTA negotiations. He subsequently became President of the Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Economic Council, and Vice Chairman of Cairo-based ARTOC Group for Investment and Development. Currently, he is also a Visiting Scholar at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Over the course of his 25 year international career, Stephen has lived and worked in Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, holding senior executive positions in the private sector, international organizations, government, and academia.

Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist, APAC, Natixis and Senior Research Fellow, Bruegel (European think-tank)

Alicia Garcia Herrero is Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at NATIXIS. She also serves as Senior Research Fellow at the European think-tank BRUEGEL, and Senior Research Fellow at El Cano Royal Institute for International Relations.

Ms. Herrero holds a PhD in Economics at George Washington University and has published extensively in refereed journals and books. She is also a regular contributor in Bloomberg and CNCB as well as a columnist for Nikkei Asia Review and Brink.

Dong Tao, Vice Chairman Greater China, Credit Suisse Private Banking Asia Pacific

Dong Tao is the Vice Chairman Greater China for Credit Suisse Private Banking Asia Pacific and a leading expert on China.

Dr. Tao joined Credit Suisse in 1998 as the Chief Regional Economist for non-Japan Asia, with a focus on China. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he was with Schroders Securities Asia as Senior Regional Economist and Head of China research.

Dr. Tao holds a Ph.D. degree and a M.Sc. degree from University of Utah and B.A. from Beijing Foreign Language University.

Enda Curran, Chief Asia Economics Correspondent at Bloomberg

Based in Hong Kong, Enda covers the major themes and trends underpinning the region’s vast economies, with an emphasis on China.  

Before joining Bloomberg, Enda was at The Wall Street Journal where he was Asia Finance Reporter covering the Asian operations of the world’s biggest financial institutions. Previous postings included Sydney and London.  

Enda has covered G20 summits and security and trade talks around the world including Mexico, Washington, Cambodia and Japan. He also covered the 2014 Typhoon Haiyan disaster in the Philippines.

For more information about this event, please contact: [email protected] or Tel: (852) 2509-8601