Advancing sustainable global trade
The Hinrich Foundation is a unique Asia-based philanthropic organization that works to advance mutually beneficial and sustainable global trade through research and educational programs.
Understanding global trade
Original research, strategic insights and quick analysis that offer a better understanding of key global trade trends and issues.
Master’s degree scholarships and short courses for trade business professionals, media and policymakers that provide the practical knowledge and tools to advance sustainable global trade.
We are offering 15 scholarships for the March 2022 intake to professionals working across global value chains. This 12-course, 15-month Master’s degree will develop students’ expertise on all aspects of global trade, from business and logistics management to international strategy, and equip them with essential technical and soft skills to excel in their fields. The Master of Global Trade represents a pioneer effort between a philanthropic organization, industry partnerships and academia to achieve the mutual goal: advance sustainable global trade through education and talent development.
This 17-month part-time modular postgraduate degree provides working professionals world-class training in management and leadership, and a platform to transition into a top-level senior management role. The scholarship aims to support individuals . . .
We established the Hinrich Foundation Alumni Association (HFAA) to stimulate regular exchanges between young trade leaders committed to advancing sustainable global trade. Led by the Alumni Leadership Committee, the HFAA is a community of people who . . .
Through this generous partial tuition scholarship, we aim to empower future leaders in government, business and civil society to advance trade in consideration of balancing economic, social and environmental implications. The campus in Washington, . . .
Media play a critical role in providing deeper perspectives on trade issues. Our 4-days training courses for media, organized by the National Press Foundation, provide deep knowledge on all aspects of international trade. The next course will be in . . .
Despite initial disruptions and anxiety caused by uncertainties, trade marches on during COVID-19. Sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation, the National Press Foundation launched a webinar series on global trade – its past, present and future, what . . .
Resources, support, and recognition for journalists
Objective analysis of trade trends and issues, short-courses, Masters in International Journalism Studies (MAIJS) scholarships and an award for distinguished reporting on trade.
Our experts are trusted by news organizations across the globe
In the news
Media come to us for fresh thinking and deep analysis into the issues impacting global trade outcomes. Read our recent experts’ commentaries. Drawn from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, our experts offer valuable views and opinions on achieving sustainable global trade.
In addition to political hurdles, China may have difficulties meeting certain CPTPP provisions on data flows, labor and environmental protection, as well as state-owned enterprises. But according to Senior Research Fellow Stephen Olson, it won't be that difficult for China to meet the pact's requirement. "The agreement has ample exceptions and wide loopholes that would help China comply with the more challenging provisions," says Olson. Regardless of its success, analysts said China’s bid highlighted the country’s expanding economic clout in Asia-Pacific, while the US has largely focused on security issues in the region.
Despite previously speaking favourably about the CPTPP, US President Joe Biden has so far shown no interest in (re)joining due to strong domestic opposition. But with China's application and every chance that it will have a hand in writing the rules in the region, Washington's lack of interest seems inexplicable. As to whether Beijing can meet the terms of the agreement, Senior Research Fellow Stephen Olson remarked: "Exceptions and wide loopholes [in the agreement] would ease China’s compliance with the more challenging provisions...China has already demonstrated its immense skill in bending, evading and otherwise nullifying trade rules in other agreements."
Cheng Wei built a world-class ride-hailing app that not even Uber could keep up with in China. But Didi's risky play for expansion and dominance — culminating in a disastrous IPO this summer — has caused it to run afoul of Beijing. "No Chinese company can openly challenge the Chinese Communist Party and expect leniency," said Research Fellow Alex Capri. "Parts of [Didi] could be nationalized...Beijing will also actively fund smaller competitors to even out the market and more easily exert control over the main players."
China might have handed in its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), but politics will bedevil and delay its bid to join the trade pact, trade experts said. Still, the conventional wisdom that China is not yet ready to accede to the terms of what is arguably the highest quality trade agreement ever negotiated is wrong. "China is entirely capable of managing the requirements of the CPTPP," noted Senior Research Fellow Stephen Olson. "Many of its final provisions, although groundbreaking, fell short of lofty initial ambitions."
China’s membership would have significant impact on trade in the Asia-Pacific region at a time of rising geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing. It also raises a few eyebrows as many believe that the country is not yet ready to accede to the agreement's terms. Senior Research Fellow Stephen Olson argues that this conventional wisdom may not be accurate: "20 provisions from the original TPP text were suspended after the withdrawal of the US. Ample exceptions and wide loopholes [in the CPTPP] would ease China’s compliance with the more challenging provisions."
Even if China were allowed to join by other members, the country may find some aspects of the agreement challenging, said Research Fellow Alex Capri. He singled out "e-commerce and data standards," though said China may be able to find loopholes. "Keep in mind that when the US pulled out, some 20 provisions dealing with data privacy, IP protection and other digital standards were essentially put on hold," Capri noted.
Until a string of recent high-level visits to Southeast Asia, observers noted that little had been done to match the US's emphasis on the strategic importance of the region. Our recent article by Senior Research Fellow Stephen Olson is quoted extensively in this Asia Times article: "US worker-centric trade policy...and desire to relocate supply chains closer to home presents more of a threat than an economic boon for Southeast Asia." In the shadow of America's “calamitous security pullback” from Afghanistan, "there is ample reason to question whether the US remains willing to provide the implicit or explicit security guarantees it has in the past".
China's crackdown on private enterprise has wiped out more than US$1.2 trillion in market value for many powerful Chinese companies and stoked fears about the future of innovation in the world's second largest economy. "Ultimately, Beijing's crackdown on private business is about control," said Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Alex Capri. "The main priority is about preventing behavior amongst private companies that could engender more independent and potentially non-conformist activities, which undermines Beijing's state-centric model."
Corporate subsidies by China, the EU, and the US: Time for reforms?
Corporate subsidies are a major source of controversy in the world trading system. Despite its harmful effect on mutual trust and reciprocity among trading nations, at present there are no serious attempts to find common ground. In this webinar, Global Trade Alert Founder Simon Evenett and a panel of experts discussed the urgent need to renew multilateral cooperation on the issue of subsidies.
Resilience in an increasingly multipolar global economy
As part of the Chatham House Global Trade Conference 2021, Research Fellow Stewart Paterson and other panelists discussed how intensifying geopolitical competition is shaping global trade and increasing the likelihood of supply chain shocks. They also explored what businesses can do to make their operations more resilient in an increasingly multipolar world.
The Wall Street Journal wins 2021 Hinrich trade reporting award
The Wall Street Journal has won the Hinrich Foundation Award for Distinguished Reporting on Trade, hosted by the National Press Foundation. The winning reporting covered Beijing's use of its power and political leverage to give Chinese companies a permanent advantage in the global marketplace. The winning team is comprised of six WSJ foreign correspondents reporting from Asia and Europe: Valentina Pop (now with the Financial Times), Sha Hua, Stu Woo, Daniel Michaels, Matthew Dalton, and Yang Jie.
Curbing data flows: Digital sovereignty on the rise
The rise of data sovereignty is complicating efforts to build a global consensus on shared rules for governing cross-border data flows. In this webinar hosted by the Hinrich Foundation, four expert panelists shared their insights and recommendations as the potential fragmentation of the global digital economy prompts critical questions. Will stricter regulation impede international trade? Should policymakers wield power over data in ways that limit its utility for society at large?
Can border taxes end carbon leakage and help reduce greenhouse emissions?
The issue of climate change poses an immense existential threat. Could the various proposed carbon border taxes help reduce greenhouse emissions and encourage emitters to play their part? Featuring three speakers from Covington and Burling, the World Bank, and Politico Europe, this National Press Foundation webinar, supported by the Hinrich Foundation, explored the concept behind Europe's carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) and its potential implications for global trade.
The weaponization of global value chains
The race to achieve technological supremacy, which is at the heart of the US-China power rivalry, is affecting the world more profoundly than most realize. Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Alex Capri explains this phenomenon of "techno-nationalism" in a recent webinar hosted by the Foreign Press Correspondent Association (US) and supported by the Hinrich Foundation.
In this book, Clyde Prestowitz describes the key challenges posed by China and the strategies America and other liberal democracies must adopt to meet them. He argues that these approaches must be more sophisticated and comprehensive than a narrowly targeted trade war, and that they don't have to contravene international or domestic law.
We supported the publication of “China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed” to promote reasoned and informed debate on the trade relationship between the West and China. This book, by Stewart Paterson, describes the unintended consequences of the policy of engagement that led to China's accession to the WTO in 2001, and aims to equip policymakers, business leaders and civil societies to contribute to the design of mutually beneficial approaches for sustainable global trade.
We commissioned Professor Michael J. Enright to lead a major research project identifying the impact of foreign direct investment on China’s economic development. The book provides a powerful analysis of China’s policies toward foreign investment and gives foreign companies tools to demonstrate their contributions to host countries, showing the tremendous power of foreign investment to help transform economies.