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Global trade: A pandemic primer (2021)

Part II: The post-pandemic world

Shockwaves created by COVID posed challenges to the world economy unseen in decades. But it is also a time for policymakers and business leaders to confront issues that long require deliberation. In this Part II of the National Press Foundation global trade series, sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation, experts walked us through some of the emerging trends in the post-pandemic world, and what the implications are for governments, corporates, and societies.

Price hike? Covering China’s food security strategy

China’s food security policies are part of a longstanding and larger calculus. This Hinrich Foundation-sponsored NPF webinar invited three speakers, including Andrea Durkin, author of "More is less: How China’s policies could weaken global food security", to discuss why Beijing’s vision for how the country will feed itself will affect how the rest of the world does the same.

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Solving the microchip shortage

As companies begin to feel the sting of an ongoing semiconductor shortage, leaders in the US, the EU and Asian nations are scrambling to ease the snags in the supply chains for chips — and reshore manufacturing of these vital components. Featuring three expert speakers, this briefing explained how the chip market got so concentrated, how major economies, including the United States and China, came to outsource this critical component to Taiwan, and why new semiconductor plants are so expensive to build.

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China’s threat to US intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) theft has been one of the most contentious issues in the US-China trade spat. What implications do IP theft have for national security and business operations? What do journalists need to be aware of when reporting on IP issues? In response to the US-China Phase One Agreement, what steps have China taken to better protect IP of foreign companies?

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A digital dollar, explained

The US have announced they are looking into the possibility of establishing a digital dollar, as China launched its e-yuan. What are central bank digital currencies, how do they work, and what potential issues policymakers should focus on?

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Enforcing US trade laws in a global market

How is the US enforcing its trade laws internationally to ensure imported goods have not violated American labor and environmental regulations? Three speakers discussed the work of US Customs and Border Protection, reported forced labor in China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang, and global supply chain traceability.

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The battle over drones

Drones have become another front in the US-China trade war as the latest strain of techno-nationalism. Three experts explored the reasons behind US-China contention on this 'dual-use' technology, how it influenced policymaking in America, and what journalists should be aware of when reporting on the issue.

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Fixing broken medical supply chains

COVID-19 had exposed the vulnerability of global medical supply chains, as many countries across the world scrambled to get hold of basic equipment such as face masks at the beginning of the pandemic. What lessons could be learnt, and what tracking tools could journalists utilize in their reporting?

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The US role in global trade alliances

During the Trump administration, the US launched a trade war against China, withdrew from the TPP, threatened to pull out of the WTO and stymied the institution's ability to fill spots on its Appellate Body. But the Biden administration is not moving quickly to undo what former President Trump has done. What, then, is the new administration’s approach to global trade alliances?

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Understanding “worker-centered” trade policy

The Biden administration has said it would pause new trade agreements until it can redirect the United States toward a “worker-centered” trade policy. What does it mean in practice, and what should journalist be aware of when covering the debate?

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About the series

This series of briefings on COVID-19’s impact on global trade is tailored for media throughout the world.

Journalists are invited to ask some of the leading experts from industry, government and academia about the at-risk supply chains for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies; the renewed US.-China trade war; the essential goods most at risk of disruptions; the waning influence of the World Trade Organization; whether reshoring will become a reality; and more.

The briefings are conducted on Zoom and registered journalists are allowed to ask questions by audio or chat.

About the National Press Foundation (NPF)

The primary mission of the NPF is to increase journalists' knowledge of complex issues in order to improve public understanding. Since 1976, the foundation has provided in-person professional development opportunities to thousands of editors, producers and reporters, helping them better understand and explain the impact of public policy on readers and viewers. The NPF also recognizes and encourages excellence in journalism through its awards and programs. The Hinrich Award for Distinguished Reporting on Trade, distributed by the NPF, recognizes exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the public’s understanding of international business and trade.