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Research Fellow talks current US-China trade tension, impact on Asia-Pacific at UNESCAP event

Published 11 November 2019

On November 11, 2019, Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stephen Olson discussed the current trade environment, and the impact trade disputes will have on regional and global economic growth at Hotel Anantara Siam in Bangkok, Thailand.
Unescap Stephen Olson

The two-day summit, titled “Asia-Pacific Think Tank Summit Managing Transitions, Trade and Turmoil: The Role of Think Tanks”, was organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and Think Tank and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP).

Research Fellow Stephen Olson participated in a panel discussion, titled “Trade Wars or Trade Winds: Which Way is the Wind Blowing”.  The discussion was chaired by James G. Mcgann-Director, TTCSP, The Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania (USA) – and Mia Mikic, Director Trade, Investment and Innovation Division of UNESCAP.  The panellists included:

  • Fukunari KIMURA – Chief Economist, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) (Japan)
  • Shiro ARMSTRONG – Director, Australia-Japan Research Centre; Director, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research; Fellow, Crawford School, Australia National University (Australia)
  • Anh Duong NGUYEN – Director of General Department, Central Institute for Economic Management (Vietnam)
  • Stephen OLSON – Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation (Hong Kong SAR, China)

During the discussion, Olson pointed out that there is difficulty in reconciling two fundamentally different economic system under the framework of single trade architecture. All the trade disputes between the two countries are frictions between two different systems.

He also opined that the relation between the US and China has crossed the rubric-con and there is no going back to the previous engagement. The two countries are headed towards economic decoupling and its impact is being felt by the global economy, with more businesses rethinking about shifting their supply chains.

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