7PM Discussion and Audience Q&A
In December 2017, the Trump administration — echoing the President’s public statements — issued its National Security Strategy, taking a strong stance on America’s trade deficit. “Unfair trade practices had weakened our economy and exported our jobs overseas,” the 55 page document reads.
In 2017, the U.S. trade deficit with China hit a record level of $375 billion. President Trump has placed tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports, and another $34 billion on other Chinese goods. China has responded by imposing the equivalent on U.S. goods.
Are the United States and China headed toward a trade war? Do the Trump administration’s actions help or hurt the economy and national security of the United States?
Hal Brands is the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). He is the author and editor of several books, including “Making the Unipolar Moment: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post-Cold War Order”, “What Good is Grand Strategy?” “Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush”, “Latin America’s Cold War,” “From Berlin to Baghdad: America’s Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World”, and “The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft”.
In 2016, Brands served as special assistant to the secretary of defense for strategic planning, and has been a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow. He has also consulted with a range of government offices and agencies in the intelligence and national security communities. He blogs for Shadow Government at ForeignPolicy.com and is a frequent contributor to Bloomberg View.
Brands received his B.A. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He previously worked as an assistant and associate professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, and as a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.
Frank Lavin is the CEO and founder of Export Now, a U.S. firm that operates e-commerce stores in China for international brands. Established in 2010, Export Now is the largest off-shore operator of China e-commerce stores, helping brands from around the world in strategy and operations. In government, Lavin served as under secretary for international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2005-2007. In that capacity, Lavin served as lead trade negotiator for both China and India and was the senior policy official in the department responsible for commercial policy, export promotion, and trade negotiations across the globe. Lavin was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 2001-05, where his duties included helping negotiate the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Previously, Lavin served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House. Lavin served as director of the White House Office of Political Affairs from 1987-89. In the private sector, Lavin served in senior finance and management positions in Hong Kong and Singapore with Edelman, Bank of America and Citibank.
He is a columnist for Forbes.com and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other periodicals. Lavin is the co-author of “Export Now: Five Keys to Entering New Markets.” He also authored a World War II history book, “Home Front to Battlefront.”
Lavin earned a B.S. from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service; an M.S. in Chinese Language and History from Georgetown; an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; and an M.B.A. in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Noel Murray (moderator) is director of the Walter Schmid Center for International Business and associate professor of marketing at Chapman University. His areas of expertise include international marketing, cross-cultural issues in marketing communications and advertising strategy.
His research has been widely published in leading academic journals including, Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Advertising and Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. His research on advertising disclosure has been profiled in The Los Angeles Times and in Media Life Magazine.
Murray plays an active role in the Academy of Marketing Science and has recently served as congress co-chair at the World Marketing Congress in Malta. His business affiliation experience includes Digital Computer, Inc., Irish State Merchant Bank, Apple Computer and Bank of Ireland.
Murray earned is B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Limerick, M.B.A. from the University of Bridgeport, and Ph.D from Pennsylvania State University.
Photo: Donald Trump and wife Melania, and Xi Xinping and wife Peng Liyuan at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China on November 8, 2017 (AP).