Experiential / Reality-based Learning / September 20, 2018

The Trade Guys Record Live at the Smith School

Full-time MBA student Thomas Donovan, class of 2020, writes about The Trade Guys live-recorded podcast, held on September 13, 2018, at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. 

The Center for Global Business (CGB) at Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business hosted a live-recorded podcast of The Trade Guys to discuss Tariffs and Trade Wars with a particular focus on the distributional effects of tariffs on logistics providers, like the Port of Baltimore, on September 13. The Trade Guys is a weekly podcast produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a D.C.-based bipartisan think tank. Hosted by Andrew Schwartz, CSIS chief communications officer, and CSIS experts, Scott Miller, senior adviser, and Bill Reinsch, senior adviser and a professor at UMD’s School of Public Policy, The Trade Guys break down current trends around international trade and its effects on policy. In this special edition, The Trade Guys recorded their live podcast at the Smith School with special guest, Rick Powers of the Port of Baltimore.

CGB’s executive director, Rebecca Bellinger, kicked off the event by welcoming the audience to the Center’s first Distinguished Speakers in International Business Series event of the academic year and introduced TheTrade Guys and the evening’s topic for discussion.

The Trade Guys and Rick Powers talk Tariffs and Trade Wars at the Smith School.

The hour-long debate addressed how current policy has impacted the port of Baltimore. Powers reported that the Port of Baltimore set a record of “21.6 Million tons of trade conducted in the first half of 2018.” Providing a bit of education to the audience, Powers expounded on how the current tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration do not drastically impact Baltimore because they are not heavily a steel and aluminum port, “steel and aluminum only account for .25% of the business conducted at the Baltimore Port on a tonnage basis.”

Beyond the Port of Baltimore, The Trade Guys addressed topics from the President of the United States’ current mission to re-brand NAFTA as the USMC pact (United States, Mexico, Canada), to what percentage of cars need to be made in the United States to skirt tariffs obligations, to a bit of a history lesson of how the United States government was primarily funded by tariffs up to 1913.

Some attendees leveraged the opportunity with the Trade Guys to ask some pressing questions. A junior majoring in finance and economics asked, “How will Harley Davidson be affected by the current trade tariffs imposed?” The Trade Guys indicated that although Harley Davidson has received a lot of pushback for manufacturing and selling in Asia, they are doing so in the best interests of their shareholders. The decision for Harley Davidson to manufacture and sell in Asia came well before the election of 2016 and was done so to avoid the high tariffs from Asia and Europe and to sell their brand in fast-growing markets. Kislaya Prasad, academic director of CGB, also inquired about the future of the U.S. in the WTO. To find out how The Trade Guys responded, listen to the podcast.

This event was a part of the Distinguished Speakers in International Business Series. Learn more about our next event.

This event was supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education. 

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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