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Harvard Faculty Discuss Recent Chinese Tariffs, and More – Boston News

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Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.

Trade War or War of Words?Harvard Business School Blog

Following the Trump administration’s recent announcement of 25 percent tariffs on 1,000 Chinese exports, Bill Kirby and Willy Shih, Harvard Business School faculty experts on China, took to the HBS blog to “trade theories on the best path forward for the world’s two largest economies.”

Both experts point to economic shifts in the 1980s, which, not incidentally, was the decade in which Donald Trump started to become a household name. Kirby notes that the major trade distinctions between the United States and Japan, specifically regarding the auto-manufacturing industry, set a precedent. In that, the United States began to firmly invest in Japanese car companies like Honda and Toyota, building their own domestic manufacturing plants. Kirby suspects, however, that the Trump administration may not be as open to that kind of investment. “If Chinese companies wanted to improve access to American markets by investing in the US, would the administration be open to it?” he asks. “They ought to be, in my view. But my suspicion is that that’s not the outcome that this administration is looking for. They’re looking for a miraculous recovery of American-based manufacturing exporting to a Chinese market, not a particularly good match.”

Shih, staying on the topic of the ’80s, offers a different opinion, saying; “I think the real issue is industrial policy on the Chinese side competing with a lack of industrial policy on the U.S. side and the consequences of that. Going back to the mid-1980s, the Chinese government has been mapping a pathway for the country to become a modern country (just as the Koreans, Taiwanese, and the Japanese did before, except on a much larger scale). The Chinese have identified core capabilities that they want to see inside the country, and they’ve been methodically working on that over the last 30-plus years. I’d argue the positive trade balance with the US reflects the progress they’ve made.”

You can read the full conversation between Kirby and Shih here.

An Easy Internship Trick from Kayla Humel ’18Simmons Blog

Current Simmons School of Management student body president Kayla Humel, ’18, wrote candidly about the impact of the Student Government Association (SGA) on her recent internship at Puma and future career plans.

“First and foremost, [SGA has taught me] the power of good communication. When the e-board is communicating with one another, event planning is exponentially easier. When SGA is communicating with organizations, processes like budgets occur seamlessly. Good communication is crucial to success in any organization.”

Humel threw her hat in the presidential race because shesaw opportunities to improve processes between SGA and the other organizations on campus. I knew that SGA could create change on campus and I wanted to play a major part in that.”

You ca check out more about her Simmons experience here and watch an interview with Humel about her internship below.

Wield Polarization to Build Positive ChangeMIT Sloan Newsroom

MIT Sloan School of Management sustainability initiative director Jason Jay used his recent TEDx talk as an opportunity to share some strategic advice on how to more effectively spark difficult conversations. “The voltage feels so high that we simply avoid conversations out of fear of getting shocked. But I like to think about that polarization as a kind of energy.”

  1. Draw a contrast between what others might expect you to do and what you’re really trying to do.
  2. Clarify the values underlying your positions, and do the same with the people you’re talking to.
  3. Make it clear that you aren’t meeting simply to bargain over these values, but to embrace tension and find new ideas.”

You can check out Jay’s TEDx talk at Hofstra University below and learn more about his work here.

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