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On January 23, 2018, Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stephen Olson addressed students at Hong Kong Baptist University’s (HKBU) International Media Salon. The event, titled “Making sense of international trade: A primer for journalism students”, was held in coordination with HKBU’s Department of Journalism and School of Communication. It was designed to provide a practical framework for journalism students to professionally report on one of today’s hottest topics: Trade.

Journalism students from all levels, including Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholars, attended the roundtable event. Olson explained how international trade issues, disagreements, agreements and negotiations are often headline news, and emphasized the importance of journalists being prepared to report on pivotal trade issues.

During the event, Olson articulated expert insights about trade as it relates to business and journalism. He helped the students make sense of international trade by breaking down contradictory viewpoints and hot button issues surrounding trade today. He explained that free trade agreements are often about more than just trade, and journalists should also be aware of geo-strategic considerations, behind the border issues and progressive trade issues. Olson also described the different kinds of free trade agreements (FTAs) in the context of current affairs, using TPP, RCEP and NAFTA as examples. He concluded the event with a lively question and answer session with students.

Olson has taught trade negotiation to government teams and leads the Hinrich Foundation’s Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulations for university students in Hong Kong and the Philippines. To learn more about Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulations, click here.

About the author – Lauren Kyger

Lauren Kyger is a Research Associate with the Hinrich Foundation where she focuses on international trade research. She is a Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholar alumna, earning her Master’s degree in Global Business Journalism from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.