As fears of a trade war loomed over the U.S.-China economic relationship, the Georgetown U.S.-China Research Group on Business and Trade held its first meeting on the “Politics of Innovation in an Interdependent World” in Washington, D.C. Organized by the Georgetown Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues and convened by Professor Abraham Newman (Georgetown University) in collaboration with Professor Henry Farrell (George Washington University) and Professor Xue Lan (Tsinghua University), the group brings together a team of innovation and globalization experts from the United States and China for a series of structured dialogues around key academic and policy issues of interest to both countries and the world.
Setting the Agenda
During the two-day meeting held April 19 to 20, 2018, research group members presented their respective findings and provided feedback on each other’s work. They covered a range of topics and key twenty-first century industries, including artificial intelligence, technological innovation and distribution, technology and national security, global governance, U.S.-China interdependence and cross-national business activities, technology policies and regulations, and the platform economy. The participants met to explore and identify areas of common interest for collaborative research that can translate into published academic outputs and reports that may inform better policymaking in both countries.
Innovation Brings Opportunities and Challenges
Against the backdrop of recent heated negotiations on tariffs between the United States and China, the research meeting provided American and Chinese scholars a timely opportunity to exchange their perspectives on critical current issues related to a potential U.S.-China trade war and the “Made in China 2025” program.
"U.S.-Chinese economic relations are now front and center in policy debates. This research group brings together a world-class set of scholars from both sides, working to provide academic insight on how innovation generates tremendous opportunity and possibly strain for the countries," group convener Newman said.
“The theme of this U.S.-China dialogue project could not have been more timely and appropriate,” said Xue Lan, the Chinese convener of the research group. “Innovation disputes between the United States and China can only be resolved by negotiations based on mutual respect and understanding, as well as informed and accurate analysis. I am hopeful that our joint effort can make a useful contribution to this process.”
Collaboration Already Producing Results
Stimulated by their discussion, three group members quickly published a commentary in the "Monkey Cage" of the Washington Post on April 24, 2018 titled “Trump Doesn’t Like China’s Economic Nationalism. So Why is His Administration Stirring it Up?”
The group’s participants will continue to stay in touch through blogs and the exchange of research work. The research group will reconvene in fall 2018 in Beijing to further develop projects identified during the Washington meeting.