On Monday, November 18, the Global Business Center at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business hosted the 2019 CHINA Town Hall, an annual event produced by the National Committee on U.S. China Relations. The event involved two parts: a national webcast of panelists, moderated by George Stephanopoulos, followed by a local town hall discussion focused on Seattle-China business relations. Steve Scher, Chief Correspondent for Town Hall Seattle’s podcast, In the Moment, moderated the local discussion. Across the country, there were over 85 participating locations.
In Seattle, nearly 70 faculty, staff, students and business community members filled a classroom to watch the national broadcast and participate in the local discussion. The national broadcast featured expert panelists Stephen Orlins, Melanie Hart, Yasheng Huang, and Ely Ratner discussing hot button issues in U.S.-China relations, ranging from the ongoing trade negotiations to the protests in Hong Kong. During the local discussion, Mr. Scher asked business community members to weigh in on their personal experiences doing business with and in China. Jim Weber, CEO of Brooks Sports, spoke of the decision to move their factories entirely outside of China due to rising operation costs, while Keith Hu, Director of International Operations at Northwest Cherries, discussed how the trade war has dramatically affected the price of Washington cherries in China.
David Reid, Professor of Management at Seattle University, talked about his experiences working and traveling extensively in China, and two specially selected MBA students, Kevin Xu and Lisa Chen, shared their own thoughts and reactions to both the national webcast and the reflections of the local business community members. At the conclusion of the evening, guests were invited to a short reception and encouraged to continue the conversation.
The Global Business Center would like to thank our partners at the UW School of Law, the East Asia Center at the UW Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and the Albers School of Business at Seattle University for their help with this year’s event. Video of the national webcast and local town hall are provided below:
This year’s CHINA Town Hall at UW was made possible through support from the STARR Foundation and by the Global Business Center’s designation as a Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). One of only fifteen federally-funded CIBERs in the US, the UW CIBER’s programs are designed to enhance U.S. global competitiveness.