Monday, April 20, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 7)

On Friday, April 10th I went to a presentation at the Department of Commerce on negotiating with the Chinese. The discussion started out with a simulation between two American representatives on one side of the table with three Chinese and their interpreter on the other side. Though simulation was very entertaining as it was presented in a way that the American side did everything incorrectly and wasn’t prepared while the Chinese negotiators were. Some mistakes the Americans made was not bringing their own interpreter, discussing amongst themselves while the Chinese side was speaking in Chinese, and not inspecting business cards when receiving them from the Chinese side among other things. This Friday was also a colleague’s last day working with us in the TIC as he was on rotation from the NAFTA Secretariat’s office. It was nice being able to work with him as he was in the beginning of his career and had been introduced to Commerce through as internship he had done during university.

On Thursday I went to an International Trade Fair and workshops put on by the US Export-Import Bank. We were able to get into the lunch and watch an award ceremony for export companies, financiers, and brokers. After lunch we went back to the display room and greeted different export-business people. Later I went around to the different tables, got various informational materials and talked with people to get a better feel for what process in exporting they were involved in.

On Friday I submitted our final draft of our article on the Chinese stimulus package and infrastructure opportunities for American companies. It will be sent to others for a final look over before it is sent to the industry organization’s website for posting. That afternoon I went to the Brookings Institute to hear the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe given a speech on various security and economic issues. A comment I found interesting was when the PM was asked about piracy on the seas and whether it could lead to further US-China-Japan cooperation in maritime affairs the PM said that he was hopeful that this could be the case in the future given China becomes more transparent.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce