“In 2016, I never imagined that trade would be this big of an issue,” said Marc Busch, professor of international business diplomacy, business administration, and government. Since June, though, Busch has offered his thoughts to a large audience on topics in international trade ranging from tariffs and trade wars to dispute settlement on TradeCraft, a podcast hosted by Busch’s former student Collin Janich (MA-IBP’17), with Andrew Gore (MA-IBP’17) as executive producer.
Janich and Gore approached Busch seeing an opportunity to cover the increasingly relevant issue of trade policy. “Put simply, trade is hot right now,” Janich said. “President Trump has adopted an aggressive approach to trade policy, and since January, he has made it a centerpiece of his administration’s agenda ahead of the midterm elections.”
According to Janich, Busch was the ideal podcast guest to bring a fresh perspective to the topic.
“Having studied trade under Marc Busch in the M.A. in International Business and Policy program, I knew that he could place the administration’s latest trade decisions into a larger legal, political, and geopolitical context,” Janich said. “Marc sees trade policy as a high-stakes political drama played out on the global stage, and few others are able to discuss trade with the same dynamism and conviction.”
Busch sees the podcast partly as a chance to examine issues in trade in enough detail to dispel rumors and misinformation.
“It’s easy to pick on trade, given everyone’s fears and anxieties about globalization, but especially here in the United States it’s really not trade that’s doing the harm that is attributed to it, and at the end of the day I think that’s where this podcast came from,” he said.
Janich said that Busch’s expertise is what separates the podcast from others in the field. A School of Foreign Service (SFS) professor, Busch also teaches in McDonough School of Business executive degree programs, including the M.A. in International Business and Policy, a joint program between McDonough and SFS.
“The existing trade podcasts really only analyzed trade through an economics lens, answering the questions, what has happened and who has it affected?” he said. “I saw a need for an informed, in-depth discussion that delved into the craft of trade policy — thus the name TradeCraft.”
The podcast’s deep dive into trade policy has helped it gain a dedicated audience. “The media are listening, there are tons of government officials who are listening and sending notes, and we are now on several must-listen-to lists,” Busch said. “I’ve heard from several companies and CEOs that it is basically required listening.”
With plans to record at least through the midterm elections, Janich and Gore are now looking at ways to expand the podcast’s listenership through social media and partnerships. Looking forward to the future, Janich believes that TradeCraft will continue to offer listeners a deeper level of analysis of trade policy than they can find anywhere else.
“When you hear an expert like Marc read the trade tea leaves, you begin to get a sense of what policies are potentially on the horizon,” he said. “I think new listeners will read the latest trade headlines in a much different light.”