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Shenkar provides expertise to U.S.-China commission

Published: 2014-02-24

Oded Shenkar

Oded Shenkar, Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management and professor of Management and Human Resources at Fisher, appeared before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission as an expert panelist addressing U.S.-China economic challenges.

Specifically, the commission -- created by the U.S. Congress in 2000 -- sought to examine challenges to the U.S. economy from Chinese competition in manufacturing and the role of state-owned enterprises. The hearing in Washington D.C. also assessed the effectiveness of U.S. trade laws and trade enforcement in addressing these challenges, and addressed Chinese innovation and worker struggles in China, including an aging workforce and a surplus of educated workers frustrated in efforts to find skilled jobs. Shenkar served as a panelist in the hearing’s opening session focused on the impact of the U.S.-China relationship on U.S. jobs.

  • Watch the complete hearing.
  • Read Shenkar’s testimony, addressing a number of issues, including: the need to factor in bilateral foreign direct investment when assessing how trade impacts employment; the various difficulties the U.S. faces in narrowing the trade imbalance with China; and the importance of understanding that imitation is as valuable to business success as innovation.

"China has done extremely well with imitation," said Shenkar, author of Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge, during the question-and-answer period of the session. "There is the assumption that innovation will always allow you to capture the profit. Not only has not been the case, but my argument is that we are entering an imitation age -- meaning that it is easier to imitate, more beneficial to imitate. I believe this is one of the explanation for the rise of Chinese companies."

Joining Shenkar on the morning panel were Robert Scott, director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research at the Economic Policy Institute; and Peter K. Schott, professor of Economics at Yale University. The hearing was co-chaired by commissioners Michael R. Wessel and Daniel M. Slane, a Fisher alumnus and former chairman of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

Shenkar is a widely recognized expert on international business and the author of numerous books, including Copycats and The Chinese Century: The Rising Chinese Economy and Its Impact on the Global Economy, the Balance of Power, and Your Job.