The lecture began with Vice Provost for International Affairs Dr. Steve Hanson welcoming listeners and viewers, followed by a brief introduction of this lecture’s speaker, Frank Samolis. In it, Dr. Hanson gave attendees Samolis’s impressive list of accolades, mentioning the various governments he has represented in trade negotiations. After this, Samolis gave an explanation of how his work relates to the trade war between the U.S. and China. From there, Samolis gave a timeline of key political and economic developments within trade negotiations, citing specific tariffs enacted over the past few years. He also introduced attendees to the key figures within the U.S. government to their positions and perspectives on the trade war.
After the lecture, attendees were eager to hear his thoughts on various subjects. Some questions asked involved what leadership role Samolis saw China taking in the WTO, what outcomes he saw in Sino-American trade negotiations from each potential candidate from the impending election, and also the impact of the trade war on international higher education. Samolis gave each question a significant amount of time to thoughtfully answer, and both viewers and listeners were largely satisfied with his expertise.
Despite the effects that have come with coronavirus pandemic, Frank Samolis was still generous enough to give the lecture virtually. The virtual format did not deter interested parties in attending, as there was lively and respectful discussion on the trade war during the Q&A section. Frank Samolis gave listeners and viewers a wonderful talk, and he would certainly be welcome back to Williamsburg when the pandemic passes.