Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy
The mission of NBR’s Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy (Trade Center) is to deepen understanding of the technological and economic issues that are shaping the growth and competitiveness of Indo-Pacific countries
The Trade Center provides expert analysis on the highly complex and rapidly evolving issues at the center of economic trends and technological developments in the Indo-Pacific. The Trade Center recognizes the linkages between economic, technological, and strategic developments in the region and engages experts from multiple fields to comprehensively examine these multifaceted issues.
Digital Trade, Data Governance, and Digital Influence
The 21st-century global economy and the development of innovative technologies are increasingly dependent on cross-border digital flows and the use of vast quantities of data. NBR’s Digital Balancing Act project brings together experts on 5G, AI, public health data, and digital trade to examine the role of data governance in driving technological and economic development in the Indo-Pacific. Recognizing the importance of data governance and 5G, NBR’s work on South Korea’s approach to these issues examines how the country can be a regional leader in rolling out emerging technologies. Building on previous research on the Digital Silk Road in Southeast Asia, NBR’s China’s Digital Influence project analyzes how China seeks to leverage its technology industry to expand Chinese influence and how the United States and its partners can effectively counter this influence.
Economic and Trade Strategy
As great-power competition has escalated in the Indo-Pacific, the use of economic statecraft, especially trade policy, to pursue geopolitical objectives has become increasingly common. NBR’s Evolving Indo-Pacific Trade Environment project analyzes these shifting dynamics and their impact on the United States’ role in the region. These changes have compelled policymakers to consider complex questions of interdependence, industrial policy, and the relationship between economic and security goals as they work to craft effective economic strategies. NBR’s Taskforce on Transforming the Economic Dimension of U.S. China Strategy (China Taskforce) convened a dozen experts from the business, academic, and policy communities to craft a viable long-term economic strategy for this critical bilateral relationship.
IP represents a significant element of the economic vitality of many economies in the Indo-Pacific and is particularly important to fields ranging from manufacturing to technology services. Rising economies in the region have long attempted to acquire—often in violation of global norms and rules—IP to fuel their growth and move up the value chain. NBR’s Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property (IP Commission) has conducted detailed analysis of the nature and scale of the misappropriation of IP in the Indo-Pacific and assessed the costs it imposes on innovation and economic development. The IP Commission has played a central role in elevating this issue to the top of policymakers’ agendas, and recently submitted a memo to the Biden administration outlining next steps to further strengthen IP protections and address this pressing challenge.
Supply Chain Security
A key result of globalization has been the massive internationalization of supply chains, which has increased the complexity of these systems exponentially. However, businesses—especially in high-tech and security-critical sectors—have failed to understand the implications and risks of these complex international networks and have struggled to develop best practices to ensure the security of their intellectual property (IP) and supply chains. NBR’s ongoing research on supply chain security seeks to assess these risks and understand how innovative technologies can help mitigate them.