Lincoln, Neb. —Since its launch four years ago, the university’s Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance has produced more than 25 hours of podcast and webinar content featuring leaders, analysts, and trade officials who help illuminate how goods and services move around the globe.
Now that content is available on-demand as a “Trade Policy Toolkit” for educators in a variety of disciplines looking to supplement learning materials in their classrooms.
“The podcast and webinar formats allow us to dive into a subject in a way that is accessible to listeners,” said Jill O’Donnell, Yeutter Institute director and creator and host of the institute’s Trade Matters podcast. “When professors teaching economics, agriculture, and global studies began telling me they were assigning Trade Matters episodes in their classes and using webinars for extra credit opportunities or Honors student projects, I realized we could organize the content as a menu of options for college and secondary school instructors to easily select the programming that fits into their classes.”
The toolkit includes 29 podcast episodes and 10 webinars organized into nine categories ranging from “Trade Fundamentals” and the “World Trade Organization” to “China,” “Trade Shocks,” and “U.S. Public Opinion on Trade.” The toolkit will be updated regularly as new content is released.
“All discussions are designed with learning in mind, not just imparting information,” O’Donnell said. “This means that we are very deliberate about clearly stating what we are trying to understand and defining any trade jargon before going deeper into a subject.”
The programming approach is to take conversations behind and beyond the news headlines to illuminate the context in which trade developments are taking place, resulting in content that has lasting relevance.
For example, a 2020 webinar on Chinese industrial subsidies featured U.S.- and Asia-based experts who explained what subsidies are, why they are so complex in the Chinese system, and why they have led to trade tensions.
“The U.S.-China relationship will always need careful management, so understanding one of the major sources of friction is going to be important for a long time,” O’Donnell said. “This webinar remains a useful source of background information on this ongoing challenge.”
Hearing firsthand from the experts featured in the programming can complement reading assignments and serve as a launching pad into further classroom discussion.
Agricultural economics professor Brad Lubben uses Yeutter Institute programming to help his policy students “understand the real-world issues and stakeholders engaged in the policy concepts and choices” discussed in class.
Economics professor Uche Jarret described the Trade Matters podcast as a “trusted platform” for his students. “I have also used this resource to highlight gaps between theory and practice to allow students to better apply what they learn in the classroom,” Jarret said.
Secondary school educators can also utilize the content to generate their own ideas about how to discuss trade in their classrooms or introduce students to important voices and career pathways related to trade.
Among the experts featured in the programming are several Nebraska natives who have made their mark in trade policy and government service. These include former U.S. Senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, and former trade negotiators Darci Vetter, Katrin Kuhlmann and Kellie Meiman Hock—each of whom continue to play leading roles in trade policy from nonprofit, academic and private sector vantage points.
“The range of career paths evident among our Nebraska native guests alone goes a long way toward showing students what is possible – and needed – when it comes to careers that focus on or overlap with international trade,” O’Donnell said.
To access the toolkit, visit https://yeutter-institute.unl.edu/trade-policy-toolkit. For questions, contact Jill O’Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-472-2119.
The vision of Husker alumnus and renowned trade expert Clayton Yeutter, the Yeutter Institute connects academic disciplines related to law, business and agriculture to prepare students for leadership roles in international trade and finance, support interdisciplinary research and increase public understanding of these issues. For more information, visit https://yeutter-institute.unl.edu.