New podcast ‘Trade Geek’ finds fans trying to understand trade war

World Today

Trade war, tariffs, import duties — just some of the topics becoming part of daily conversation in the United States.

People are hungry for information and context to help navigate the current business environment.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.


Pete Mento specializes in helping companies minimize their trade duties. There’s never a dull moment in his job, especially lately.

“Every single day we come into work and they’ve done something else. They’ve changed the rules on us, they’ve racked up the duties or changing the dates. It’s great for job security but I don’t think I’ve had six hours of sleep straight in probably a year,” Mento said.

Mento enjoys sharing his trade knowledge. A year ago he did a webinar on the subject. “I was shocked when we had 500 come on live and probably another 500 listen to the recording and that’s when I realized there isn’t a lot of content around trade,” Mento recalled.

He saw an opening. Thus the Trade Geek Podcast was born.

Mento recently recorded his inaugural program at a World Trade Center Denver gathering with Otter Products C.O.O. Kyle Pettine as guest.

“What we’re trying to do is create an open forum where we can talk about duty avoidance, talk about trade compliance and do it in a way that’s applicable to their daily work. It’s very important to us that we’re not U.S. focused, that we’re trying to take everyone else’s opinions and what they’re going through,” Mento said.

And they’ve got plenty of questions. Like, when should a company consider moving its factories?

“Can you stay in China? If you do, will the tariffs lift? And if they don’t, the implication to your supply chain is profound,” Pettine’s answer.

Mento adds, “It’s become the most important conversation among logistics professionals: how do we manage this and help manage this for our clients?”

Hope, he said, is not a strategy for trade-affected businesses, of which there are many these days. That’s why he thinks sharing information and content on this complex issue is so critical. He never thought trade would become a prominent topic of conversation

A trade resolution, if it happens, will make his podcast even more relevant, he believes, now that he said countries have weaponized tariffs. This former comedian wants to be a thought leader on this subject while entertaining listeners along the way.