David J. Lynch, Carol Leonnig, Josh Dawsey and Jeff Stein of The Washington Post have won the 2020 Hinrich Foundation Award for Distinguished Reporting on Trade for stories that brought to light the complexities of doing business in China in 2020.
Their stories shed light on how the coronavirus upended global supply chains as the pandemic spread from China to the rest of the world. They gave readers an indelible portrait of President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, illuminating how personality and politics affected the evolution of U.S. policy.
Post global economics correspondent Lynch showed how one multinational company, Flex Ltd., managed to profit from the upheaval by remaking supply chains built for efficiency into sourcing that emphasized resiliency, navigating away from China. Lynch’s story explained a shift that may foretell how pandemic adaptations could have lasting ramifications for global trade.
The National Press Foundation judges in particular praised the Flex piece, “Business Unusual,” as “fine, well-sourced and vivid storytelling.”
Lynch’s Flex story provided a “thorough, inside-out account of how a company that handles manufacturing of a whole universe of products — from Apple Mac Pros to Allergan eye drops — has navigated the sea changes and disruptions of the pandemic, at a time when the Trump administration was trying to argue against the very reality of supply chains,” the judges said. They called the details about how Flex coordinated production of more than 1 million parts at factories in 30 countries “fascinating” and said the piece skillfully blended the microeconomic and macroeconomic aspects of a sweeping global upheaval.