When you think haute couture, you think of the fashion capitals of the world – Milan, Paris, New York, London, and Tokyo. Whether we’re talking about runway gowns or graphic tees, the fashion industry is global. But did you know that an average 70 percent of your clothes are “Made in America”?
Public debate over whether to continue to operate the U.S. Export-Import Bank has less to do with how its run than who it’s run for. The companies using its services range from the titans of industry including Boeing, GE, and Caterpillar, to small firms across the United States that literally set up shop on Main Street.
Increasingly, the services sector shapes the way global commerce takes place. The trading system needs to give the rules around trade in services an upgrade to match this reality.
More than half of the world’s cut flowers still pass through auction houses in The Netherlands before reaching your local floral shop or grocery. That’s starting to change. Digital trade and lower transportation costs are helping developing countries like Colombia, Kenya, Ecuador and Ethiopia sell directly to buyers and blossom in global flower trade.
Every day, Facebook users share posts or “friend” someone, creating billions of new connections. Trade agreements don’t tell businesses whom to friend or like. But by removing obstacles to commercial transactions, trade agreements serve as a platform for American businesses of all sizes to better connect with buyers and sellers around the world.
WTO members voluntarily agreed to rules to create a more secure and predictable trading environment for their traders. By and large, members comply with these rules so that others will as well. But when one member believes that another is not complying, the WTO has procedures for settling disputes.
Currency exchange rates have affected the terms of international trade since the beginning of floating exchange rates, and for nearly as long, politicians have accused trading partners of manipulating exchange rates to gain an unfair advantage. What does it mean to engage in “currency manipulation,” how do governments determine whether and when it happens, and what can be done about it?
Higher education is fast becoming one of the world’s leading “exports.” Many people may not think of education as an “export,” but when an international student comes to the United States, for example, the monies spent on tuition, fees and living expenses are considered “exports” of education services.
In 2016, the United States ran a trade deficit of $500.6 billion. If President Trump wanted to reduce the U.S. deficit with Mexico or China, all he has to do is change the way we count it.