Invisible Trade

Newer forms of computing brains are coming online and there’s an entire class of seemingly invisible global transactions burgeoning. Governments are actively writing standards, regulations, and issuing strategic directives around new digital technologies. Their visions will inform eventual global disciplines around digital trade. All of us will need to be informed about what these technologies are and how they will shape the future of trade. We modestly begin with two offerings on artificial intelligence (AI) and an overview of industry concerns about the proliferation of barriers to digital trade.

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The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on International Trade

AI is already changing global value chains and international trade patterns. Trade rules crafted today in the WTO or free trade agreements will play a critical role in further shaping how AI is further developed and deployed globally.

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“Data Localization” and Other Barriers to Digital Trade

E-commerce allows us to order anything around the world with just an Internet connection and the click of a button. As digital trade has expanded, so have barriers like data localization. International trade rules are still racing to catch up with an increasingly digitally connected world.

Hand of a businessman shaking hands with a droid robot. The concept of human interaction with artificial intelligence.

China’s Industrial Policies and Trade Rules – If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em?

Discussions are now underway as to whether EU antitrust policies need to be relaxed in order to allow greater latitude to meet the challenge posed by Chinese mega-firms.

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Black Panther: Pass the Popcorn and Ignore the Trade Policy

Largely set in the mythical African kingdom of Wakanda, Black Panther portrays this small land-locked country as home to vast riches, the planet’s most advanced technology, and—as a result of largely avoiding contact with the outside world—an autarkic trade policy. While perhaps sufficient for a superhero movie’s flexible bounds of believability, audience members should not mistake this comic book-inspired universe for economic reality.

Guns N’ Roses

In our Valentine’s Day edition, we take a look at trade in roses and how trade policy was deployed in the fight against cocaine trafficking from Colombia. Until the late 1980s, most roses sold in the United States came from California. After the enactment of the Andean Trade Preferences Act in 1991, American rose production has dropped 95 percent. The explanation is years of U.S. Government trade, development, and drug eradication policies designed to move South American growers away from cultivating the coca plant used to make cocaine, by substituting commercially profitable production of cut flowers. Also this week, we analyze recent polls to see if our love has rekindled for NAFTA, and/or flamed out for tariffs.

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When a Rose Isn’t Just a Rose: How Trade Policy Was Used to Fight Drugs from Colombia

Americans will give each other 200 million roses over the Valentine season. The majority were grown in Colombia. How did this come to be? For decades, U.S. Government trade, development, and drug eradication policies were designed to move South American growers away from cultivating the coca plant used to make cocaine by substituting commercially profitable production of cut flowers.

Business man giving rating and review with happy, neutral or sad face icons. Customer satisfaction and service quality survey.

Is Public Opinion Turning Against Tariffs?

New public opinion research shows that the majority of Americans worry the tariffs will do more harm than good for the economy.

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A High Wire Act: The Trump Administration and Section 232

The current administration’s use of Section 232 to impose trade-restrictive measures on imports of steel and aluminum has become the source of increasing domestic discontent among steel-using industries, farmers who are the target of retaliatory tariffs, and Members of Congress who are reconsidering having delegated powers over trade to the President. It has also put WTO dispute settlement to an unwelcome test.

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Online Microwork and Freelancing: Tapping Into the Global Talent Pool

Technology has enabled us to tap into a global labor pool of remote workers anywhere in the world there’s a good Internet connection. 48 million workers registered their services on online outsourcing sites in 2013, according to the World Bank.