While the International Trade Commission was running its numbers on the economic impacts of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement, we decided to run our own analytics about how you use our site. This week we introduced a fresh look and, more important, improved navigation to find all the stories you’re looking for.
This week we look at trade with Asia, and how one could liken the World Trade Organization (WTO) reform process to the Japanese ritual of hanami (flower viewing). While the current global trading system has generated opportunities for every member to pursue growth and prosperity through increased trade, we’ve come to rely on it and rarely stop to appreciate it. Our feature article looks at the areas in need of WTO renewal. Also this week, from cherry blossom KitKats to bubble tea and Pocky sticks, we look at how trade spreads an Asian twist to our favorite snacks and how consumers in Asia also display a healthy appetite for exotic cuts of meat that don’t make it to many American plates.
The bountiful show of cherry blossoms in Washington DC is a reliable harbinger of spring renewal. When they bloom in Japan, communities pause to appreciate their beauty and reflect on renewal. As WTO members start to design critical reforms to the global trading system, they should carry a renewed commitment to its future and a renewed vision to match that of its founders.
When it comes to variety meats, the best prices can typically be found in foreign countries where offal is more popular. International trade allows the U.S. meat industry to capitalize on differences in consumer preferences and maximize value.
Cherry blossom, green tea, and red bean are popular flavors in Asia used in a wide variety of snack foods. The core ingredients of some of these snack foods were not native to Asia. But global trade spread access to non-native plants and ingredients, enabling other countries to put their own flavor spin on new products.
Turmeric is the new “it” spice. We buy most of it from India. But while things are looking golden for trade in this trendy spice, U.S.-India trade relations have been heating up over the past few years. The White House recently announced India could soon be terminated from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. This week, we look at U.S.-India trade relations and explore the history of trade preference programs around the world.
The concept of creating a generalized, non-reciprocal system of preferences for developing countries dates back to 1968. But enabling legitimate forms of discrimination has predictably had positive and negative consequences and there’s little economic data to demonstrate the programs have accrued significant benefits.
Turmeric is the new “it” spice. While things are golden for trade in turmeric, less can be said for U.S.-India trade relations as a whole. Tensions have been heating up over the past few years, culminating in the recent announcement from the White House that India could soon be terminated from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.