Many industry observers are sounding alarms about the looming impact of automation, robots and 3D printing, which they fear will destroy jobs, disrupt value chains and maybe even reduce the need for international trade. But data and evidence don’t support the hype.
The civil war raging in Syria for eight years now has taken an immense physical, social and economic toll on the country. The longer conflict persists, the deeper the separation from global society, and the harder it will be to rebuild the economic mechanisms and institutions necessary to increase trade and encourage economic growth.
Pomegranates figure prominently every Jewish New Year. Thanks to trade we can enjoy them nearly all year-round. But in order to continue enjoying a variety of foods – and sustain basic crop production – growers must have access to a variety of high-quality seeds.
After a decade of steady increase, the volume of arms trade by 2012 had reached levels not seen since the end of the Cold War. Trade in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies is regulated through policies that include government defense procurement regulations, national export control licensing regimes and embargoes.
Sand is a critical component in many of the products we depend on every day. Demand for sand is expected to increase in the coming years, especially in developing countries faced with increasing populations, urbanization and economic growth. But despite its importance worldwide, sand is one of the least regulated resources today.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a vehicle for gaining entry into growth markets. In theory and in general, it’s a win-win. In practice and locally, it will depend on each deal. Global FDI flows have taken a dive, in part due to a souring investment climate and uncertainties in trade policies, but they are critical for growth in developing and developed markets alike.
For the United States and the global economy, tourism and travel are the unsung heroes of the international trade story. Tourism brings 80 million visitors to the United States every year and accounts for 10 percent of all U.S. exports. Globally, tourism is the third-largest sector in international trade. Above all, tourism and travel promote trade in international understanding and global goodwill.
Every February, two out of every three commercial bee hives in the United States are transported to California for the almond bloom. It’s just the start of an annual food pollinating bee tour. Anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of the bee population kept as livestock crisscross the United States foraging on the blooms of crops that will make eventually their way into our grocery stores and into overseas markets.
Smoother and faster customs procedures could boost global trade volumes and economic output. Blockchain is a promising technology that, if widely adopted by shippers and customs agencies, could reduce the current mounds of paperwork and costs associated with import and export licenses, cargo and shipping documents, and customs declarations.
80 percent of all global trade is transacted through third-party lenders and cargo insurers, but the process is complex, can be costly and many banks find it too risky to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Blockchain has the potential to increase transparency, speed and accuracy in assessing risk across the trade finance process, which in turn could expand the supply of credit available for SMEs.