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.
At some point between the start of the Thanksgiving holiday and Cyber Monday, did you reach for your credit card or use another secure payment system like PayPal to make a purchase online? You’re in good company: 259 million Americans routinely buy online. Last year, internet sales in China on “Single’s Day” reached $25.3 billion — $6 billion more than what Americans purchased online over the entire Thanksgiving weekend. In the future, the whole world just might be cashless.
Well-known razor makers like Boston-based Gillette already face strong headwinds from changing consumer habits: fewer men are shaving as regularly now that beards are more in fashion. Online subscription services like Dollar Shave Club or Harry’s are also putting pressure on prices and profit margins. Now, razor makers are dealing with the problem of tariffs on the specialized steel they import.
Underwear, panties, intimates, undergarments, bras, lingerie, undies – whatever you call it, American women buy a lot of it every year. Much of it comes from Sri Lanka. In recent years, Sri Lanka has shown it not only makes intimates designed to accentuate a woman’s curves — it’s also getting ahead of the sustainability curve.
In 2016, the United States imported $1.3 billion worth of natural rubber, second only to China as the world’s largest importer. But America’s largest rubber band manufacturer has asked U.S. trade agencies to investigate whether China, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are subsidizing their producers, enabling them to sell unfairly cheap rubber bands.
Despite the diffusion of drug production globally, a full three-quarters of spending on medicines in the United States is on products that are manufactured domestically, by both American and foreign companies.
One result of the widespread acceptance of e-commerce and home delivery is a growing and urgent demand for drivers – at least for now.
The super powers of the materials in our jeans, suits, and mattresses require textile innovation, something at which American researchers, engineers, and designers in the textile industry excel.
Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade, vintage, or other unique items, is one of many popular Internet platforms where individual creators can sell their works. Nearly 15 million Americans earned a collective $6 billion using just nine of these platforms. Millions more did the same worldwide. And now many of these creators are also global traders.
Riding the global waves of internet retailing, animal celebrity on social media, and “pet parenting,” spending on pet products and services is growing all over the world.