As global trade grows and increases in complexity, trade-based money laundering has become the weakest link in anti-money laundering initiatives. Banks and government officials are strengthening international collaboration to crack down on criminals who hide and launder their dirty money in global trade transactions.
There are some in the United States who are frustrated with the administration’s willingness to toss out the traditional trade policy playbook, but if trade talks over soybeans and intellectual property protections can be leveraged to address illicit trade in deadly fentanyl, we can all get on board with that.
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.
China’s cybersecurity law can be used as a form of “backdoor” trade retaliation to hurt U.S. firms in China.
Forty percent of American marriage proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Nothing is more synonymous with an engagement than a sparkling diamond ring. Happy couples have international trade to thank for their symbol of commitment: the United States imports 99 percent of its gemstones from other countries.
The North Korean regime continues to amass missile and nuclear technologies, through a combination of global licit and illicit transactions. North Korea trades for currency, for fuel, and for military materiel to preserve its power. Will expanded sanctions choke off revenue for weapons programs, or will continued trade ties with China throw North Korea a lifeline?
Digital trade is a boon to consumers and businesses all over the world. But cyberspace is a Darwinian environment with predators and victims. Cyber criminals are fast and innovative. Defenders are too often slow and reactive. The risks, however, can be reduced and managed.
The scope and speed of cyber attacks show just how interconnected and fragile the infrastructure of global commerce is. It’s a vulnerability that criminals are all too eager to exploit: cybercrime is a booming international business.