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.
Until recently, the gains from commercial use of space manifested primarily in the growing use of satellites that enable precise navigational maps in your car and the dish on your roof to channel satellite television into your home. A new era is dawning in which private companies routinely launch payloads into space. We’re a long way off from having the framework of rules we might need here on Earth to accommodate the take off of the global space industry.
The National Inventors museum inducted fifteen more members into its Hall of Fame. Among those honored were Marvin Caruthers, Arogyaswami Paulraj, and Stan Honey. You may not have heard these names, but you’ve benefited from their inventions.
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.
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.
Small businesses have more opportunities than ever to sell to customers around the world, but IP theft is one of their biggest risks to pursuing these sales. Just ask Liz Fields, a successful designer of bridesmaid and wedding dresses, who found counterfeit versions of her designs undercutting her business — and her credibility.
The operator’s manual for the popular entry-level Honda Civic is 601 pages. It doesn’t fit in the glove box; it comes in the form of an electronic document to download, which seems appropriate considering the number of electronic components in the car. High-tech, high-cost, components are lightweight and positioned to move long distances on a just-in-time basis.
Every January, the global automobile industry gathers in the Motor City for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). In a celebration of ingenuity, companies display futuristic concept cars, present cutting-edge technologies, and promote their latest offerings.
Protectionism is making a comeback. Governments aren’t just trying to protect traditional sectors such as agriculture,chemicals, and machinery out of concern for lost jobs or domestic economic interests. They’re also intervening in the digital economy and innovation-intensive industries as critical components of national competitiveness.
In an era when who trades, what is traded, and how it’s trade are in constant flux, the only constant for international trade rules is the potential for obsolescence. Technological innovations are testing the limitations — and rationale — of the old rules.