Whatever you buy for the holidays this year, chances are, there’s a global trade aspect to your gift-gifting. As we like to say at TradeVistas, “see the trade in everything.” Happy holidays.
As we bundle up for the remainder of the winter season, we can give thanks to global trade for gifting us with some of today’s trendiest and coziest items – Sherpa wool coats, Mongolian lamb fur pillows and cashmere sweaters, Giza cotton sheets, and Turkish towels.
If shoppers are worried about the U.S.-China trade war, it’s not showing up yet in measures of their buying confidence or holiday retail sales. After more than a year of dueling tariffs, American and Chinese consumers are still filling their real and virtual shopping carts to the brim.
The question of where and how pencils are made has resurfaced in the current debate over American trade policy. Policymakers often try to revive trade-impacted low-tech sectors through trade protection. The pencil industry’s experience highlights the difficulties of this approach.
From birthday parties to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, balloons are a staple when it comes to party decor and celebrations. But the world is running short on the critical element that makes them float: helium. With all of the uncertainty in the helium supply chain and so few sources available, pricing has been volatile and shortages over the last ten years have been common.
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.
Nearly 3 in 10 Americans have at least one tattoo. When someone gets “inked,” the pigment injected under the skin is most likely comprised of globally produced and traded mineral powders and the industrial chemical called carbon black.
In September last year, the Trump Administration finalized a list of $200 billion in imported goods subject to tariffs. The list included rubberized textile fabrics, affecting water resistant clothing. Find out how apparel and footwear companies are weathering the storm of tariffs on imports from China.
U.S. footwear production dates as far back as 1750, but today 98 percent of shoes are manufactured abroad. Historically, footwear tariffs have been out of step with the United States’ general approach to free trade. High tariffs on products like shoes hit low-income families the hardest – particularly those with children – as these families spend the highest share of their incomes on home goods that tend to be imported.
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.