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.
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.
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.
AI is already changing global value chains and international trade patterns. Trade rules crafted today in the WTO or free trade agreements will play a critical role in further shaping how AI is further developed and deployed globally.
For the two-thirds of Americans who drink at least one cup of coffee per day, it’s nearly impossible to be a true locavore. More than three-quarters of U.S. coffee imports come from just four countries: Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and Honduras, countries that have the right climate for growing it.
Whether you bought a multipack of screamers, bottle rockets, and roman candles from a roadside stand, or plan to watch a professionally-designed community display this Fourth of July, chances are the fireworks themselves were produced in China.
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.