2017 World Trade Week Kicks Off With President’s “E” Awards Ceremony

May 22, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by Nicole àBeckett  |  Blog

President Trump has proclaimed May 21-May 27 2017 as World Trade Week. In the proclamation, the President highlights the importance of trade expansion to the U.S.’s economic growth. Further, he declares commitment to breaking down trade barriers and opening up new markets for American exports.

He mentions that “robust trade” is critical to the economic strength of the U.S., and urges the recognition and celebration of the power of fair international commerce to bring benefits to our country). He focuses on the promotion of trade for U.S. manufacturers and small businesses, who he believes to be most affected by unfair trade practices.

Over this World Trade Week, the President urges Americans to celebrate the benefits of trade for the U.S. through trade shows, events, and educational programs.

The week kicked off today at the 2017 President’s “E” Awards ceremony, where U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross honored 32 U.S. companies that export goods and services This year, honorees included 26 small and medium-sized businesses as well as 11 manufacturers.

The “E” Award is the greatest recognition a U.S. entity can be awarded for making significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports. Today’s honorees were responsible for exporting about $2.2 trillion worth of goods and services in 2016 and supporting 11.5 U.S. jobs. For more information on the “E” award ceremony and the companies honored during the event, check out the Department of Commerce’s website.

Mercatura Global is an advocate of the expansion of U.S. exports. As a global trade consulting firm, we can assist your company in engaging in international trade and reaching a broader consumer base. If you are interested in tapping into global markets, contact Mercatura Global today to identify your export readiness and develop an expansion strategy.

IMF Director Defends Trade as Driver of International Growth

April 10, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by Nicole àBeckett  |  Blog

As part of the joint report ‘Making Trade an Engine of Growth for All,’ the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and World Bank emphasized the role of trade as a driver of global growth (Reuters). During the unveiling of the report in Berlin, all three organizations claimed the current trend toward protectionism since the early 2000s posed a threat to international economic growth.

Christine Lagarde, the director of the IMF, made a statement asserting that “trade integration is a powerful tool to raise growth and improve living standards.” She continued to assert it is an engine for global growth and prosperity.

According to the Financial Times, the joint report is a response to President Trump’s protectionist rhetoric and criticism toward multilateralism. He has also been critical of the role of the WTO, and the reports calls for governments to defend the WTO, its dispute settlement system, and its ability to prevent trade wars.  The report comes a little over a week before finance ministers and central bankers from around the world gather in Washington D.C. for the first biennial meetings of the IMF and World Bank since the U.S. election.

As the U.S. is the biggest shareholder of both institutions, it is likely that the upcoming meetings will be centered on President Trump’s plans for them.

Mercatura Global is a supporter of free trade and its ability to make international trade accessible for everyone. We help facilitate the export process to assure your company maximizes its returns and develops the most profitable export strategy. If you are interested in learning more about expanding your business globally, contact us today.

The Future of the U.S. and the World Trade Organization

March 1, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by Nicole àBeckett  |  Blog

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative has claimed that America plans to defend its “national sovereignty over trade policy” rather than answer to an international body such as the World Trade Organization (Bloomberg). The Trump Administration’s new trade agenda suggests that the U.S. could potentially unilaterally impose tariffs against countries thought to have unfair trade practices. This could mean that the White House will ignore certain rulings of the WTO, the 22-year old oversight body that adjudicates trade disputes.

Breaking away from WTO rules would be aimed at increasing U.S. economic growth and promoting job creation in the U.S. This would be accomplished by focusing on bilateral trade agreements rather than multilateral deals. Focusing on bilateral trade agreements would help resist efforts by other countries (or international bodies lie the WTO) to weaken the right or benefits of various trade agreements in which the U.S. is involved (The Washington Post). However, by not complying with WTO decisions, other countries may follow suit and a new era of economic protectionism may ensue.

Under the WTO, the U.S. is hindered in responding to what the new administration claims to be unfair trade practices. Critics of the new U.S. trade agenda claim that it would cause the WTO to lose effectiveness and credibility in trade resolutions, as the U.S. helped create the WTO in the first

Leaving the WTO would require approval of Congress, so it unclear how much this new trade agenda could affect international trade.

A Closer Look into U.S. Trade With Mexico

January 30, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by Nicole àBeckett  |  Blog

The past week has been rocky between the U.S. and Mexico. In addition to conflict over a Mexico-U.S. border wall, President Donald Trump also has raised concern over the trade imbalance with Mexico, claiming “Mexico has taken advantage of the US for long enough” (Politico).

While the U.S. did run a $49.2 billion deficit on the $583 billion total bilateral trade with Mexico in 2015, these numbers do not tell the full story. Within the category of professional services, the U.S. actually ran a surplus of $9.2 billion, including industries such as travel, transportation, and computer software (Global Trade Magazine). On the other side, Mexico mainly exports manufactured goods that typically require cheaper labor.

The year before NAFTA was enacted, total bilateral trade with Mexico stood at only $85 billion. In 2015 alone, the U.S. annual exports to Mexico stood at $236 billion (The Washington Post). This is almost triple the total bilateral trade between the two countries in 1995. Now, Mexico is America’s third-largest trading partner, and the two economies are highly intertwined.

In recent days, the White House has been warning against imposing a 20% tariff on Mexican goods. While America could experience a shortage of fresh vegetables and fruits, it is likely that Mexico’s economy would be devastated by such a tax (The New York Times). However, imposing a tariff on Mexico would imply that the U.S. pulls out of NAFTA, which would greatly harm American consumers and businesses alike.

 

U.K. Eager to Make Post-Brexit Trade Deal with the U.S.  

January 11, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by Nicole àBeckett  |  Blog

Although outgoing President Barack Obama previously claimed Britain would be “at the back of the queue” for trade deals with a post-Brexit U.K., President-elect Donald Trump is planning on taking the opposite approach. U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has claimed that the incoming U.S. administration desires to complete a trade deal with the U.K. promptly when Trump takes office (Bloomberg).

The meeting between Johnson and Republican congressional leaders was a prelude to an official trip by Theresa May to meet Donald Trump later this year. After the meeting with Johnson, House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed that the U.S. is committed to making its relationship with the U.K. even stronger (Financial Times). Ryan claimed both parties discussed their commitment to NATO and the improvement of their bilateral trade relations.

Overall, the talks supported positive prospects for a future trade deal between the two countries.

The U.K has been eager to negotiate new trade deals as it plans to leave the E.U.’s customs union. While it was in the European Union, the U.K. did not have the ability to set its own trade tariffs, limiting the deals they could make with the rest of the world (BBC News). However, it will have to negotiate a new trade deal with the E.U., which many believe will take up to 10 years.

The Brexit decision caused the U.K. to be reliant on new trade deals to compensate for losing free trade within the E.U. Trade deals with the U.S. and other countries will be imperative for the U.K.’s economic growth and recovery.

APEC Leaders Push Back Against Protectionism at Summit in Peru

November 29, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by Nicole àBeckett  |  Blog

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) met on Sunday, November 20th in Lima, Peru. APEC is comprised of 21 Pacific Rim nations, including the United States, and member nations account for about 60% of global GDP.

Conversations at the summit centered around the recent U.S. election and president-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist trade stance. During his campaign, he had pledged to pull out of the TPP, threatened to impose steep tariffs on China, and urged for a renegotiation of NAFTA. In Peru, leaders of APEC nations vowed to persuade Trump of the benefits of trade. Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski claimed they must “give an unequivocal message to the world that trade continues to be beneficial” (The Wall Street Journal).

Obama attended the summit, and he continued to argue that the TPP would benefit the U.S. economy. Further, he believes that failing to move forward with the agreement would “undermine” U.S. influence and give an upper hand to China (Reuters). At the summit, TPP member nations asserted that they intended to move forward with the agreement, even if the U.S. did not participate. They also claimed they may be willing to implement slight changes to the agreement to please the U.S. president-elect.

Further, China pushed its alternative vision of free trade in the region through its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This agreement would not include the U.S., so it would exclude U.S. workers and businesses from better access to such markets.

Overall, the summit solidified the 21 Pacific-Rim nations’ broader goal of accomplishing free trade in the region. They intend to keep markets open and fight against protectionism.

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