Topic Category: Trade & Finance

U.S. economic growth dipped 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014 and is unlikely to exceed 2 percent this year. Projections for the European Union (EU), at 1.6 percent, and Emerging Markets, at 4.9 percent, also remain low, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Nevertheless, Emerging Market projections are considerably higher than the United States’. Consequently, for many U.S. firms interested in higher returns, international expansion is essential.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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Selling more to China has been one of the hottest topics since the beginning of the Obama Presidency. Though exports to China have trebled since an agreement to support U.S. manufacturers was reached in 2005, the trade deficit continues to grow. A renewed push from within China is providing hope for accelerating U.S. export growth.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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On May 19, the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) joined with free-trade zones and associations from around the world to promote trade, development, and the rule of law by launching the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO) at a public event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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A metaphor for President Obama's recent trip to Asia was the widely aired game of soccer he had with a Japanese robot. In essence, Japan made Obama kick the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — which unites 12 economies around the Pacific Rim — down the road as trade talks stalled. How important is TPP to American trade?

Topic: Trade & Finance
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International trade is anticipated to expand by 4.5 percent this year and 5.2 percent in 2015.(1) This is supported by the world’s growing middle class, whose numbers are projected to rise by one billion by 2020, and whose purchasing power will more than double by 2030.(2) But will America’s ports be able to handle the increase in volume transported by larger Post-Panamax vessels?

Topic: Trade & Finance
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Trade bills do not seem to be moving any faster through Congress than other legislation these days. But with an executive order on February 19, President Obama took a welcome step toward facilitating the freer flow of goods across the U.S. border. The White House order reduces supply-chain barriers to commerce that can inhibit the exchange of goods just as much as tariffs and quotas.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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Did Harry Reid kill the trade agenda? The Senate Majority Leader is no champion of economic freedom to be sure, but his opposition to the fast track bill (trade promotion authority) doesn’t kill it. It merely strengthens the hand of his colleagues who might support a more protectionist version of the legislation. It’s an invitation to negotiate.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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Legislation recently introduced in Congress to restore “fast track” trade promotion authority is considered necessary to complete and ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific-bordering nations, as well as other trade agreements. But this vehicle, which conveys congressional negotiating objectives to the president in exchange of a timely, up-or-down vote, pulled out of the driveway on a flat tire, and the spare is buried in the president’s trunk.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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Growth projections for nearly every emerging market and developing country have been reduced in recent months. At the same time, the prospects of many advanced economies, including the U.S., have improved. And the trends are strengthening. For example, in the first three quarters of 2013, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth registered 1.1, 2.5 and 4.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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After several decades of kinder, gentler compliance-focused assessments, Customs & Border Protection’s Office of Regulatory Audit still retains a “gotcha” import audit approach reminiscent of the 1980s and early 1990s in its enforcement arsenal. And, according to Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg sources, all importers—especially small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs)—are cautioned to prepare for what is expected to be another wave of intense government scrutiny.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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