For most countries, the ability to produce and export goods internationally is part of the lifeblood of the economy. When a country has a comparative advantage and can export goods to another nation more cost-effectively than other lands, the ability to make money not only boosts that country’s economy, it can also give the exporting nation a distinct power leverage benefit. The barriers that have been put in place recently may be a problem for some countries, but don’t count them out of the global trade picture yet; the situation is still twisting and turning like a long piece of ribbon in a wind storm.
Exports moving from one country to another often have a positive effect on both nations because the product movement boosts economic growth while it creates jobs on both sides. Whether it is food or automobiles, the items need to be created, marketed, moved, marketed on the other shores, and sold – meaning the creation of hundreds of millions of jobs across the globe related to exports supported by companies like the GBTI Bank and other financial institutions. It is estimated there are nearly 40 million jobs created by the export trade in the United States alone.
The importance of export trade cannot be overemphasized because as nations grow and mature, the stability of those countries often hinges upon items or goods they are unable to produce within their boundaries. The needs may be technological, consumables, or animals, but at the bottom of the need to import the items is the fact the nation does not have the ability or capacity to produce the goods as efficiently, cost-effectively, or with the resources necessary.
As more people across the globe require more items their individual countries cannot provide, the demand for those goods can bring about an economic revolution as the nations advance. Between 2005 and 2014, global trade increased from $10 trillion to $18 trillion. One problem found with the increasing demand is the power shift between countries as the world acknowledges one has the capacity to withhold goods and services other nations have begun to rely upon up. Although this may prove to become a larger problem as consumerism continues around the world, for now, the issues are more balanced as power continually shifts between nations.
Currently, consumers are the driving force behind the trade as they demand new products, better versions of existing items, and greater services. Researchers found that global exports benefit the poor and lower working-class individuals as a group much more than other groups. It is estimated that about 66 percent of that group relies on exports in their daily lives. Although the anti-globalization voices are growing louder, the voices of those relying on exports still have a stronger world presence.
As the ability of countries to export fluctuates, there is power in the numbers of nations that deal with the trade-related disasters that can occur. From oil spills to over-fishing, the problems politicized the most in the past decade have found solutions, if only temporarily, with the help of other countries that depend on the exports of those countries most hurt by the tragedy or broken agreement. When unfair practices occur, those countries most closely monitoring the situations can ask other countries to help boycott the nations that broke the trade agreements. The pressure often results in the end of unfair practices.
Although the anti-globalization voices demand global trade to be curtailed or drastically diminished, there is little chance that will occur in the near future. Even though the World Trade Organization does have many problems in the way it works within and between countries, there is a strength that exists in the group that holds the rules and regulations of all members in place when all other efforts fail. As with other large organizations, there may be corruption in certain arms of global trade, but when it is located or identified, a light is shone, and the corruption is quickly eradicated.
Perhaps the problems aren’t about revamping or curtailing the global trade market. Perhaps the focus should be on improving the situation surrounding the trading countries and how they are connected in an intricate web of rapidly evolving technology. A terrible danger could rain through the various countries if the technologically advanced groups decided to withhold their products and services to leverage something the nations wanted or needed. By closing the markets to free trade, the global economy would be destroyed, and as open markets were crushed, the displaced workers would become hapless victims of a system that no longer needed them.
The current global trade system may not be perfect, but nothing in life is. Threatening to walk away or pulling support out of the market ultimately hurts the poor and lower working-class individuals that rely on exports to survive. Building trade walls may sound like a good idea to some, but in reality, all walls do when you build them is to lock yourself into a limited area. Global trade is about expansion while walls about limitations. Which do you want?