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   Issue 7/8, Winter 2006/Spring 2007

International Trade & Global Commerce

    Overview       International Organizations
    Print Resources         Internet Resources
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It is commonly suggested that the world is shrinking as international trade is expanding. The world economy continues to become more integrated. Products that we purchase may no longer be made in the U.S. These goods come from all over the world. Today, when we select goods and services to buy, we are participating in the global economy. Countries exchange goods and services through international trade. This trade allows countries to obtain goods that are less expensive, better quality or different from those made at home. The goods and services that a country purchases through international trade from another country are called imports. Goods and services sold by a country to other countries are known as exports. Most of the trading is done by companies, but individuals and governments can buy and sell goods from all over the world. Agricultural products, consumer goods, industrial equipment, and oil consist of the largest expenditures for international trade. Banking, engineering, insurance, telecommunications, transportation, and tourism are the chief services exchanged through international trade.

Following World War II, there was a dramatic expansion in world trade aided by international economic development efforts, the Bretton Woods Conference, as well as through the Uruguay Round and GATT. The growth of international trade has improved the economy of many countries in the world. International communication and transportation costs have declined creating better integration of the world economies. Countries are more interdependent. Economic conditions in one country can affect employment, prices, production and wages in other countries. Countries need to work together to assure prosperity for all.

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 7/8: Winter 2006/Spring 2007
Updated December 2013

International Economics & Trade

Table of Contents

World Economic History
International Trade & Global Commerce
International Finance
Foreign Exchange Market
Trade Policy, Treaties, & Law
International Organizations & Economic Development
Country Data
Economic Trade Data & Statistics
U.S. Government Resources
Online Periodicals
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Hanjin company container ship at port in the Port of Vancouver
Image (above):
Hanjin company container ship at port in the Port of Vancouver
Courtesy of Joseph Sams.

One of the benefits of international trade is that countries can use their resources - land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship - in a manner that promotes efficiency. Countries can limit themselves to those products and services that they can produce more efficiently, and trade them for other goods and services that they do not produce. This results in wealthier countries and a wealthier world. Through specialization and trade, a larger variety of goods are available for consumers to choose from, and prices are more affordable.

Organizations Involved in International Trade and the Global Economy

As trade has become of greater importance to the world economy, international organizations have been established to assure cooperation regarding trade matters. Major organizations include: the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, the Group of eight, the European Union, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. For additional organizations concerned with international economic development, see the International Organizations section of this guide.

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) External Link

The Bank for International Settlements is located in Basel, Switzerland. It was established in 1930 to promote cooperation among the central banks and other financial agencies of the world. The Bank's Committee on International Banking Supervision establishes financial and performance guidelines for the world's commercial banks.

European Union (EU) External Link (Europa - The European Union On-Line)

The European Union is the result of efforts that began in 1951. The purpose of the organization is to promote economic and social progress. In 1993, it established a single market for trade, and in 1999, a single currency was created. The single market established one set of rules for traders to market their goods and services.

Group of Eight (G8) External Link (Wikipedia) External Link (G8 Information Centre)

The Group of Eight, originally the G6, was established in 1975 as a forum for world leaders to discuss pertinent macroeconomic and monetary issues. The purpose of the group was to fill the gap in the management of the monetary system after the failure of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971.
The presidency of the G8 rotates between member countries and it is likely that the current presidency establishes their own website for their presidency. To find it just do a regular internet search.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) External Link

The International Monetary Fund as established in 1944 by the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Membership of the IMF includes 183 countries. Among the goals of the IMF are: the promotion of international monetary cooperation; an orderly means of monetary exchange; and facilitation of the expansion and growth of international trade.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
(U.S. Office of NAFTA and Inter-American Affairs)

The North American Free Trade Agreement eliminated trade barriers and facilitated the movement of goods and services for the United States, Canada and Mexico. It was also intended to promote fair competition and increase investment opportunities.

World Bank External Link

The World Bank was founded in 1944 at the Bretton Woods, New Hampshire Monetary and Financial Conference. It is dedicated to helping the world's poorest countries by providing the financial resources for those countries to improve their economy and the living environment of their people.

World Trade Organization External Link

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established January 1, 1995. It is the only international organization that deals with the rules of trade between nations. The WTO was created by the Uruguay Round of negotiations. There are 144 member countries that belong to the WTO.

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Selected Print Resources

Baker, James Calvin. Financing International Trade. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. 199 p.
LC Call Number: HG3881 .B2533 2003
LC Catalog Record: 2003058002

Explains the international trade finance system of financial institutions; public and private trade credit guarantee and insurance agencies; and other public and private associations and firms that facilitate international trade and its financing. Emphasis is on U.S. institutions, but this work does discuss major export credit agencies operating around the world. Contains a number of tables and figures, appendices, a selected bibliography, and an index.

Ball, Donald A., et al. International Business: The Challenge of Global Competition. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2006. 10th edition, 536 p.
LC Call Number: HD62.4 .B34 2013
LC Catalog Record: 2011045058

This titles is broken down into three sections:

SECTION ONE The Nature of International Business
Chapter 1 The Challenging World of International Business
Chapter 2 International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment
Chapter 3 International Institutions from an International Business Perspective

SECTION TWO International Environmental Forces
Chapter 4 Sociocultural Forces
Chapter 5 Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability
Chapter 6 Political and Trade Forces
Chapter 7 Intellectual Property and Other Legal Forces
Chapter 8 The International Monetary System and Financial Forces

SECTION THREE The Organizational Environment
Chapter 9 International Competitive Strategy
Chapter 10 Organizational Design and Control
Chapter 11 Global Leadership Issues and Practices
Chapter 12 Assessing International Markets
Chapter 13 Entry Modes
Chapter 14 Export and Import Practices
Chapter 15 Marketing Internationally
Chapter 16 Global Operations and Supply Chain Management
Chapter 17 Managing Human Resources in an International Context
Chapter 18 International Accounting and Financial Management

Caves, Richard E., Jeffrey A. Frankel, and Ronald W. Jones. World Trade and Payments: An Introduction. Boston: Pearson Education, 2007. 10th edition, 634p.
LC Call Number: HF1379 .C38 2007
LC Catalog Record: 2006013259

This work is updated frequently. Discusses a number of topics including: commodity trade, trade patterns, income distribution, commercial policy, trade controls, balance of payments, foreign exchange market, and international financial markets. Includes informational supplements for selected chapters and an index.

Gianturco, Delio E. Export Credit Agencies: The Unsung Giants of International Trade and Finance. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2001. 198 p.
LC Call Number: HG3753 .G48 2001
LC Catalog Record: 00062773

Discussion of the world's export credit agencies (ECAs) which are highly specialized institutions of international finance that cover billions of dollars of exports annually. Although few in number, ECAs have made an extensive contribution to trade and development, globalization, and a healthy world economy. ECA funding, loans, guarantees and insurance have actively contributed to overseas development by giving support to exporters throughout the world. This work includes a history of ECAs and explains the various ways that they are organized and operate. Has several appendices, including a glossary of technical terms; a bibliography; and an index.

A Handbook of World Trade: A Strategic Guide to Trading Internationally, edited by Jonathan Reuvid. Sterling, VA: Kogan Page, 2004. 2nd edition, 466 p.
LC Call Number: HF1379 .H366 2004
LC Catalog Record: 2003026740
Table of Contents

As stated in the introduction, the two objectives of this work are to offer practical business guidance to companies seeking to expand their international trading activities and to provide a comprehensive background briefing on the evolution of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its leading role in the development of freer global markets within the framework of WTO rules. It is a collection of essays written by knowledgeable writers and is arranged in five parts according to subjects relating to international trade. Has an attractive format, a number of useful appendices and an index.

Hinkelman, Edward G. Dictionary of International Trade: Handbook of the Global Trade Community Includes 34 Key Appendices.. Petaluma, Calif. : World Trade Press, 2013. 10th edition.
LC Call Number: HF1373 .H55 2013
LC Catalog Record: 2012041397

In addition to being an extensive dictionary, includes a list of acronyms and abbreviations used in international trade; a list of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Country Codes; international access and dialing codes; a list of currencies of the world; business entities worldwide; a list of weights and measures; maps of the world; illustrated guides to ocean freight and air freight containers; guide to Incoterms 2010; guide to letters of credit; computer terms; a bibliography of resources for international trade; web resources; guide to trade documents; key words used in international trade in eight languages; world airports by IATA (International Air Transport Association) Code; and world airports by airport.

Johnson, Thomas E. Export/Import Procedures and Documentation. New York: AMACOM, 2010. Rev. and updated 4th ed., 624 p.
LC Call Number: HF1416.5 .J64 2010
LC Catalog Record: 2009040382

Takes complex foreign trade rules, regulations, procedures, and practices and includes them in a helpful volume explaining the export/import process in detail. This work will be helpful to international trade beginners and a reference resource for more experienced exporters and importers. Primarily intended for manufacturers exporting or importing goods, it can also be useful to freight forwarders, customs brokers, transportation carriers and others. Contains numerous explanatory figures; useful appendices; a glossary of international trade terms; and a detailed index.

Nelson, Carl A. Import/ Export: How to Get Started in International Trade. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009. 4th edition, 398 p.
LC Call Number: HF1416 .N45 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2010455283
Publisher's Description
Publisher-supplied Biographical Information

Explains in basic terms the business of international trade and its transactions. Gives useful information on importing and exporting for the novice as well as the experienced trader. Includes a chapter on cybertrading. Contains a number of helpful tables and figures, sample forms, several useful appendices, a glossary of trading terms, and an index.

Oatley, Thomas. International Political Economy. Boston : Longman, c2012. 5th edition, 416 p.
LC Call Number: HF1359 .O248 2012
LC Catalog Record: 2011000588

Chapters include:
1. International Political Economy
2. The WTO and the World Trade System
3. The Political Economy of International Trade Cooperation
4. A Society-Centered Approach to the Politics of Trade
5. A State-Centered Approach to Trade Politics
6. Trade and Development I: Import Substitution Industrialization
7. Trade and Development II: Economic Reform
8. Multinational Corporations in the Global Economy
9. The Politics of Multinational Corporations
10. The International Monetary System
11. Contemporary International Monetary Arrangements
12. A Society-Centered Approach to Monetary and Exchange-Rate Policies
13. A State-Centered Approach to Monetary and Exchange-Rate Policies
14. Developing Countries and International Finance I: The Latin American Debt Crisis
15. Developing Countries and International Finance II: A Decade of Crises
16. Globalization: Consequences and Controversies.

Salvatore, Dominick. International Economics. Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, 2013.11th edition, 787 p.
LC Call Number: HF1411 .S239 2013
LC Catalog Record: 2012043892

This title is broken down into four parts. There is also a nice glossary and Name index.

Part 1 International Trade Theory
The Law of Comparative Advantage
The Standard Theory of International Trade
Demand and Supply, Offer Curves, and the Terms of Trade
Factor Endowments and the Heckscher–Ohlin Theory; Economies of Scale, Imperfect Competition, and International Trade
Economic Growth and International Trade.

Part 2 International Trade Policy
Trade Restrictions: Tariffs; Nontariff Trade Barriers and the New Protectionism
Economic Integration: Customs Unions and Free Trade Areas
International Trade and Economic Development
International Resource Movements and Multinational Corporations.

Part 3 The Balance of Payments, Foreign Exchange Markets, and Exchange Rates
Balance of Payments
Foreign Exchange Markets and Exchange Rates
Exchange Rate Determination.

Part 4 Open-Economy Macroeconomics and the International Monetary System
The Price Adjustment Mechanism with Flexible and Fixed Exchange Rates
The Income Adjustment Mechanism and Synthesis of Automatic Adjustments
18 Open-Economy Macroeconomics: Adjustment Policies
Prices and Output in an Open Economy: Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
Flexible versus Fixed Exchange Rates, the European Monetary System, and Macroeconomic Policy Coordination
The International Monetary System: Past, Present, and Future.

Seyoum, Belay. Export-Import Theory, Practices, and Procedures. New York: International Business Press, 2009. 2nd edition, 677 p.
LC Call Number: HF1414.4 .S49 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2007034264
Table of Contents

The introduction to this work gives a brief history of international trade. Discusses the role of exports and imports in the global economy, trade regulatory and policy issues, international trade operations, the role of logistics and transportation, intellectual property and counter trade, and international agreements affecting trade. Has chapter summaries, a number of tables and illustrations, appendices, references (including world wide web resources) and an index.

Weiss, Kenneth D. Building an Import/Export Business. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons, 2008. 4th edition, 308 p.
LC Call Number: HF1416 .W43 2008
LC Catalog Record: 2007012090
Table of Contents
Publisher's Description

Clear explanation of what is involved in an import/export business. Intended for the novice with some business background. Explains setting up a business, choosing products and suppliers, marketing, export credit, methods of payment, credit insurance, packing and shipping, documents needed for international trade, trade regulation, trade agreements and sources of information. Has useful tables, lists, appendices and an index.

World Trade Report. Geneva: World Trade Organization.
LC Call Number: HF1385 .W677
LC Catalog Record: 2003238730
Also available online External Link

Publisher's Description: The main WTO research publication on global trade policy, with core topics, analysis and new developments.

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Selected Internet Resources

This section includes links to commercial Internet resources covering the area of global business and international trade. Each company and trade resource link provides a number of different and useful services, and can also serve as good sources of information. Some of the sites listed provide access to publications and articles that may prove to be very beneficial for both research and commercial purposes. However, many of these sites do have fees and other user costs associated with using their services, as well as in obtaining access to various online publications. External Link

An online marketplace for global trade. A destination for buyers and sellers to find trade opportunities and promote their businesses online. This company's web site contains over 1,000,000 registered members from more than 200 countries. The site also allows users to browse company information and trade leads by 27 industry categories and 700 product sub-categories.

Trade Asia External Link is an online marketplace featuring more than 700 thousand members and close to one million products. Other global trade services include: trade links, online country marketplaces, a search engine for locating businesses in Asia, Trade InfoCenter, business updates and stock information, trade shows and exhibits, online products, product searching options, product updates and announcements, and product surplus information.

BizEurope External Link

A business portal site providing over 100 country resource pages, export bulletin board, company directory guide, business news section with the current international news, search engines, directory to international trade sites, directory of international business, directory of European airports, directory of European banks, directory of trade organizations, directory of stock exchanges, and freight & shipping information.

EU Business External Link

European business community for news, tenders, economic data, fact sheets, web links and documents, categorized into EU topic sectors. The web site provides access to country reports, online directories and electronic forums.

IMEX Exchange, Inc. External Link

The IMEX Exchange is dedicated to promoting international trade on the Internet, and through international trade, cooperation and understanding among nations and people. IMEX Exchange helps international focused companies, organizations, and countries develop and implement their Internet strategies through web page design, marketing, networking, and education. IMEX assists companies and organizations develop and implement Internet strategies.

Export Trade leads (Trade Information Center - U.S. Dept. of Commerce)

"The U.S. Government has resources world-wide in Embassies and Consulates that help identify promising leads for U.S. exporters. Trade Leads Database contains pre-screened, time-sensitive leads and Government Tenders gathered through U.S. Commercial Service offices around the world. You can search leads and receive notification when new leads are posted."

OECD Trade Portal External Link

Provides access to publications and reports on world trade that address trade issues such as, Benefits of Trade Liberalisation, Services Trade, International Trade and Balance of Payments Statistics, Environment and Trade, Non-tariff Measures, Agricultural Trade and others. Trade statistics, publications and documents can be searched by country and by date.

PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) Global External Link

PWC's Global homepage provides access to a number of resources including industry marketplaces covering 22 industries, news and analysis, and CEO Survey.External Link Global issues are covered under Today's Issues tab.

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Library of Congress Catalog Searches

Additional works on this topic in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. Please see the individual sections of this guide for catalog searches relating to those topics. For assistance in locating other subject headings which relate to this subject, please consult a reference librarian.

Balance of payments       Globalization
Banks and banking, International       Imports--United States
Commercial policy       Insurance, Export credit--United States
Export credit--United States       International business enterprises
Export Import Bank of the United States       International economic relations
Export marketing--United States       International finance
Exports--United States       International trade
Financial institutions, International       Trading companies
Foreign Credit Insurance Association       United States--Commerce
Foreign trade regulation--United States

Last Updated: 04/03/2018

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