Why is Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) important for importers/exporters?
The Internet provides a direct and a more transparent channel for both buyers and sellers to conduct business via e-commerce platforms. E-commerce has enabled small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach customers in domestic markets as well as overseas. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, an estimated 12% of global trade in physical merchandises ($2.3 trillion in 2018) -- including business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) channels -- is conducted via e-commerce, with around $700 billion being cross-border purchases. In 2018, 1.8 billion people around the world purchased goods online, and 57% of these online buyers purchased goods from sellers abroad, according to the US Congressional Research Service. With the growing use of e-commerce platforms, doing business online has become an equally critical channel for importers and exporters to establish relationships and supply chains as traditional brick-and-mortar outlets.
2020 has opened with plenty of good news on the US trade front. The new year kicked off on a high note as the US-Japan trade deal entered into force on 1 January 2020. We have also seen significant progress made on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the US-China Phase One trade deal. In this edition, we look at these developments along with an update on the state of transatlantic trade talks and a brief overview of other US trade initiatives that may prove fruitful in the coming months.
After a stunning, landslide victory for Boris Johnson and his Conservative party in the 12 December UK general election, Britain is on course to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. The British people have given Prime Minister Johnson a parliamentary majority of 80 seats and a clear mandate to “Get Brexit Done,” the slogan of his re-election campaign. All hopes for a last-ditch effort to keep the UK in or to have a second referendum have been dashed, but the Brexit process is far from over. Brexit will not be “done” on 31 January, in fact, the harder part may be yet to come.
With the British departure all but assured for the end of January, what’s next for the trade relationship between the UK and the EU and how does this impact potential trade negotiations for a US-UK trade agreement? In this post, I try my best to answer these questions and to give more context on how Brexit could impact US exporters.