This July, Marketlinks Explores International Trade

July 1, 2021

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Carl Burkybile, Healing Hands International

This July, Marketlinks explores current trends and key issues in international trade and offers examples of how to harness USAID’s tools and resources towards achieving economic development goals. Each week will feature a different case study within the international trade context, giving the Marketlinks community an in-depth look at the solutions used to solve current issues. Because trade is such a multifaceted topic, each weekly example will provide a unique perspective and build a holistic understanding of the global trade environment.

In the wake of a tumultuous year, the relevancy of trade issues has never been greater. With such a constantly evolving landscape, it is important to stay informed of the latest developments and best practices to overcome such challenges. 2020 brought profound impacts on global trade patterns, exposing fragilities in global value chains and reinforcing the importance of eCommerce to trade flows. Trade policy emerged as a vital component to solving issues related to shortages and distribution of goods.

Trade Capacity Building and President’s Trade Agenda

In alignment with President Biden’s 2021 Trade Agenda, USAID is committed to helping developing countries “Build Back Better” by enabling them to implement the market-opening reforms necessary for trade agreement compliance, and fostering economic growth from increased trade and investment. Trade Capacity Building (TCB) facilitates the effective integration of developing countries into the international trading system and enables them to benefit further from global trade while promoting economic growth and alleviation of poverty. USAID’s focus includes leveraging interagency resources to achieve the goals outlined in the President’s Trade Agenda, such as empowering workers, fighting corruption, strengthening the rules-based trading system, and promoting equitable and inclusive economic growth.

Supporting Enterprise-Driven Development

USAID’s Center for Economics and Market Development (EMD) has a diverse portfolio of programs which support the most critical trade and economic development initiatives. Here are a few EMD activities, all of which are market-led private sector partnerships, which were recognized in the 2021 President’s Trade Agenda:

  • The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF) is a multi-donor, private sector-driven platform supporting implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement.

  • The Alliance for eTrade Development advances digital trade-enabled market development and expanding developing country small businesses’ use of online platforms for trade.

  • The Standards Alliance, USAID’s private sector partnership with the American National Standards Institute, provides technical assistance to countries to improve product and services standards and help improve market access for developing country MSMEs and U.S. businesses by lowering or eliminating technical barriers to trade.

The Month Ahead

We have an exciting schedule of content this month, authored by a diverse panel of trade experts. Here is a preview of what to expect:

  • A study of how enhanced regulatory accountability can help enable start-up opportunities, following the example of the Port of San Diego’s Blue Economy Incubator, and a webinar on Wednesday, July 7th with the International Trade Centre and demonstration of their market analysis tools.
  • An examination of how international standards have adapted to meet the demands of a post-pandemic workforce, focusing on building resiliency while advancing safety in the construction industry.
  • An examination of how drones are evolving within supply chains and their potential impact on trade logistics.
  • Key findings from a USAID study on how the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement benefits MSMEs through increased transparency, efficiency, and competitiveness.
  • Best practices to harness the potential of the evolving eCommerce landscape, and how it can further promote trade facilitation.

While these pieces offer a solid foundation from which to start, they are just the beginning of the conversation. Follow along with us as we explore other resources that help to advance our understanding and dialogue.

Have you or your organization made strides toward integrating trade into broader economic growth programs? If so, please share with us throughout the month!