Here’s What We Really Should Be Debating When It Comes To Trade

(Manufacturing Net, 4 November 2016, New Jersey) Small ecommerce business need better export credit support for online export working capital loans. 97% of American micro and small businesses that sell on eBay export, as opposed to the 1% of brick-and-mortar U.S. businesses that export... The rise of online sellers and online lenders is an opportunity for export credit agencies... Export credit agencies (ECAs) have traditionally helped finance exporters with such means as by guaranteeing bank-issued export working capital loans an exporter uses to pay for raw materials, labor and inputs that go to fulfilling the export order. However, onerous Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money Laundering rules and Basel III capital standards are today squeezing banks’ profit margins, reducing their appetite for small business loans – right when there are more and more small businesses in need of export credit. E-commerce undoes geographic distance that has kept buyers blind to far-flung sellers for centuries. By 2020, 6.1 billion people will have smartphones with which to get online and shop, up by 3 billion netizens from today’s levels. Is the world ready to facilitate small business trade on that scale?
[Editorial comment: Or of that nature? Similar state subsidy arrangements could facilitate a transition to trade amongst cooperative producers and consumers based on the commons and local production and needs, vs consumer glitz and multinational corporate megaprojects which feed global warming.]