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Influencing Trade Among Nations

Study Smarter Not Harder EbookInfluencing Trade Among Nations

How We Can Help Others While Helping Ourselves

the United States of America has a lot of power when it comes to influencing other nations. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), there are currently over 145, 000, 000 men and women available for military duty. [1] There are just as many that are currently fit for military duty but are not enrolled. This gives the United States of America leverage when it approaches other countries with ideas and suggestions. One of the ways that this nation imposes its power to other countries is through trade, involving imports and exports. In looking at the situation from the outside, it appears that it could be beneficial to all involved, the United States and other foreign countries, to work together to play off of their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to foreign imports and exports.

In our world, we have LDC's (less developed countries) and DC's (Developed Countries). LDC's are not as capable to support themselves alone due to a lack of resources and funding. LDC's typically rely on DC's to help provide support to keep their country and citizens intact. "Economically, LDC's generally have lower per capita incomes, inadequate infrastructure, and limited availability of modern technology." [2] If it weren't for DC's, LDC's may not be able to survive. A way that DC's can continue to help other LDC's could be through trade. Importing goods from other countries allows those places to grow and thrive, while allowing the DC's, like the United States, to focus on their strengths.

According to the United Nations (UN), Cambodia is one of many LDC's in the continent of Asia. [3] Big issues in Cambodia are land mines; they are planted throughout the country due to previous war activity, and have injured a large amount of people. One country that has been working to reduce poverty and build infrastructure in Cambodia is the country of Japan. " In the working discussions on partnerships held in the first half of the informal meeting, representatives of the Cambodian government indicated Cambodia's commitment to study the introduction of sector-wide approaches and other new approaches in consultation with donors." [4] It is hopeful that with the help of DC's, Cambodia can join the ranks with them in the future.

Cambodia possesses several strengths in the production of goods that have the ability to be exported out to other countries that have a need for those products. One such product is clothing, in which Cambodia exported 54.5% of to the United States in 2008. [5] Due to the business of exporting their product to another country, the LDC of Cambodia was able to gross over $3, 000, 000 for their country. Although this may not seem like a lot to a large country like the United States, it means a big difference to a LDC like Cambodia.

To a DC like the United States, there is a big push to take care of his or her own people while promoting the concept of "shopping local". "Realists consider the state to be the principal actor in International Relations, and they place considerable emphasis on the preservation of national sovereignty." [6] With the push from inside coming to do away with exports and focus on products produced only within the country of residence, there is a considerable risk to the financial stability and preservation of LDC's like Cambodia.

The United States has been diligent in exercising their power and exerting force to other countries to increase their imports from the Western part of the world: " China has been under tremendous pressure, especially from the United States, to revaluate its currency more rapidly. Many a suggestion has been put forward to ease this pressure without harming the national economy. One of them is to encourage more imports, especially from Western countries, to balance international trade." [7] What is unknown is whether or not a balance in international trade needs to be accomplished. Although the United States does gain a lot of income and wealth by exporting to other countries, the benefit to smaller, struggling countries is far greater.

The United States has not abandoned the concept of importing from other nations. As previously reported, they are responsible for 54.5% of the clothing exports out of Cambodia. As of October 2010, "Export prices increased 0.8 percent in October following similar advances of 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent in September and August, respectively." [8] The concern is placed in that the focus is on finding a balance in international trade, when the greatest benefit to all comes in the form of focusing on strengths and weaknesses.

"The Obama administration is pushing to boost exports as a way to create jobs, and the increase was welcome news after a disappointing decline in April. The overall widening of the country's trade deficit, however, showed how difficult it will be to rebalance the global economy so that the United States does not consume far more than it produces." [9] It is understood that in this time, during a recession and economic struggle, the focus would be on building capital within one's own country. With that in mind, however, we need to look long term. The possibility of a DC coming out of a recession and economic downturn are much higher than the chances of a LDC coming out of the same situation. In comparing it to people, it would be similar to a situation in which a person that is part of a higher income bracket is hit with a large medical bill or a temporary layoff compared to a person that is lower income and is faced with the same circumstances. The chances of the higher income person coming out unscathed are much higher than those of the lower income bracket.

"A very solid June performance allowed U.S. beef and pork exports to finish the first half of 2010 with strong momentum. According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, June beef exports were 25 percent above year-ago volumes, totaling 96, 578 metric tons (212.9 million pounds), while the value in June was up 37 percent to $377.6 million." [10] The United States clearly has strength in the exportation of beef and pork. If the country shifted their focus to marketing their meat to other countries and minimizing the exports of other products, it would create time and resources for just those products that aren't available now. At this time, focus is placed on other items due to the push to market numerous different products at the same time to countries outside of the United States. If energy was shifted from those products to another, it allows the same amount of jobs as before, but instead places large amounts of brainpower on one project, making the possibility of success all the much higher.

An example of a group of products that would be better off imported completely from foreign countries than produced domestically would be technology. Although the United States does produce quality computer parts, other items such as televisions and cell phones are better off created by countries that are ahead of the game, such as those countries in Asia. "U.S. technology product imports exceeded exports for the first time in 2002 starting a trend that left a $38.3 billion trade deficit in 2006 after reaching a high of $44.4 billion in 2005." [11] By taking the same approach as was done in the previous paragraph and eliminating our weaknesses (in this case, technology), we would have more manpower and focus to devote to developing even greater products for exporting. This would allow LDC's to have a bigger influence in the world and have the ability to someday provide for them.

When it comes to policy, it would be beneficial to consider a change for the United States as a whole. If a developing country such as the United States devoted themselves to farming out projects that they knowingly accept can be done better in a different part of the world, it would allow them to develop a higher quality product and streamline the manufacturing efforts of their most beneficial exports. They would then be assisting other countries that have financial assistance needs in a more productive way, other then giving monetary handouts or providing goods such as food or supplies. This would allow a LDC the ability to work to provide for its citizens instead of relying on the aid of others. Not only would this impact the morale of the country, but it would reduce the amount of countries on the list of LDC's in the world.

The United States of America has a lot of power when it comes to influencing other nations. This can be used in a positive way, by working to get other countries on board with eliminating the idea that global trade needs to be equal. The world is not equal, and needs differ from nation to nation. If we work smarter and not harder by eliminating positions attributed to manufacturing goods that cannot compete with similar products in other countries, we are benefitting more than just ourselves in the long run. We are all people of the world, and we all need to take care of one another.

[1] CIA, Initials. (2010, November 24). Cia - the world factbook. Retrieved from

[2] Cohn, T. (2008). Global political economy. New York: Pearson.

[3] UN, . (2010). Un-ohrlls: least developed countries. Retrieved from

[4] Teramoto, M. (2008). Trends in development assistance to cambodia (PDF), Retrieved from

[5] Economy Watch, . (2008). Cambodia trade. Retrieved from

[6] Cohn, T. (2008). Global political economy. New York: Pearson.

[7] Jin, Z. (2010, October 14). Increase imports, enjoy benefits. China Daily, Retrieved from

[8] Bureau of Labor Statistics, . (2010, October). U.s. import and export price indexes. Retrieved from

[9] Schneider, H. (2010, July 13). U.s. exports up, but higher imports widen trade deficit. Washington Post, Retrieved from

[10] Meat Trade News Daily, . (2010, August 23). Usa - beef exports very strong. Meat Trade News Daily, Retrieved from

[11] Mixon, B. (2007, August 22). National science foundation. Retrieved from

By Kristyn Parker-Meyer - Social Worker not getting paid for being a Social Worker. CCO at Code Format -  

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