Trade Tensions Felt in Florida

[Original Story from Jerry Haar of Miami Herald] – What are the costs of picking a fight with our neighbors to the north? The answer may surprise you.

The US recently announced it would levy anti-dumping penalties against Canada. These actions specifically target softwood timber, dairy, and steel. While the full effects are yet to be fully assessed, and opposition has been raised by an unexpected source: Florida.

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A New Forecast for U.S. Companies

Wells Fargo Intl Biz Indicator The 2015 International Business Indicator is a survey of 253 executives from U.S. companies with $50 million or more in annual revenue that conduct business internationally. Conducted by GfK for the International Group of Wells Fargo & Company, the score represents the average of responses for two questions regarding the level of importance and activity that U.S. companies expect from their international business in the next 12 months.

This year’s score is 63, down five points from 2014 due to dampened expectations regarding the global economy. Fewer companies this year than in 2014 expect their international business to increase in the coming months. Despite that, roughly half of the companies believe that business outside the U.S. will be increasingly important to their company’s overall financial success. 80% of businesses agree that expanding internationally is important for long-term revenue growth and as a result, 60% of businesses are looking to step up their developing planning in the next 12 months.

Canada and China at 23% top the list as the most important countries for the expansion of U.S. businesses. Mexico at 20% and Western Europe at 19% follow close behind. Brazil and India are also being eyed for future growth.

Factors for New Intl BusinessWhen it comes to assessing new international markets to enter, U.S. companies cite political stability, core infrastructure, favorable tariffs and/or trade regulations, ability to enforce contracts quickly, ease of trading across borders, and skilled labor force as the top important factors.

What other countries should U.S. companies be eyeing for future growth?

Read the full report here:

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U.S., Russia Trade Sanctions Over Crimea

By Carol E. Lee , Gregory L. White and Jared A. Favole, The Wall Street Journal 2014-03-25

The U.S. raised the stakes Thursday in its confrontation with Russia over Crimea, aiming a new round of sanctions closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle even as Moscow struck back with penalties of its own on U.S. lawmakers and White House officials.

The Obama administration’s more aggressive move—targeting a high-profile Russian bank as well as some of Mr. Putin’s wealthiest and most influential supporters—increased the likelihood the retaliation could spiral.

It also marked a notable reversal for a White House that until last month saw Mr. Putin and his government as a vital international partner.

Moscow has vowed an “asymmetrical” response that could encompass global issues important to the U.S., such as the Iran nuclear talks. U.S. officials said earlier that they were prepared for a Russian move to constrict supply routes used by the U.S. that pass near and through Russian territory.

Read Full Article on The Wall Street Journal »

Top Ten Countries with which the U.S. Trades

For the month of April 2013

                                                  Year To Date
                                    Total in         Total in
                                    Billions         Billions
 Country Name                       of U.S. $        of U.S. $

 Canada                                         54.75           208.98
 Mexico                                         44.24           164.53
 China                                           42.09           167.43
 Japan                                                  17.04            67.11
 Germany                                       13.62            51.55
 Korea, South                                  8.79            34.23
 United Kingdom                              7.81            32.58
 France                                          6.75            24.20
 Switzerland                                   6.32            19.55
 India                                            5.73            20.56



Except for Canada and Mexico, what country is closest to the United States?


Answer in the comment section below. The answer will be revealed at next week’s “Jeopardy!”

Answer to last week’s “Jeopardy!”: San Marino. This nation, located on the slopes of the Apennines, entirely within Italy, has been an independent Republic since 1631. It covers 24 square miles.