Published On: Thu, May 10th, 2018

Imports, exports and macroeconomics in the world marketplace

Carlo Barbieri

This increasingly globalized world we call home has an impact on every nation on this planet, large countries and small. And because the world, through instantaneous communication and international technology, is now just one large “neighborhood,” we all have to follow not only what happens in our own country, but also events transpiring in the nations around us.

Any meddling or intrusion that happens in the big countries like China, the United States, Russia, France, Germany and the like can affect our countries and our businesses as well, whether they are large, world-impacting entities or small, isolated industrial centers.

The US had a beef with China earlier this year about the suggested imposition of tariffs on goods from the Asian republic. If it threatened to interfere with the wheels of American production, companies could have sought to strengthen their import/export business with Brazil. The potential for a US-China struggle subsided as cooler economic heads prevailed.

But Brazil cannot wait for disagreements to occur among worldwide trading partners before making a move. To increase trade with the US, Brazilian businesses have to deal with leaders of industry now – and possibly accept American suggestions to be fairer in terms of import and export rules and regulations.

If Brazil does not accept American urging to be fairer in terms of trade – such as demanding quotas or placing limits on import taxes — we may have to move products into the US by going through countries that have free trade agreements with the American giant.

Such a back-door approach may not sit well with American traders and actually work to the disadvantage of Brazilian businesses. Entrepreneurs in all nations must keep their eyes trained sharply on the ups and downs of the bisiness market throughout the world, learning from and avoiding glitches along the way.

If Europe should enter a new cycle of growth, for example, the market may open up for our products and we will have to reach out and capitalize on this opportunity, taking such actions as improving the condition of our competitiveness with fairer export tariffs.

If our economy goes bad and does not show signs of sustainable growth in the mid-term, Brazilian companies will have to find markets in other countries. As a result, Brazil would become more globalized and eventually, more space is likely to open for goods sold in the domestic market.

At the same time, the import/export arena, as well as domestics sales, will become more competitive through better use of their productive capacity.

Careful scrutiny is required to maintain the financial balancing act which is at the heart of the national as well as the global marketing system.

If US economic growth goes into a soaring upward spiral, Brazil will likely benefit. The American interest rate will increase as a means of stemming inflation during a time of heavy expansion. But with a market flooded with products coming and going, Brazil should see an increase in the flow of capital to this country, which will increase the value of the US dollar as well as domestic interest rates.

We may lose a measure of competitiveness, but in the end, the market should level off on higher ground, with more imports arriving from the US and, potentially, more exports heading northward into American ports and air terminals.

If Portugal finances a TV network to show its security and the ease of investing in real estate there, we will likely see applications being filed by people who prefer to put a portion of their resources there and get a foothold in Europe, in a nation that has a low cost of living compared to the continent; a sovereign country where our mother tongue was born and continues to be spoken.

Brazilians must remain steadfast and steady in times like these. If Brazilians lose faith in their institutions, people tend to put their resources into a safer port, reducing the likelihood that these industrial firms will take a chance on reinvesting in their own long-term enhancement, which would immediately increase its costs and, in the mid-term, abet the loss of competitiveness.

Look at it this way. In globalization, there is no solution without internationalization. And there is no successful internationalization without taking into account, among other factors, the political and macroeconomic aspects of the overall situation.

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About the Author

- My name is Carlo Barbieri, an entrepreneur, civic activist and a leader of many organizations associated with Brazil. A native of Brazil myself, I am currently the CEO of Oxford Group, a firm composed of many international consulting and trading companies. I am also a founding member of the Brazilian Business Group and founding member and Past President of the Brazil Club. In addition, I serve as a Board member of the Deerfield Chamber of Commerce. I have served as a member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Brazil Partnership. Past President of the Rotary Club – Boca Raton West for the 2014-2015 term, I have also been Vice President and Professor of 2Grow – Human Development. An Ambassador of Barry University in Brazil, I am the former President of the Black Fire Bull Steak House. I have also presided over a number of organizations such as the Brazilian Association of Trading Companies (ABECE), Brazil-China Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo, Brazil-Australia Chamber of Commerce, Brazil-Dominican Republican Chamber of Commerce; director of the Trade Center of the State of São Paulo, Brazilian Association of Freight Forwarders and Brazilian Association of Banks. I was also a local Council member for the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami, for the 2013-2017 term.

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