May is World Trade Month, and with it comes many events designed to celebrate the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy and to teach new and experienced exporters and importers about various aspects of international trade in this changing global economy.
This year's theme is "Growing exports in uncertain times."
The History of World Trade Month
World Trade Month was first celebrated as World Trade Week in 1927 by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. According to the chamber, "This occurred during a time of isolationism and under the conditions prevailing during the heyday of the restrictive Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act."
In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made World Trade Week a national observance. Since that time, World Trade Week has been celebrated during the entire month of May by a number of federal agencies, state trade offices, area chambers of commerce, World Trade Centers, trade associations and other public and private organizations. These events celebrate the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy and teach people how to begin and grow their exports.
World Trade Month Events
Prior to last year, most World Trade Month events were held in person providing not only an opportunity to learn more about international trade but also a chance to network and talk with peers. The global pandemic has required these events to move online for a second year, but there have been some definite advantages to virtual events.
This year the World Trade Month events calendar includes more than 80 webinars scheduled in May. Since all are online, you have an opportunity to attend multiple events regardless of where you live. From Maine to California, Minnesota to Texas, organizations located across the United States are sponsoring classes and celebrations. Best of all, a majority of events are free!
While you're at the World Trade Month website, make sure to sign up for the email newsletter to be notified when new events are added. Plus, we'll publish an interesting fact about world trade each day in May!
World Trade Month Webinar Highlights
This year's free online webinars include:
- Monday, May 3: World Trade Month Kickoff Event—International Trade Snapshot: Past, Present and Future
- Tuesday, May 4: The Importance of Creating an Export Compliance Program
- Wednesday, May 5: Understanding the Inland Bill of Lading
- Thursday, May 6: Skill Building and Hiring Practices During a Pandemic
- Friday, May 7: Biden on Trade: The First 100 Days and Beyond
- Monday, May 10: The Status of U.S. Trade Remedies Under the Biden Administration
- Tuesday, May 11: Don't Let This Happen to You—Avoiding Export Compliance Failures
- Wednesday, May 12: Filing Your Electronic Export Information through AESDirect
- Thursday, May 13: International Distribution Strategies—Foreign Agents & Distributors and Distribution Agreements
- Monday, May 17: An Update on OFAC Sanctions Programs Under the Biden Administration
- Tuesday, May 18: Do Your Products Require an Export License?
- Wednesday, May 19: Doing Business in Canada: Sending Temporary Workers to Canada
- Thursday, May 20: Working with Your Broker for Import Compliance
- Tuesday, May 25: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: What You Need to Know
- Wednesday, May 26: Doing Business in Canada: Overview of Taxes for Non-Residents
- Thursday, May 27: Why You Should Start Invoicing in Foreign Currencies
Click the links above or visit the World Trade Month website for all the details about these and all the other World Trade Month events.
Adding World Trade Month Events
If your organization is sponsoring an import-export event in May 2021, you can add it to the events calendar by completing the registration form on the World Trade Month Association website. All submissions are subject to review and approval by the association. There is no charge for the listing.
While the past year-and-a-half represents some of the most unusual and challenging times for world trade, it does not diminish the importance of international trade to workers, small business owners, large corporations, our country and the global economy. As we rebound from this crisis, it's important that we position ourselves and our companies to succeed. The World Trade Month events can help us do that.