When the World Trade Month Association chose the theme for May 2020—Growing Exports in Uncertain Times—the group had no idea just how uncertain things would become.
A year ago much of the uncertainty of international trade focused on the United States' trade war with China, the United Kingdom's implementation of Brexit, the implementation of new U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, and negotiations between the U.S., Canada and Mexico on a new free trade agreement to replace NAFTA.
But things really turned upside down with the outbreak of a global pandemic that is infecting millions. In addition, it's causing major disruptions of world economies that, at best, is changing the way many companies are conducting business and, at worse, causing businesses to close and millions of workers to lose their jobs.
World Trade Month Events
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made World Trade Week a national observance in 1935 to recognize the importance of global trade to the U.S. and the global economy. It has since been expanding to World Trade Month and celebrated across the U.S. by a number of federal agencies, state trade offices, area chambers of commerce, World Trade Centers, trade associations, and other public and private organizations.
At the beginning of 2020, the World Trade Month website listed more than 70 events being planned in the U.S. Because of the dangers of any kind of gathering during a global pandemic, all of the locally organized in-person events scheduled to celebrate World Trade Month were cancelled, postponed or moved online.
By the beginning of World Trade Month on May 1, the World Trade Month calendar was featuring 43 international-trade-related webinars to be held during the month. More than 5,000 people registered for one or more of these webinars sponsored by various government, public and private organizations.
Some of these webinars were recorded and are available to be viewed for free:
It doesn't matter if you are the buyer or the seller—the importer or the exporter—you need a written sales contract for your international transactions. This webinar tells you why.
Discover how to forge ahead on the recovery path as the pandemic continues to impact the global economy in this free webinar.
The world has been turned upside down, but that doesn't mean businesses can just throw up their hands. This webinar provides guidance for moving forward.
The Inland Bill of Lading is the most important document used in transporting your goods. Join us for this free webinar to find out why.
While most of us are focused on the ongoing global pandemic, the U.S. trade disputes with China and other countries are still impacting the economy and may even be having a negative role in the U.S. response to the current health crisis.
(If your organization is making recordings of your World Trade Month webinars available for free, let me know and I'll add them to this list.)
Thanks to everyone who celebrated #WTM2020. If you want to be informed about World Trade Month 2021 events next May, visit the World Trade Month website and register for the free newsletter.