Advantages and Disadvantages of International Trade: Countries, states, brands, and enterprises may purchase and sell on international markets thanks to international trade. Domestic customers might receive a wider range of goods and services thanks to this trade. It allows for growth and expansion while avoiding the dangers of internal R&D. There are certain drawbacks to trade. By exporting, rather than importing, goods and services, one country can make a lot of money. It can also be utilized to undercut domestic markets by providing less expensive, but equally valuable, items.
International trade, in all of its forms, has numerous pros and downsides to consider. It will be discussed in this article.
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Table of Content
What is International Trade?
The exchange of commodities and services between countries is known as international trade. To put it another way, it refers to the exportation and importation of products and services. Export refers to the selling of products and services outside the country, whereas import refers to the movement of products and services into the country.
Export trade, import trade, as well as entrepot trade are the three main categories of international trade. We’ve already discussed export and import trade. Entrepot Trading, also known as Re-export, is a mixture of export as well as import trade. It entails importing products from one nation and adding value to them before exporting them to another.
Advantages of International Trade
1. It provides the foundation for international growth: Companies that export can achieve levels of growth that they would not be able to accomplish if they simply focused on their native markets. This helps brands and enterprises to generate consistent revenue from a diverse portfolio of customers across multiple areas rather than a small client base in a single home market.
2. International trade improves financial performance: Brands and companies that establish themselves in international trade can improve their financial success. This allows them to increase the returns on their research and development investments.
The commercial lifespan of any opportunity can be extended by rotating items or services through the global market, thereby extending what existing products and services can give. Even if a domestic market is no longer interested, this benefit can be realized.
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3. It spreads out the risk a brand and business must assume: Because of the extent of diversification that can be accomplished through international trade, businesses can better safeguard themselves from risk. A corporation with an international presence can withstand and even retain profitability in the face of a financial calamity, such as the Economic Crisis of 2007 to 2009, or a natural catastrophe, such as Hurricane Katrina. Even if the domestic market is unsteady, overseas trading may keep the business brand healthy.
4. International trade encourages market competitiveness: When a brand and business compete in multiple markets at the same time, it must focus on its competitiveness to succeed. Brands and organizations can focus on quality, design, and product development improvements by studying a wider range of trends as a result of their expanded global market access, allowing them to continuously improve and diversify.
5. International exchange rates might be advantageous to a business: Taking advantage of monetary exchange rates can help brands and enterprises involved in international trade decrease their risk further.
If a corporation conducts most of its trade in US dollars, trading with Japan to spread the risk of the yen-dollar exchange rate can potentially boost revenues. The euro or the pound might be compared to the dollar in the same way.
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6. It can be used as a way to get around high levels of domestic competition: A domestic market may feature multiple items or services that are similar to those offered by a new brand and firm. Instead of vying for a limited slice of the domestic market, an organization can use international trade to target similar foreign markets with less competition.
Over time, the lessons learned in the international market might aid a firm in establishing a stronger home presence.
7. Best use of natural resources: International trade assists each country in making the best use of its natural resources. Each country can concentrate on producing things that are best suited to its resources. There is no waste of resources.
8. Accessibility to a wide range of goods: It allows a country to receive things that it cannot create or cannot produce owing to greater costs by importing them at reduced costs from other countries.
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Disadvantages of International Trade
1. Disadvantages of International Shipping Customs and Duties: Shipping packages practically anywhere around the globe is simple with international shipping companies. However, one of the drawbacks of international trade is that the majority of these destination nations’ customs authorities levy additional costs on commodities sent to them. While each government sets its tariffs and taxes, they are often based on the value of the goods shipped (item, insurance plus shipping).
The item description may also have an impact on these fees, depending on what it’s made of and what it’s used for. A company must know how much the international shipping service will pay the end client for the amount of their merchandise.
This figure is also known as the “landed cost.” For larger shipments, some carriers may not be cost-effective. Companies can use freight forwarding companies to help them save money and manage the paperwork that comes with it.
2. Language Barriers: Despite the existence of internet translators, language remains one of the most significant barriers to international trade. While translation technologies can be used to create instructions and communications in a different language, they are not without flaws.
There are numerous examples of badly translated products with names that have been misinterpreted in another language on the market. Consider hiring a marketing firm in the targeted area or region to analyze all of the company’s materials before launching the product or service.
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3. Cultural Differences: One of the primary drawbacks of international trade is that cultural differences are frequently overlooked. Unwritten norms of trade exist in the country that is difficult to discover and even more difficult to solve.
In Western societies, for example, the word “yes” usually denotes agreement. However, in some Eastern cultures, it can imply that the person understands but does not necessarily agree with what you are saying. When I visited India, I noticed that individuals turned their heads to the side to indicate “yes” and up and down to indicate “no,” which is the polar opposite of what those gestures represent in Western cultures.
4. Servicing Customers: How will international consumers be served once they make a purchase when they are so far away? To address one of the fundamental drawbacks of international trading, language, and cultural differences must once again be recognized.
Your organization must be ready to communicate with these consumers in different time zones, preferably in their native tongue, from the start. If you don’t have the resources to staff 24 hours a day, set expectations for when you’ll get a response upfront.
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5. Returning Products: Because not all foreign customers will be satisfied with a company’s products, a mechanism for returning them and processing a refund must be in place. Although credit cards and online monetary tools have made the financial side of the equation easier, the actual return shipping can be just as complicated and costly as it was before.
A company must consider how a product will be returned and who will pay for the shipping costs. Companies will sometimes give a consumer a refund rather than requiring the item to be returned because the cost is too expensive. Every business should plan ahead of time for its return policy.
6. Intellectual Property Theft: The greater the reach of a product, the more probable it is to be unlawfully copied by a competitor. This can take the shape of confidential data or market branding.
It is extremely difficult for a firm to prosecute when there are cross-country borders. Copyrighting in the United States, on the other hand, can help a corporation protect itself if the country where the product is sold has signed an international intellectual property treaty. Some countries also have their copyright and trademark protections that can be filed to protect businesses selling goods in their own country.
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With proper market research and a grasp of foreign cultures, the benefits and disadvantages of international trade may be effectively managed. In each trade arrangement, there will always be brands and enterprises that flourish more than others. The goal must be to assess these essential elements to gain a complete grasp of what to expect and accurately determine participation levels.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.