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USITC publishes report on online domestic & global trade
Sep '14
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has published the ‘Digital Trade in the US and Global Economies Part-2’ report to understand the role of digital trade—domestic commerce and international trade conducted via the Internet—in the US and global economies, as well as the effects of barriers and impediments to digital trade that impede US’ access to global markets.

According to the report, digital trade, which includes domestic commerce and international trade via Internet, has changed the US economy and business operations.

Localization requirements, market access limits, data privacy and protection requirements, intellectual property rights infringement, uncertain legal liability rules, and customs measures in other countries present obstacles to e-commerce by US digitally intensive firms, according to the report.

According to survey results, the most substantial barrier by for e-commerce in the retail sector is compliance with customer requirements. Retail firms expected that their sales abroad would be positively affected by the removal of foreign barriers to digital trade, according to survey results.

The manufacturing, retail trade, and wholesale trade sectors had the largest values of online sales that were physically delivered, the report says. Retail trade worth US$ 17.7 billion had the largest share of digitally and physically delivered imports that had been ordered online in 2012.

The Internet has also enhanced retail firms’ ability to match competitor offerings. In 2012, retail sector comprised of 70 percent of the firms advertising online. Many firms use multiple social networks for marketing, promotion, and advertising for lowering their costs and for reaching potential customers. Retail sector was one of the firms with the largest share of social media accounts.

Majority of the retail companies use mobile apps and websites intended specifically for use of a smart phone or table for digital trade.

According to the survey conducted by USITC, more than 40 percent of companies in the US are involved in digital trade. Without the Internet, there will be a loss of 15 percent in the productivity.

The report features ten case studies describing how Internet-based economic activity has created new or improved business opportunities.

The case studies explain how companies and consumers use the massive amounts of data currently available over the Internet to develop innovative products and services and to enhance productivity. (GK)

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