The relationship between the two economic juggernauts cannot exactly be characterized as free trade nirvana, and there is a growing sentiment in the United States that China has not fully lived up to the commitments it made when joining the WTO. This is fueled in no small part by concern over the massive trade surplus China has built up with the United States, its largest trading partner. By deliberately undervaluing its currency, critics charge, China has propped up its export-dependent growth model.
China is the world’s factory when it comes to counterfeit products: two-thirds of fake products seized last year by U.S. Customs originated in China. But Chinese consumers are growing increasingly wary of buying fakes for themselves.
It’s official: fourth quarter data have confirmed that Europe’s economy is headed south faster than expected. Both the GDP and industrial statistics paint a picture of a sharp downturn that has already turned into double-dip recessions in about half a dozen countries.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, one of the victims of increasing security concerns in the United States was Canada-U.S. trade. "Security trumps trade" became the new U.S. policy principle as myriad additional verifications of freight and individuals crossing the Canada-U.S. border were put in place to protect against potential terrorist threats.
In a recent survey of 60 executives from several MAPI councils, 40% of respondents said that counterfeit versions of their products are a significant problem. But as one R&D executive told us, "It's hard to put a value on the true cost of counterfeiting, since the degree is only what you are aware of and what you find."