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WITA’s NextGenTrade® Presents: 21st Century Trade: Digital, Printed

Washington International Trade Association  | Tue, Jun 4, 2019

by Kenneth I. Levinson


While nations quarrel over sneakers and steel, trade policy is beginning to look beyond shipments of goods, say Washington International Trade Association’s Kenneth I. Levinson and Brunswick’s Robert Moran.

August 2019 will mark the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan setting sail from Seville, a three-year voyage that would circumnavigate the earth and cost the explorer his life.

Fast-forward to today and this sentence could circle the globe in less time than it took you to read Magellan’s name.

Five hundred years after Magellan’s journey, most people continue to think of international trade in nautical terms. For them, international trade is moving atoms over oceans. But the old nautical frames for trade no longer hold. The digitization of goods means that we are increasingly shifting from moving atoms over oceans to moving data under the seas—moving information and digital commerce over transoceanic data cables.

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