International Trade: The Paradox of Choice

Entrepreneurs looking to expand into new markets have never had more access to high quality information. We can now research the pros and cons of each option available to us, but it hasn’t made our decision-making process any easier. A simple Google search leads us down a rabbit hole of conflicting information, leaving us more confused than ever about the right course of action.

What This Means for International Trade

Unfortunately, this ‘paradox of choice’ has repercussions on the day-to-day activities of businesses engaging in international trade. For some businesses, it’s deciding which products they hope to import and how the different cost elements (total landed cost) add up in order to understand the financial viability of a venture. For others, it’s the difficulty of navigating all the information relating to regulatory requirements (import and export laws) for a specific product.

There’s so much information out there. In fact, the real difficulty is tying it all together in a logical manner before acting.

Navigating Information on Import and Export

I recommend to clients they adopt a systematic approach with clear objectives, based on a well-crafted business plan. Whether you’re planning for an import or export campaign, it is important to define products you’re planning to be traded, manufacturing and logistics costs, and any related import and export requirements from different government agencies (Non-tariff barriers).

The Difference Between Tariffs and Non-Tariff Barriers

In international trade, there are two types of barriers: tariffs and non-tariffs. Tariff barriers have been constantly decreasing over the years thanks to agreements like CPTPP and CETA. Unfortunately, non-tariff barriers have been going in the opposite direction. This means that import/export laws and requirements are the major barriers for entrepreneurs trading across borders.

How Small Business BC Helps with Import and Export

Our import advisors have years of practical experience in international trade. We can support your organization with hands-on advice on the best way to plan and put into action your trade activities by guiding you along the process. In doing so, we can highlight the key risk factors you’ll face so your venture will be a profitable one. Whether it’s our Export Navigator program, or our range of import/export advisory services, we have the resources and tools you need to succeed.

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