Without mincing words, Panjiva opened its Global Trade Outlook 2017 report with a clear statement: “2016 was a bad year for trade.”
According to the intelligence platform for global trade professionals, the pressing concern now is: “What if 2017 is worse?”
“A protectionist U.S. president could kick off trade wars that hurt industries from autos to apparel and electronics to weapons; Europe could dither over trade deals; China could leverage its strength strictly to serve its own interests; and global trade volumes could decline further,” Panjiva CEO Josh Green said in the report.
The concerns are real, and not in some time has the mood among trade leaders in Washington been so dispirited.
Playing devil’s advocate, Green also said there’s a possibility that 2017 could be global trade’s best year yet.
“Corporates could learn to live with Trump and find new opportunities to trade elsewhere in the world. Brexit negotiations could help Europe find a new path forward for sustainable trade. China could drive a new period of trade liberalization across the Pacific Rim and beyond, bringing improved standards of living to emerging markets,” Green said.
Either way, the one clear certainty is that things are uncertain.
This year, there are key trade deals to track, according to Panjiva.
Read more at Sourcing Journal.