According to new research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of American Express and its Grow Global program, global companies are positive about plans for future trade activity with the U.S. Approximately two-thirds of survey respondents (66 percent) anticipate that their company’s trade with the U.S. will increase over the next five years and more than four-in-ten (43 percent) expect an increase of more than 10 percent.
“Optimism about the outlook for global trade presents opportunities for U.S. businesses looking to export internationally,” said Guillermo Brenes, Vice President of Global Currency Solutions at American Express in a press release. “The survey shows that a number of the challenges to international trade are within the span of a company’s control, so there are practical ways in which companies can improve upon their own trade experience.”
The research, entitled Terms of Trade: Understanding Trade Dynamics in the U.S., surveyed 531 company executives worldwide examining global trading relationships, looking at how companies trade, the challenges they face and how they expect international trade with the U.S. to change based on recent trends.
Quality of U.S. Trade-related Infrastructure Ranks High
Survey respondents gave high marks on the overall quality of trade-related infrastructure in the U.S. Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents rate the infrastructure as “very good” or “excellent,” and only 2 percent consider it to be “poor.” The trade-related infrastructure companies rely on most includes:
- Digital communication technology (42 percent)
- Port facilities (31 percent)
- Road network (26 percent)
- Cold transport and storage facilities (25 percent)
- Warehousing (26 percent)
- Rail network (16 percent)
- Air links (13 percent)
- Other specialized transport and storage (7 percent)
But international trade is not without difficulties for companies trading with the U.S. Exchange-rate volatility presents the largest issue for companies, with 41 percent citing this as a concern. Additionally, 32 percent of respondents cite transport costs and delays, trade-related infrastructure and making payments as their top challenges.