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With the holidays quickly approaching, shopping for holiday parties, friends, family, and even yourself will begin soon. Around the world, shopping for the holidays looks a bit different, but they all contribute to a country’s economic growth.

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Cable television was the staple of entertainment for over 50 years until the arrival of streaming services was introduced at the start of the 21st century.  The introduction of this concept revolutionized our accessibility to television, making ‘on-demand’ video readily available from any electronic device (phone, laptop, or T.V.).  While cable television continues to diminish, with 19% of households already having "cut the cord," streaming methods continue to evolve with new companies emerging into the market trying to get a stake in the game.

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The globalEDGE team has updated the risk assessments for each country within the website's Economic Classification section to reflect the most recent data available.  Here, users can explore countries by their classification in either the emerging market, frontier market, or mature market.  Within each of these markets, the risk comparator tab allows for the comparability of countries based on six risk factors: country, political, currency, sovereign, the banking sector, and the economic sector.  Make sure to check out this new update for a better understanding of market risk around the globe through the links below.

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The state of our environment has become a hot button topic as many companies are turning to environmental sustainability. Each year there are approximately 14 billion pounds of trash dumped into the ocean. While many small non-profit organizations are setting out to try and fix this problem, it does not seem to be getting substantially better. China has 6 rivers in the “Plastic Ocean Input top 20”, 3 of which are in the top 4. This means these rivers are the top polluted rivers due to the ocean’s pollution. Other countries in the top 20 affected are Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Taiwan. Now large companies are trying to fix this problem by creating new products that integrate this ocean plastic waste into their new products. And it may actually be working.

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The International Business Knowledge Quiz, located in the Tools and Data tab on the globalEDGE website, has been recently updated. Questions more accurately reflect the most up to date information and statistics, in addition to some minor grammatical fixes. The quiz is a great way to learn about numerous countries and global business partnerships. With a test bank of around 100 different questions, the quiz can be taken multiple times while still offering new information. 

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The Community College Conferences section was recently updated by the globalEDGE team. These conferences usually occur from March until May every year at locations worldwide. This is a valuable destination that guides community college educators who are looking to refine or develop new programs. In addition, it also provides people interested in international business the opportunity to learn and connect.

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The global pork market is currently facing a major obstacle: African swine fever.  This disease has severely cut China’s hog population, which is predicted to drop around 40 percent from the beginning of 2018 to 2020.  This will consequently reduce global pork production by 10 percent in 2020 and is especially consequential because China is the world’s leader in pork sales, yielding a value of 118.2 billion dollars in 2018.  The disease and its negative effect on the ability of the pork industry to meet market demand have caused pork and bacon prices to rise, likely leading to the largest jump in price since the mad cow disease epidemic of 2004.  With such a big shift in the meat industry, questions arise about how the pork segment will respond and how this shift will impact the meat industry as a whole.

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Over the past decade, undetected corruption has lead to instability throughout markets around the globe. In 2012, many banks began to struggle as a result of the London Interbank Offered Rate. More commonly referred to as LIBOR, this interest rate serves a much larger purpose than any other before it. The rate acts as a benchmark for almost all other interest rates to be based on throughout the world. However, due to the rate fluctuating for unknown reasons throughout past financial crises, suspicions emerged questioning its reliability. These speculations ended up leading to an investigation of a global market manipulation scandal that came to light in 2012.

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With the rapid changes in our world, it can be difficult to predict how our economy will change in reaction to international and domestic events. Despite a multitude of negative factors and events in the world today, the global economy is set to grow by about 3% in the next few years.

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On October 1st, the United States was authorized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose $7.5 billion in tariffs on EU goods, primarily aircraft and agricultural items.  The Trump administration’s justification for this measure is due to claims that countries within the EU were illegally subsidizing the European owned aircraft producer, Airbus. Since the aircraft industry is dominated by two companies—Boeing, a U.S. company, and Airbus—the move to impose tariffs was to protect the interests of Boeing.  This decision comes behind numerous complaints filed through the WTO on behalf of the U.S., dating back to 2004.  It is widely considered the world’s largest-ever corporate trade dispute.  Despite reports from Airbus affirming they are now compliant with WTO rules regarding subsidies from the EU, the U.S. proceeded forward with the implementation of tariffs.

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