As Halloween week winds down, consumers across the nation will begin the process of slowly making a dent in a pile of over 600 million pounds of one of the world’s most coveted treats—candy. Candy—also called confectionery and comprised of chocolate, sugar, and gum products—has been one of the most popular goods on the globe since 1894, with worldwide confectionery sales anticipated to increase 3.2 percent by 2022 and valued at 85.5 billion dollars in 2016.
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Last week I attended a luncheon hosted by the Global Business Club of Mid-Michigan, which focused in part on the importance of free trade. Erik Magdanz of the U.S. Department of State was the keynote speaker, and he had sparked my interest in some current free trade issues. One statistic in particular caught my attention – in 2006, countries that the United States has free trade agreements with accounted for only 7.5% of world GDP, yet they accounted for 42.6% of U.S. exports.