For the past three months, I have been enjoying my new position as the president and CEO of the Global Research Institute of International Trade (GRIIT). (Learn more about GRIIT here) On Saturday, I held a successful seminar with a number of business owners who walked away with a desire to come back and learn more. (See earlier post on the seminar) Two days later, I arrived home to the news that the U.S. government had been shut down. It became immediately apparent as to what the government shutdown means for international trade research and services.
This blog post merely highlights the experience of my firm as it provides research and support to businesses looking to export to the global market to increase their profits. As a business owner, whose source of income comes from the services that I provide, I feel the impact of the government shutdown as well. I do not mean in terms of receiving government funding, rather, in the ability to function. That is because those services that I provide depend on the raw economic data that I collect from government databases and analyze.
For detailed workshops and research publications, I have to rely on a number of federal government agencies for data illustrating how certain industries are impacted in the international trade market. For example, information on U.S. exports and imports of certain goods to/from specific markets is unavailable as a result of the government shutdown. The search for data on how particular industries have been affected by U.S. free trade agreements also leads me to an e-roadblock. If a client wants to begin the process of exporting to a foreign market, he/she will be unable to complete the proper paperwork to do so.
Fortunately, at this stage of my work, those who seek out my expertise are merely learning about the international trade market. I can still access the bulk of the required data pertaining to free trade agreement rules and regulations.
However, it becomes a problem for those individuals looking to actually begin the process of exporting to grow their businesses to only to find that the Bureau of Industry and Security is neither accepting new export license applications nor completing pending export license applications.
In sum, the government shutdown has a trickle down effect on small businesses, such as GRIIT, that depend on government data to function and meet the needs of its customers/clients. The grit required to ensure GRIIT’s success becomes more evident.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.