Government Shutdown Affects Trade Research and Services

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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.

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About Dr. Sarita D. Jackson

is the President and CEO of the Global Research Institute of International Trade, a think-tank/consulting firm that examines trade policies and their impact on domestic businesses. Prior to heading GRIIT, Dr. Jackson was a tenured associate professor of political science in North Carolina and worked as a trade policy consultant for an Arlington-based consulting firm. She has participated in trade policy projects and conducted research on free trade negotiations in Botswana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama. Dr. Jackson has also traveled to Chile and Argentina to study their political systems and economic integration policies.
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2 Responses to Government Shutdown Affects Trade Research and Services

  1. James Ingran says:

    Thank you again for your insight. I now have more support to inform individuals that the shutdown doesn’t hurt Congress but the people closest to us and the economy.
    Any prediction on what it will take to solve the shutdown and how will a default hurt us in international trade?

    • Dr. Sarita D. Jackson says:

      Hi James. You are very welcome. The main thing that will solve the problem, as I indicate at the end of today’s post, is that there needs to be an end to this political theatre. In other words, it is as simple as compromising and separating the issues of the budget and a health care law . Unfortunately, some members of Congress are willing to allow US workers, businesses and the economy to be negatively impacted all in the name of defunding a law that has been proven constitutional by the US Supreme Court. Watch out for my next post regarding an economic shutdown and its impact on global trade. Thank you for your comment and great question.

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