In this election year, opinions are flying fast and furious about global trade agreements – specifically this time around, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While it appears we’ll have to wait until after the election to know the fate of this particular agreement, it’s worth revisiting what trade agreements offer retailers, their suppliers and customers.
Trade agreements, like the 22-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), are essential catalysts in the New Retail Economy. The business models enabled between trading partners in these types of agreements recognize that we are indeed living in a global marketplace. They make it possible for retailers, suppliers and customers to participate in and benefit from all that a global marketplace offers – regardless of location:
- For retailers, the benefits are two-fold: First, well-constructed trade agreements allow them to explore and secure high-quality, differentiated merchandise and sell it at competitive prices. Second, they are able to grow their businesses through expansion into new markets.
- For suppliers, the opportunities afforded by trade agreements accelerate their paths to success. Unfettered from onerous tariffs, the smallest entrepreneur can deliver goods to customers all over the world.
- And when it comes to consumers, trade agreements give them exactly what they want: innovative and unique products, made well, and priced to purchase.
The winds of change are reshaping global business. Manufacturers have realized that the low-cost labor models upon which they so heavily relied are going away as wages rise in China and elsewhere, forcing them to rethink their supply chains. So, too, retailers recognize that competing to win a race to the bottom – where price is the only differentiation – is not a formula for long-term success.
New models take full advantage of today’s most innovative strategies like crowdsourcing, virtual collaboration, advanced manufacturing and social media optimization. Retailers with vision – like our customers Kohl’s, Home Depot, American Eagle, Adidas and others– are looking to harness the global marketplace to compete on quality, variety and cost. Global trade agreements that move economies from protectionist models to an open, equal and transparent marketplace accelerate those strategies and everyone wins.
This truly is a global marketplace, and Bamboo Rose’s customers span the globe. Check them out.