Why Trade Internationally? Three Great Benefits of Global Expansion

Are you reluctant to trade internationally? Maybe you think your company is too small, or you've heard global trade is too complicated. If this sounds like you, here's some refreshing news.

According to a recent study by Dr. Matthew Slaughter of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, when you expand your company into the global marketplace, you'll see some surprising benefits — not only for your business, but for the American economy as well.*

Grow your customer base

If you're looking to build more capital, there's a tremendous opportunity for growth beyond the U.S. borders — one you can't afford to ignore. According to the study:

  • More than 95 percent of the world's population lives outside the U.S. — and that number is constantly growing.
  • On average, overseas economies are expanding much faster than ours.

A bigger base means more revenue

Needless to say, opening yourself up to rapidly growing markets can be lucrative, even for a small business.

In 2010, the U.S.-based parent companies of multinationals produced nearly a quarter of the nation's private sector output. That's a value of nearly $2.9 trillion. This growth isn't limited to giant corporations, either; 26 percent of these companies employ fewer than 500 people.

Trade overseas, benefit locally

One of the main myths about globalization is that it means job loss for the U.S.

But often, when a company trades internationally, it also scales up its operations. The result? Net job growth at home as well as abroad.

And it doesn't end at new jobs. As Dr. Slaughter notes in his study, globally engaged U.S. companies are a large part of the overall U.S. economy: "[These businesses] employ tens of millions of Americans, invest hundreds of billions in U.S. R & D and capital, and buy trillions in goods and services from U.S. vendors, ultimately producing trillions in American goods and services."

A case study

Consider OtterBox, one business profiled in Dr. Slaughter's study. This small Colorado company sells protective cases for smartphones and other handheld technology.

When overseas demand surged, OtterBox teamed up with FedEx to grow its business in a smart, savvy way. FedEx provided flexible international shipping, customs help and global trading know-how.

Meanwhile, OtterBox expanded its Fort Collins headquarters, hiring dozens of employees each month and becoming a pillar of the local community.

Learn more about OtterBox's story and Dr. Slaughter's study here.

Ready to grow?

Get the help you need to expand your business beyond U.S. borders. Go to the FedEx International Services page to learn about global trade opportunities. Check the Regional Highlights section for information on specific markets.

More from FedEx Updates

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*Slaughter, Matthew. "American Companies and Global Supply Networks: Driving U.S. Economic Growth and Jobs by Connecting with the World." Business Roundtable; United States Council for International Business; United States Council Federation, December 2012.

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