Saturday, 13 August 2011

Trade.. It actually is a lack that is the problem

Right now, Trade in Goods with Africa from the USA is lower than that between the USA and Canada.

From the graph below, we see that there is a trade imbalance with the US to Africa.

What we have is a continent with a population of 1,022,234,000 people [1] having less trade with the USA than a country (Canada) of 34,547,000 people [2]. It only comes close to even with a distant country (Germany) with 81,471,834 people [3] with a distinctly different language and culture to the US.

The table below shows the 2010 Trade figures for these three geographic locations as a total for 2010 in millions of US$.

The table below has imports INTO the USA and Exports from the US.

Country Total Exports $ Total Imports $
USA - Africa
28,346.9
85,007.9
USA - Canada
249,105.0
277,647.5
USA - Germany
48,160.7
82,429.1

So we have a total of $85 billion being exported from the African continent. They only have $28 billion being imported. A net trade balance of $57 billion. This is a good thing, it is simply that there is TOO LITTLE trade happening, not that these people are being exploited by US companies.
 Looking at the graph above, it is clear that there is far less trade with the USA and Africa than with the USA and Canada. But is the trade situation with the USA and Germany so different to that with Africa? For this, we need to look at the trade figures per person as is displayed below.
What we see is that there is nearly NO trade with Africa on a per capita basis to the USA. The problem is NOT that the African people are exploited, but that they have too little trade with first world countries. This is not the fault of the USA and it's people or any other "first world" country, but that of those in power in Africa and the exploitation of their own people. It is NOT the west that is exploiting Africans, it is predominantly other Africans.

Clearly, the African people are not suffering from excessive trade with the USA or cannot be said to be exploited by the USA (They are by their own governments, but this is a separate issue).


In fact, the nature of money is that it can be used to purchase goods and services. The more trade there is in Africa, the more food and essential goods that the people there will be able to buy.


Simple answer, more trade will help these people come out of poverty and this means more companies making goods that others want.

References:
[1] "World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision" United Nations (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, population division)
[2] Statistics Canada
[3] CIA World Factbook

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