International Business Summit Discusses Latin America and Asia Trade

Dallas/Fort Worth is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. as well as an international hub for banking, technology, distribution, among others.

The Federal Reserve hosted the biannual International Business Summit (IBS) on Thursday, Nov. 1. The conference addressed the regional and global competitiveness between Latin America, Asia, and the United States.

“Dallas Fort Worth is a focal point of these two regions of the world to transport equipment, food, everything that can be transported by air that is time sensitive,” said Patricia Moore, chair of the Summit and CEO of Senturm Global Trade.

Business executives, government representatives, and international trade leaders from various industries attended the summit.

More than 900,000 tons of cargo goes through DFW Airport with over 70 trade routes per week and 14 carriers, according to John Ackerman, executive vice president of global strategy and development at DFW International Airport,

An economic impact study concluded DFW International Airport has a $37 billion economic impact in the region. In an effort to continue to increase growth, the airport is in the process of being certified to transport perishable pharmaceuticals by the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV).

“We’re making significant investments, and because we’ve made these investments, we’ve actually doubled the rate of cargo and growth,” Ackerman said.

The DFW International Airport currently ranks 5th in cargo and would be the only CEIV certified cargo transported in North America.

“We’re getting known for being the best access point for the central part of the United States,” Ackerman said.

Hiroki Takeuchi, director of the Sun and Star Program at Southern Methodist University discussed global trade trends and the importance of the relationship between Latin American and Asia. Takeuchi indicated that in the recent decades there has been a new emerging trade in Asia specifically.

“There is a fragmentation of the production stage,” Takeuchi said.

The professor explained that typically all production takes place in a large integrated factory, however, in recent years, different production blocks are assembled in different factories which are located in other countries.

“In the case of NAFTA countries, parts actually cross the border on average about 8 times,” Takeuchi said, “That is a new trend of globalization and a new trend of international trade.”

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a treaty signed by United States, Canada, and Mexico and went into effect in January 1994. The treaty lifted tariffs on the majority of goods produced by the signatory nations. President Donald J. Trump has worked to update the agreement. In October, his administration came to a new agreement known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

According to the Council on Foreign Relations one of the changes in USMCA would include requiring 75 percent of vehicles to originate in the member countries.

“As big as the United States is only 5 percent of the world’s consumers live in the United States, 95 percent live outside of the United States,” said Timothy Groser, New Zealand ambassador in the USA and former minister of trade.

Groser added politicians need to find a way to communicate to the public the effect trade has on the economy.

“We’re never going to get rich just selling to ourselves,” Groser said.

During the summit, the North Texas District Export Council (NT DEC) presented the Exporter and Service Provider of the Year Award. The NT DEC Award honored Dynocom, a company which provides automotive software and hardware data systems, with the Exporter of the Year award.

Group Lamerica, which provides business development consulting and operational services, was awarded the Service Provider of the Year award.

Written by Lourdes Vasquez