It’s no secret that the US is at the centre of global trade. But how is what it trades with the world changing? The US International Trade Commission, the independent government agency which investigates anti-dumping cases in the US and also acts as a trade data clearinghouse, this week put out its annual “Shifts in US Merchandise” report. Here’s four things in the report worth thinking about:
1. Americans love their cars and their iPhones. They were the biggest contributors to the $10bn widening of the US trade deficit in 2012.
Provincial elections are about to take place in parts of Sri Lanka, in particular the nation’s Tamil-dominated northern province. This is a politically charged moment, as the government is gaining a reputation for being increasingly authoritarian and has faced UN criticism over its track record on human rights. Religious tensions are also mounting.
The elections are expected to be tense, particularly in the north which has been under federal government control since the late 1980s.
Any new period of renewed political wrangles could pose a threat to the country’s economy, which has recovered well since the end of the long-running civil war in 2009.