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    Trade Facts
    Trade Fact of the Week | February 9, 2011
    Unemployment is highest in the Middle East.
    Middle East unemployment runs at 10.3 percent, nearly twice the 6.2 percent world average. Among young people the Middle East's unemployment rate is an astonishing 24.9 percent.


    Trade Fact of the Week | February 2, 2011
    Foreign students received 1,048 of last year's 1,694 electrical engineering Ph.D.s.
    The highest concentrations of foreign students are in the Ph.D. programs of physics, mathematics, computer science, materials science engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering.


    Trade Fact of the Week | January 26, 2011
    Russia is the largest country outside the WTO.
    WTO membership would mark the largest burst of economic reforms and liberalizations certainly since Russia's independence in 1991, and likely rival only the perestroika era of the late 1980s as Russia's most ambitious attempt to rejoin the world economy since the First World War and the Revolution.


    Trade Fact of the Week | January 18, 2011
    Leprosy rates have dropped by 95 percent since 1985.
    Hansen's disease case rates have dropped from 5.2 million to about 211,000 worldwide since the mid-1980s. The achievement is not unique: since 1980 vaccination and treatment campaigns for a long list of communicable or infectious diseases -- polio in particular, but also yellow fever, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, rubella and others.


    Trade Fact of the Week | January 12, 2011
    South Sudan: the world's newest country.
    21st-century world maps are more stable than their 19th- and 20th-century predecessors but are still growing: East Timor joined the Asia-Pacific community in 2002, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia replaced the erstwhile Yugoslavia in the Balkans between 2006 and 2008. South Sudan is the newest country.


    Trade Fact of the Week | January 5, 2011
    World container-shipping capacity tripled in the last decade.
    In the simplest terms -- total number of ships -- today's container fleet has grown by about 10 percent (from 4,276 ships to 4,677 ships) since 2008. By a more meaningful measure - capacity to carry containers around -- it is about 20 percent larger.


    Trade Fact of the Week | December 31, 2010
    Currency trading is the world's largest market.
    At $1.46 quadrillion per year, currency trading is nearly 25 times the $62 trillion world GDP and 60 times the $25 trillion in annual goods and services exports.


    Trade Fact of the Week | December 22, 2010
    The world has become more peaceful.
    The traditional Christmas wish -- peace on earth -- is usually made in a wistful tone, mixing sincere hope with awareness of a more brutal reality. But perhaps this is too cynical.


    Trade Fact of the Week | December 15, 2010
    Love tax to revive in January (unless Congress acts).
    Since 1991, the Andean Trade Preference Act or "ATPA" has kept Valentine's Day roses tariff free, providing work to rural Colombians and helping florists and lovers save $5 million each February. The next V-Day may be different: the ATPA is set to end December 31st.


    Trade Fact of the Week | December 1, 2010
    Trade Adjustment Assistance expires Jan. 1st.
    Though layoffs are down, new private-sector hiring remains barely above crisis levels. This makes job training and skill development especially to valuable men and women trying to find their way back to work -- and so it is especially important that Congress renew the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.


    Trade Fact of the Week | November 24, 2010
    First book published in the U.S.: 1640.
    looking ahead to the new Congress and the presidential campaign season beyond, we leave our subscribers a reading-list for the long weekend, including five short-to-medium-length pieces from the DLC, four classics for timeless wisdom on politics and government, and seven books on the Very Big Issues.


    Trade Fact of the Week | November 17, 2010
    American public opinion on trade: mixed and complex.
    Asking Americans about trade and trade policy this year, three public-opinion surveys get very different results.


    Trade Fact of the Week | November 10, 2010
    Finns are the world's biggest coffee drinkers.
    About 25 million people grow the beans -- first lime-green, then flame-orange, then crimson, finally black -- on 9.6 million hectares of land around the world.


    Trade Fact of the Week | November 4, 2010
    The United States is the world's top exporter.
    A lot of exports. First in the world! But we ought still to do better.


    Trade Fact of the Week | October 27, 2010
    China's rare earth data: 97 percent of production, 36 percent of reserves.
    American mines produce no rare earths for now, but American reserves are considerable: 13 million out of 99 million tons total world reserves, third behind China's 36 million tons and Russia's 19 million tons.


    Trade Fact of the Week | October 20, 2010
    Democracy -- not on the march.
    The world's count of electoral democracies has shrunk by seven from its mid-decade peak of 123; the number of people living in electoral democracies, meanwhile, has dropped by 200 million.


    Trade Fact of the Week | October 13, 2010
    U.S. tariffs are 23 times higher on Cambodian goods than on British goods.
    So far this year, $1.2 billion in low-cost clothes stitched around Phnom Penh year have faced a tariff penalty of nearly $200 million -- already three times the value of the US' $75 million aid program for Cambodia, and identical to the penalty on Britain's $28 billion in exports.


    Trade Fact of the Week | October 6, 2010
    Energy use is the only human activity measured in quadrillions.
    By country, America remains the largest energy user, having topped the 18-digit mark in 2007 at 101 quadrillion BTUs. China ranks second, having doubled energy consumption in this decade and perhaps already surpassing the European Union as a whole. Russia is third at 30 quadrillion, followed by Japan at 22, India at 18 and Germany at 14.


    Trade Fact of the Week | September 29, 2010
    Auto exports to China are up six-fold this year.
    Compiling data in the depths of the Commerce Department, the automotive team finds some good news: American car exports are soaring, up from last year's $100 billion worth of cars, trucks and parts to a possible $150 billion this year, overseas car sales account for more than a fifth of America's likely $230 billion in manufacturing export growth.


    Trade Fact of the Week | September 22, 2010
    This year's Arctic sea-ice minimum was the third-lowest on record.
    Summers from 1979 through 2000, on average, left 6.7 million square kilometers of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice. Since then levels have sharply dropped, with the lowest minimum 2007's 4.28 million sq. kms and this year's 4.76 million the third-lowest. The 1.5 million sq. kms. difference between the 1979-2000 average and the 2007 low point is an area of open water about the size of the Gulf of Mexico.


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