INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMUNITY
REASSURES NERVOUS CONSUMERS
In light of the September 11th terrorist attack on America, consumer confidence and uncertainty
about our nation's economy is in a fragile state. As investors flock from the stock market and
tighten their belts, many worry about what lies ahead amid our national crisis. International
business leader and trade expert Roosevelt Roby points to the resiliency of the American people,
the American spirit and the American economy as he calms consumer fears and gives reassurance
about the future in his interview.
on everyone's minds these days is The World Trade Center attack.
How is this affecting consumer confidence?
First, like all Americans, my heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.
Through the anguish, we are seeing remarkable acts of selfless heroism, of kindness, unity and
American pride. I am touched and comforted by that. But this was a tragedy of monumental proportions,
of course it will shake consumer confidence. That's only natural. But remember, we've experienced
times of war, crisis, natural disasters before and we always come back and grow even stronger,
each and every time.
||How will this crisis affect international trade?
In the long-run, I believe the fact that the outpouring
of support and international cooperation in the face of tragedy
will lead to a new era of global unity to reduce trade barriers
and build an even stronger global market system. This will not
only boost the American economy, it will boost the worldwide
economy as well.
||What about the immediate affects on world trade?
It will slow for a period due to additional security
measures. That's to be expected. But who would not err on the
side of caution in order to protect our borders and innocent
||Will the global market put the breaks on spending
and further affect our economy?
There may be a knee-jerk reaction to the crisis,
but despite the slowdown in the overall U.S. Trade deficit,
we are still seeing an increase in consumer goods such as foods,
feeds, beverages and other such products. We have to remember,
there are over 5.5 billion consumers in the world marketplace
and no one country can produce all the necessary goods and services
to support themselves. We rely on each other and will continue
to do so. In hard times, you traditionally see a downturn in
capital goods, like industrial supplies, automotive vehicles
and other goods, but you see a steady flow of consumer goods
that people all over the world still need to sustain their daily
||This doesn't spell gloom for our economy?
Absolutely not. Before the joint session of Congress
(9/20), President Bush asked for American's continued support
of the American economy. He said, 'Terrorists attacked a symbol
of American prosperity; they did not touch its source.' Exactly.
Our government is providing tax incentive to increase business
and consumer spending. They're also considering an even wider
range of stimulus proposals for our long-term gain. Congress
is actively working to give the President more latitude to negotiate
trade agreements. Such actions would send a positive message
to the international markets and stimulate economic activity.
Even the Federal Reserve Chairman has applauded the move to
expand trade to promote economic growth.
||You have faith the national and global economy
No doubt in my mind. We are seeing an aggressive
plan in action as we speak. Interest rates are falling, the
American spirit is soaring, the world is coming together in
an unprecedented way for mutual benefit and unity, trade barriers
are coming down and new markets, like China, are opening up.
The terrorists did not succeed in sending the world into a panic,
they've brought the world together. Like the President, members
of the Department of Commerce and the Fed, we are all absolutely
confident our national and global economy will recover and prosper.
We have to remember not to lose sight of the long-term and not
NOTE: Roosevelt Roby is the Founder and CEO of The World Business Exchange Network, a global trade
association on the Internet. He has served as a consultant on various international business matters for
the United States Department of Commerce, including acting as mentor to former Secretary of Commerce,
Mr. Ron Brown, and serves as Chairperson of the Government and International Trade Subcommittee sponsored
by the Mayor's office of the City of Los Angeles. Additionally, he was awarded the Chairman's Award for
Entrepreneurial Excellence by the National Republican Congressional Committee, where he also served as a
Delegate giving guidance on key business and trade issues. He is also a lecturer who encourages involvement
in the world business community and educates on financial freedom through starting your own business.
For his work promoting international trade and education, Mr. Roby has been hailed by Presidents, members
of Congress, Governors, business leaders and international trade professionals around the world.
For information on The World Business Exchange Network, visit their website at www.wbe.net or call
toll-free at 1- 800-537-7347.