International Trade and E-Commerce [Updated July 23, 2020]   [open pdf - 505KB]

From the Overview: "U.S. retail e-commerce sales are forecasted to grow to $599 billion in 2024, up 64% from $365 billion in 2019, according to the research firm Statista. The U.S. share of global retail e-sales is projected to decline from 10% to 9% over the same time period. In 2018, 1.8 billion people globally purchased goods online. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that e-commerce accounts for 12% of global trade of physical goods, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C or retail) sales. Nevertheless, certain foreign trade policies, infrastructure inconsistencies, and the lack of globally enforceable rules potentially hinder further e-commerce growth. E-commerce allows customers to research and purchase goods without leaving their home or office, increasing access and convenience. Through online sales, businesses are able to scale efficiently and reach customers in new markets both domestically and abroad, especially small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). Some online purchases replace what may have been traditional (e.g., in-store) purchases, while other purchases are new sales. One study shows the U.S. B2B e-commerce market is one of the largest and most mature, representing 12% of B2B global sales in 2018. McKinsey estimates that global e-commerce could add $1.3-$2.1 trillion in international trade by 2030, boosting trade in manufactured goods by 6%-10%."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11194
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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