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Global Warming

July 1, 1999

Chew on these numbers: In 1998, exports from U.S. businesses hit $931 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau stats. Imports from abroad totaled more than $1 trillion--and in almost every deal, a U.S. importer had a hand in the transaction.

How can you claim your place in the export-import action? Read on for a road map that reveals the route to riches in foreign trade.

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam wants you to prosper by doing business abroad--and the U.S government provides a wealth of resources, free of charge, to entrepreneurs who need a boost in export-import trade. Start any hunt for international trade opportunities by checking in with the feds:

The Basics and Beyond

In The Zone

When it was enacted in 1994, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rewrote the rules of doing business in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Customs barriers were shattered, establishing the world's biggest free trade zone. Want to see if there are markets for you in the NAFTA zone? Dig here for opportunities:

How Much?

Keep track of what foreign money is worth at The Universal Currency Converter Web site (, which instantly converts from and to just about anything people accept as money anywhere on the planet.

Hard Copy

Informative books on going global are plentiful, and most large bookstores stock several titles worth reading. Among the best import-export books for start-up entrepreneurs:

Robert McGarvey (, who has dual citizenship in Ireland and the United States, is such an internationalist he even likes German food.