Content Cow Dairy, Inc. began as a small, family-run dairy farm in Wisconsin in the 19th century, established by a Swedish immigrant, John Swanson. Over the years, the firm has acquired more land and now runs a herd of roughly 1,000 milk-producing cows. The firm is now incorporated for reasons of liability although the Swanson family retains control. The dairy has greatly expanded its production of milk and milk products to the point that Content Cow Dairy has sufficient cash flow to weather most fluctuations in dairy prices. The national Got Milk? Campaign run by the industry helped keep consumption of milk products up in the United States for a number of years despite popular concerns about cholesterol and saturated fats and competition from other beverages. To maintain the company’s growth and decrease its reliance on the mature American market, Karl Swanson, the President and CEO of Content Cow Dairy (and the great-grandson of its founder) is seeking new markets overseas for the company’s products, particularly shelf-stable milk beverages and cheeses. Egypt is at the top of the list as a prime market and a focus of Content Cow’s future plans.
Currently, no one in the firm has any experience with overseas markets or how to export products. Karl has the idea that countries without the natural endowments needed for raising dairy cattle (ample water and grazing land) might be good markets for dairy products. He is also aware that his family firm is competing for foreign markets with other U.S. firms and firms from leading dairy countries such as New Zealand and Denmark. For these reasons and on the advice of his state’s department of commerce, Karl has decided to seek the assistance of a trade-consulting firm, Alexander and Kravis (A&K).
A&K, Inc. is an international trade consulting service that has been in operation for the past 15 years. The principals in the firm include attorneys specializing in international trade law, economists, former members of the U.S. Foreign Service, former U.S. customs officials, logistics specialists, and customs brokers. The firm advises its clients on both importing to the United States and exporting from the United States to various foreign countries.
The firm is especially knowledgeable about business conditions in Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa although it has access to consultants for other geographic areas. The firm is able to assist its clients in identifying potential markets for its products, developing relationships with foreign distributors, navigating U.S. export and foreign import laws, understanding foreign business practices and customs, and developing a long-term strategy for expansion of the client’s business overseas. It provides specialists who can prepare the necessary export and import documents and arrange for transportation and shipping of the exports. Translation services are also available. A&K has a number of large corporations as clients but has identified a niche in serving small to midsize, family-owned firms.
As A&K’s account manager for Content Cow Dairy, you are tasked with explaining various aspects of the international business environment and the export process to Mr. Swanson. You will be preparing a series of briefings, memos, and reports to help him understand.
Assignment: Mr. Swanson has read in the papers that trade in agricultural goods is a major sticking point in multilateral trade negotiations and that a number of cases concerning agricultural goods have been taken to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Penalties, such as increases in tariffs, have been applied affecting the industries and businesses involved; however, Mr. Swanson really is not sure what the WTO is and how it operates.
Deliverable: Prepare a memo for Mr. Swanson. The memo should include the following:
A discussion on how the WTO came into being, its purpose, and how a country would go about taking a trade dispute to the WTO
An example of at least one trade dispute that has been brought to the WTO and its outcome
An evaluation of the WTO’s overall progress toward its goals
Use the Internet and library databases in your research.
Your report must include a reference list. All research should be cited in the body of the paper. Your report should contain an abstract, a short introduction, and conclusion in addition to the body of the paper
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