Trade agreements are a way for Americans to create opportunities for themselves in the economy. Today the United States have free trade agreements with seventeen different countries. In the rest of the world the companies in the US that want to expand their business globally have to go through the process of figuring out different trade barriers and tariffs. A trade barrier is a restriction on international business. A tariff is a tax on exported goods. The world trade organization helps regulate all of the trade agreements. In today’s economy, two of our largest and continually growing companies, Facebook and McDonald’s, routinely run into difficulties with tariffs and trade barriers. Facebook is a social networking site that was developed February 2004 to connect students. The site has come a long way since 2004 and is now available in seventy different languages. Currently seventy percent of more than 500 million active Facebook users are located outside of the United States. In some countries Facebook is blocked, forcing its creators to find a way to make the social networking site acceptable to governments that protest it for social, political and religious reasons. McDonald’s is a very popular fast food restaurant in America and is swiftly growing to be an international marvel. McDonald’s is a franchising fast food restaurant with over 32,000 restaurants in 115 countries. Since McDonald’s is a franchise it doesn’t have to worry about trade barriers, tariffs, and nontariff barriers because the corporation does not export goods. There are some other circumstances that McDonald’s has to be aware of. One of the biggest obstacles McDonald’s had to overcome when deciding to start business overseas was the different styles of food each culture favors.
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