International Flow of Funds Lecture Outline Balance of Payments Current Account Capital and Financial Accounts International Trade Flows Distribution of U.

S. Exports and Imports U. S. Balance of Trade Trend International Trade Issues Events That Increase International Trade Trade Friction Factors Affecting International Trade Flows Impact of Inflation Impact of National Income Impact of Government Policies Impact of Exchange Rates Interaction of Factors Correcting a Balance of Trade Deficit Why a Weak Home Currency is not a Perfect Solution International Capital Flows Distribution of DFI by U. S.

FirmsDistribution of DFI in the U. S. Factors Affecting Direct Foreign Investment Factors Affecting International Portfolio Investment Impact of International Capital Flows Agencies that Facilitate International Flows How International Trade Affects an MNC’s Value Chapter Theme This chapter provides an overview of the international environment surrounding MNCs. The chapter is macro-oriented in that it discusses international payments on a country-by-country basis. This macro discussion is useful information for an MNC since the MNC can be affected by changes in a country’s current account and capital account positions. .

Balance of Payments. a. Of what is the current account generally composed? ANSWER: The current account balance is composed of (1) the balance of trade, (2) the net amount of payments of interest to foreign investors and from foreign investment, (3) payments from international tourism, and (4) private gifts and grants.

b. Of what is the capital account generally composed? ANSWER: The capital account is composed of all capital investments made between countries, including both direct foreign investment and purchases of securities with maturities exceeding one year. . Inflation Effect on Trade. a. How would a relatively high home inflation rate affect the home country’s current account, other things being equal? ANSWER: A high inflation rate tends to increase imports and decrease exports, thereby increasing the current account deficit, other things equal. b.

Is a negative current account harmful to a country? Discuss. ANSWER: This question is intended to encourage opinions and does not have a perfect solution. A negative current account is thought to reflect lost jobs in a country, which is unfavorable.Yet, the foreign importing reflects strong competition from foreign producers, which may keep prices (inflation) low. 3. Government Restrictions. How can government restrictions affect international payments among countries? ANSWER: Governments can place tariffs or quotas on imports to restrict imports. They can also place taxes on income from foreign securities, thereby discouraging investors from purchasing foreign securities.

If they loosen restrictions, they can encourage international payments among countries. 4. IMF. a. What are some of the major objectives of the IMF?ANSWER: Major IMF objectives are to (1) promote cooperation among countries on international monetary issues, (2) promote stability in exchange rates, (3) provide temporary funds to member countries attempting to correct imbalances of international payments, (4) promote free mobility of capital funds across countries, and (5) promote free trade.

b. How is the IMF involved in international trade? ANSWER: The IMF in involved in international trade because it attempts to stabilize international payments, and trade represents a significant portion of the international payments. 5.Exchange Rate Effect on Trade Balance. Would the U.

S. balance of trade deficit be larger or smaller if the dollar depreciates against all currencies, versus depreciating against some currencies but appreciated against others? Explain. ANSWER: If the dollar weakens against all currencies, the U. S. balance of trade deficit will likely be smaller.

Some U. S. importers would have more seriously considered purchasing their goods in the U. S. if most or all currencies simultaneously strengthened against the dollar. Conversely, if some currencies weaken against the dollar, the U.S.

importers may have simply shifted their importing from one foreign country to another. 6. Demand for Exports. A relatively small U. S. balance of trade deficit is commonly attributed to a strong demand for U. S. exports.

What do you think is the underlying reason for the strong demand for U. S. exports? ANSWER: The strong demand for U.

S. exports is commonly attributed to strong foreign economies or to a weak dollar. 7. Impact on International Trade. Why do you think international trade volume has increased over time?In general, how are inefficient firms affected by the reduction in trade restrictions among countries and the continuous increase in international trade? ANSWER.

International trade volume has increased because of the reduction in trade restrictions over time. It may have also increased for many other reasons, such as increased information flow (via Internet etc. ) between firms in different countries. Inefficient firms are adversely affected if they have to face tougher competition from foreign firms as a result of a reduction in trade restrictions. 8. Effects of the Euro. Explain how the existence of the euro may affect U.S.

international trade. ANSWER: The euro allowed for a single currency among many European countries. It could encourage firms in those countries to trade among each other since there is no exchange rate risk. This would possibly cause them to trade less with the U. S.

The euro can increase trade within Europe because it eliminates the need for several European countries to exchange currencies when trading with each other. 9. Currency Effects. When South Korea’s export growth stalled, some South Korean firms suggested that South Korea’s primary export problem was the weakness in the Japanese yen.How would you interpret this statement? ANSWER: One of South Korea’s primary competitors in exporting is Japan, which produces and exports many of the same types of products to the same countries. When the Japanese yen is weak, some importers switch to Japanese products in place of South Korean products. For this reason, it is often suggested that South Korea’s primary export problem is weakness in the Japanese yen. 10.

Effects of Tariffs. Assume a simple world in which the U. S. exports soft drinks and beer to France and imports wine from France. If the U. S. mposes large tariffs on the French wine, explain the likely impact on the values of the U.

S. beverage firms, U. S. wine producers, the French beverage firms, and the French wine producers.

ANSWER: The U. S. wine producers benefit from the U. S. tariffs, while the French wine producers are adversely affected.

The French government would likely retaliate by imposing tariffs on the U. S. beverage firms, which would adversely affect their value. The French beverage firms would benefit. Advanced Questions 11. Free Trade. There has been considerable momentum to reduce or remove trade barriers in an effort to achieve “free trade.

Yet, one disgruntled executive of an exporting firm stated, “Free trade is not conceivable; we are always at the mercy of the exchange rate. Any country can use this mechanism to impose trade barriers. ” What does this statement mean? ANSWER: This statement implies that even if there were no explicit barriers, a government could attempt to manipulate exchange rates to a level that would effectively reduce foreign competition. For example, a U. S.

firm may be discouraged from attempting to export to Japan if the value of the dollar is very high against the yen. The prices of the U. S. oods from the Japanese perspective are too high because of the strong dollar. The reverse situation could also be possible in which a Japanese exporting firm is priced out of the U. S. market because of a strong yen (weak dollar).

[Answer is based on opinion. ]12. International Investments. U.

S. -based MNCs commonly invest in foreign securities. a.

Assume that the dollar is presently weak and is expected to strengthen over time. How will these expectations affect the tendency of U. S.

investors to invest in foreign securities? ANSWER: The expectations of a strong dollar would discourage U. S. nvestors from investing abroad. If the dollar is relatively weak now, U. S. investors need more dollars to make purchase foreign currency (when investing).

If the dollar strengthens over their investment horizon, they will exchange the foreign currency (as the investment is liquidated) into dollars at a less favorable exchange rate than the exchange rate at which they converted dollars into the foreign currency. That is, the exchange rate effect would reduce the yield that they earn on their investment. b. Explain how low U.

S. interest rates can affect the tendency of U. S. -based MNCs to invest abroad. ANSWER: Low U. S. nterest rates can encourage U.

S. -based MNCs to invest abroad, as investors seek higher returns on their investment than they can earn in the U. S.

c. In general terms, what is the attraction of foreign investments to U. S. investors? ANSWER: The main attraction is potentially higher returns. The international stocks can outperform U. S. stocks, and international bonds can outperform U.

S. bonds. However, there is no guarantee that the returns on international investments will be so favorable. Some investors may also pursue international investments to diversify their investment portfolio, which can possibly reduce risk. 3. Exchange Rate Effects on Trade. a. Explain why a stronger dollar could enlarge the U.

S. balance of trade deficit. Explain why a weaker dollar could affect the U. S. balance of trade deficit.

ANSWER: A stronger dollar makes U. S. exports more expensive to importers and may reduce imports. It makes U. S. imports cheap and may increase U.

S. imports. A weaker home currency increases the prices of imports purchased by the home country and reduces the prices paid by foreign businesses for the home country’s exports.

This should cause a decrease in the home country’s demand for imports and an increase in the foreign demand for the home country’s exports, and therefore increase the current account. However, this relationship can be distorted by other factors. b. It is sometimes suggested that a floating exchange rate will adjust to reduce or eliminate any current account deficit. Explain why this adjustment would occur. ANSWER: A current account deficit reflects a net sale of the home currency in exchange for other currencies.

This places downward pressure on that home currency’s value.If the currency weakens, it will reduce the home demand for foreign goods (since goods will now be more expensive), and will increase the home export volume (since exports will appear cheaper to foreign countries). c. Why does the exchange rate not always adjust to a current account deficit? ANSWER: In some cases, the home currency will remain strong even though a current account deficit exists, since other factors (such as international capital flows) can offset the forces placed on the currency by the current account.


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