Commerce

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DEFINITION of 'Commerce'

The conduct of trade amongst economic agents. Generally, commerce refers to the exchange of goods, services or something of value, between businesses or entities. As a broad concern, nations are concerned with managing commerce in a way that enhances the well-being of citizens, by providing jobs and producing beneficial goods and services.

BREAKING DOWN 'Commerce'

When properly managed, commercial activity can quickly enhance the standard of living in a nation and increase its standing in the world. However, when commerce is allowed to run unregulated, large businesses can become too powerful and impose negative externalities on citizens for the benefit of the business owners.


Many nations have established governmental agencies responsible for promoting and managing commerce, for example, the Department of Commerce in the U.S.

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