What Is International Commerce?

International commerce is trade between companies in different countries, or trade between different countries.

Understanding International Commerce

International commerce is the buying and selling of goods between sovereign nations.

International commerce allows countries to take advantage of competitive advantages in certain areas, while diminishing disadvantages in other areas. To help facilitate international buying and selling among countries, a variety of national and local government agencies have been set up, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), even though there is a distinction between commerce and trade. 

International Commerce vs. International Trade

International commerce is technically different from international trade, only in that commerce generally refers to buying and selling goods and services, as opposed to exchanging them. With businesses increasingly globalizing, international trade and commerce has grown more and more popular, and has allowed companies in less densely populated regions to compete against those based in more densely populated regions.