Japanese sogo shosha and the US export trading companies

Posted On September 26, 2015
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by Amine, Lyn S., S. Tamer Cavusgil, Robert I. Weinstein

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 14, no. 3 (1986): 21-32


Recent legislation in the U.S. concerning export trading companies has drawn attention to the Japanese general trading companies. While the intent of the ETC Act was not to replicate the sogo shosha model in the U.S., there are some parallels which we can identify. In this paper we examine the evolving forms of the sogo shosha and ETCs, and show how they compete directly in some areas of international trade. Although early performance results for U.S. ETCs are not encouraging, longer term results are expected to improve. To support this expectation, we identify current problems and offer recommendations for improvement. These recommendations are framed in the context of the U.S. business environment, and implications for public policy are assessed.

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