- Liverpool, like no other city, concentrated simultaneously on all the core functions of the global cotton trade. Its merchants traded raw cotton, shipped cotton goods, and financed both cotton agriculture and cotton manufacturing. Other cotton cities were more specialized in their activities. Merchants in New Orleans, Alexandria, and Bombay, for example, mastered the export of raw cotton, while Bremen and Le Havre merchants received their shipments. New York and London merchants focused on financing the trade. And widely dispersed merchants in cities from Buenos Aires to Recife, Hamburg to Calcutta received shipments of yarn and cloth and distributed them through their hinterlands. None of these cities, however, competed seriously with Liverpool.