The worldwide trade in illicit drugs ranks, after the gross domestic products (GDP) of the United States and Japan, as the world's third-largest economy; it is a global business whose organizers constantly shift their operations so that it cannot be brought under control. An estimate in February 1999 gave the U.S. GDP as $8,108 billion; Japan as $3,973 billion; and the drugs trade as $3,230 billion. This figure was regarded as a mid-range estimate of the value of the trade, which might, in fact, be worth as much as $5,000 billion. Given a trade on this scale, it is unlikely, no matter how great the efforts of drug enforcement agencies, that it can be stopped. There are, quite simply, too many people making profits, too many making a living, and too many seeking the end products of the trade for it to be brought under control.