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International Trade

International Trade: Competition and Cooperation in a Globalized World

First edition. February 2009.

Overview

When economists talk about the global economy and the role of international trade, their conflicting interpretations of economic data and debates over competing theoretical models can be overwhelming. International Trade: Competition and Cooperation in a Globalized World seeks to help students understand the basics of international trade and consider its role in this era of globalization.

Today, the struggling global economy makes the questions surrounding trade policy particularly relevant and important. What economic policy choices will strengthen the national and global economies? What values and beliefs should form the bases for these economic policy choices? International Trade: Competition and Cooperation in a Globalized World provides students with the tools to express their views on these important questions.

Readings

The readings prepare students to thoughtfully consider the policy choices facing the United States and introduce them to the terms and concepts essential to a basic understanding of international trade. Part I introduces basic economic concepts and discusses the expansion of international trade and economic globalization in the decades after World War II. Part II explores arguments for and against different trade policies and considers the effects of these policies on people around the world.

The Choices Role Play

At the core of this curriculum are four distinct options for U.S. policy. Each option contains a different perspective on the effects of international trade, the capabilities of trade policy, and the role of the United States in the world. By exploring this spectrum of alternatives, students gain a deeper understanding of the values and assumptions underlying U.S. trade policy.

Lessons

An Introduction to U.S. Trade
By checking their clothing labels and mapping out where their clothes were made, students consider the changing geography of trade.

Why Nations Trade
Playing different imaginary countries, students trade bread and computers in a highly structured simulation to explore the incentives for trade and examine it's possible economic and social consequences.

Evaluating the Impact of Economic Change
Students identify sources of opportunity and anxiety associated with economic globalization by exploring fictional profiles from the United States and around the world.

Analyzing Trade Statistics
Working collaboratively to evaluate statistical data, students consider the causes and effects of trends in global manufacturing trade since 1948.

Role-Playing the Four Options
Working cooperatively to present different options for U.S. trade policy to a panel of citizen lobbyists, students clarify and evaluate various perspectives on trade.

Beyond the Options
Armed with new knowledge and a sense of their own values, students deliberate the options presented, then articulate coherent recommendations for U.S. policy. They then explore the impact of their policies on different groups around the world.

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