What should be the priorities of U.S. trade policy?
Second edition. February 2017.

International Trade 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 uncertainty of the global economy makes questions about trade policy especially important. What economic policy choices will strengthen the national and global economies? What values, beliefs, and interests should form the bases for these economic policy choices?


The readings prepare students to 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 examines the history of the current economic system and the changes brought about by globalization. Part II considers the effects of these changes—and U.S. trade policy—on people in the United States and around the world.

Preview this unit. Preview includes the Table of Contents for the Student Text and the Teacher Resource Book as well as a student reading excerpt and one lesson plan.


Charting International Trade

Students record and map the countries of origin of clothing products in the classroom to demonstrate the impacts of trade.

Why Countries Trade

Playing different imaginary countries, students trade bread and cell phones in a highly structured simulation. Students consider the incentives for trade and explore the concept of comparative advantage.

Evaluating the Impact of Economic Change

Students identify sources of opportunity and anxiety associated with economic globalization by understanding diverse perspectives of characters from different countries and social groups.

Analyzing Trade Statistics

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

The Options Role Play

Working cooperatively, students explore four different options for U.S. trade policy in a role-play activity.

Opposing Views on International Trade

Students deliberate and articulate coherent recommendations for U.S. trade policy based on personally held values and historical understanding. They consider speeches on trade by Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

Supplemental Resources

Additional reference material for added context and support.


Bhagwati, Jagdish. In Defense of Globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Chang, Ha-Joon. Economics: The User’s Guide. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2014.

Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. 1st updated and expanded ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

Milanovic, Branko. Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012.

Full version of Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign Speech in Monessen, Pennsylvania, June 28, 2016. For use with the lesson “Opposing Views on U.S. Trade Policy.”
Full version of Barack Obama's remarks at Hannover Messe Trade Show in Hannover, Germany, April 24, 2016. For use with the lesson “Opposing Views on U.S. Trade Policy.”
Provides information on current and past disputes, statistics, and goals of the organization.
Outlines U.S. interests in global trade and provides statistics and general information.
Policy and data oriented blog that focuses on economic growth and equity.
Provides information about development and how it connects to global trade and economics.
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