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A Brush with Unfair Trade

It’s not so easy to find paint-by-number kits these days outside of the Smithsonian Museum of American History, though there’s a limited selection on Amazon. Who makes the brushes, canvases, and little tubs of plastic acrylic paints? Half of the world’s brushes and painting canvases are shipped from China. Here’s a story about how digging into the source of your favorite hobby materials can lead you on a tale of unfair trade.

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Tying the Knot is a Global Trade Affair

Holding your wedding in an exotic foreign destination offers local vendors, from the receptionist in a tourist eco-lodge, to the caterer, local guide services, bands, and the travel agencies that booked transportation for the wedding party, the opportunity to become services exporters in global trade.

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A Breakthrough in Arctic Trade Routes

Polar caps in the Arctic are receding, creating access to new trade routes for parts of the year. The routes are valuable short cuts for global trade but the waterways are precarious to navigate with unpredictable weather, the need for specialized icebreaking ships, and the necessity to operate at slower speeds, all of which make the routes less commercially reliable and partially offset the savings in time and fuel. So why are Russia and China racing other major powers to gain control of these waterways?

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Import Substitution: From Cars to Soccer Stars

Last year, almost 70 percent of the players in England’s Premier League were from other countries. Could this be causing a hollowing out of talent when the World Cup rolls around? Does the home country need to be more “protected” by setting aside more spots for local talent? Or does a “free trade” approach drive up the level of competition?

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Trump Upped the Ante in High Stakes Game of Tariff Poker

The biggest chunk of tariffs in the Great Tariff War of 2018 is between the United States and China, beginning with two rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs worth around $50 billion against one another. The United States just raised on the ante by another $200 billion. China will not fold; they will go “all in” in this poker game, but we don’t know what that means yet as they hold their cards close.

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Despite Trade Tensions Fireworks Exports from China are Booming

Whether you bought a multipack of screamers, bottle rockets, and roman candles from a roadside stand, or plan to watch a professionally-designed community display this Fourth of July, chances are the fireworks themselves were produced in China.

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Did China Kill the Convertible Car Market?

Driving with the Top Down If you’re a movie buff like I am, you’re familiar with recurring scenes in old Hollywood films of a footloose American driving the California coastline in a bright-colored convertible with the top down, hair blowing in the wind. Driving a convertible on the open road is a quintessential American experience. But as China takes center stage in the global auto market, accounting for one quarter of all sales last year, automakers are increasingly focused on meeting Chinese consumer preferences. Between air quality and a penchant for the more practical, a lack of affinity for convertible cars in China might just kill off the future of the beloved ragtop. Air Pollution is Choking Convertible Sales Convertibles […]