Over half of all Americans enjoy playing video games regularly. Whether you’re a “hardcore gamer” with the latest virtual reality headset or just killing time with Sudoku on your phone waiting for the bus, we are all unwittingly engaged in a vibrant global market for gaming entertainment products competing for our attention.
How is bread traded without a Bread Czar or a Minister for Flour? Inspired by the classic essay, I, Pencil, Professor Russ Roberts of Stanford University, offers an engaging and timeless story to explain the economic processes we benefit from daily without realizing.
How can one bakery focus on selling this many flavors of macaron cookie? Production in our economy is increasingly specialized. Specialization requires trade, which in turn promotes more specialization. And, the greater the number of consumers and producers, the larger the scope for each producer to focus on a narrow specialization. That’s part of the story of trade.
When you think haute couture, you think of the fashion capitals of the world – Milan, Paris, New York, London, and Tokyo. Whether we’re talking about runway gowns or graphic tees, the fashion industry is global. But did you know that an average 70 percent of your clothes are “Made in America”?
Every day, Facebook users share posts or “friend” someone, creating billions of new connections. Trade agreements don’t tell businesses whom to friend or like. But by removing obstacles to commercial transactions, trade agreements serve as a platform for American businesses of all sizes to better connect with buyers and sellers around the world.
President-elect Trump is already marching through his first 100-day agenda. Near the top of that list is withdrawing from NAFTA—or re-negotiating it. He should work with Mexico and Canada to create a North American Infrastructure Bank instead of re-opening an outdated NAFTA agenda.
Last year, real estate research group Zillow determined that homes located within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks coffee shop increased in value by 96 percent. Starbucks is a premium brand. So is North America. We’re lucky in the United States because Canada and Mexico are the kind of neighbors that increase our value.
Every trade negotiation is an exercise in pushing the government-imposed cronyism out of the way and freeing up space for markets to work, which is good for consumers and for economic freedom.
On the average day, approximately $2.4 billion worth—2 million tons—of goods move between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Co-production of world-class products made has given North America an advantage over other regions in the world.
Thanks to technology and policy improvements, modern production is increasingly organized around the set of tasks required to bring a product to market, from invention to final use. These tasks form “value chains” of different firms in different places whose activities are precisely coordinated.