ECONOMICS

Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word: How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade

Avid Reader: S. & S. Jan. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781982127367. $28. BUS
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A cornerstone economic policy of the Trump administration is a reduction of trade while erecting barriers to global trading. To counter that stance, Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States from 2009-2017, has written an expert defense of trade while also explaining the myths that have clouded our understanding of the ways in which trade fits into everyday life. Hochberg argues that trade has secured the U.S. an eminent position in the world, and generally has improved Americans’ lives. He considers how trade affects products such as the avocado, smartphone, and automobile positively and negatively. He also examines soft power products, such as entertainment and education, and perceives these intangible goods as America’s greatest exports. The author distills for readers the fact that there will always be winners and losers in trade relationships, but that trade supports a greater good for American society—and this point needs to be better understood.
VERDICT Hochberg has written an accessible, necessary book that will increase our understanding of trade and economic policies and the ways in which they impact our daily lives. Highly recommended.

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