Globalization is not going away, and to understand the modern economy, your students will need to understand the dynamics and policy questions surrounding international commerce. We have put together a mix of activities that help your students explore the practical as well as the philosophical questions surrounding trade. One of the exercises will help your students understand international exchange rates; another raises their awareness of our dependence on imports and the countries that supply them. A debate activity will encourage your students to think about the broad policy questions surrounding trade, while another activity, as well as our economic adventure, focus on the more specific challenges surrounding trade with one partner: China.
Covering this topic is an increasingly complex task. The old formulas do not always fit the new realities. Even the language is different: "American-made," "imported," and "trade deficit" may not carry the meaning they used to. Perhaps your biggest challenge is to make students aware of these new conditions and just how much things have changed. As nations’ economies become more interconnected, old distinctions between foreign and domestic are becoming more ambiguous, if not altogether obsolete.