Supership Problems

When is a supership a problem? When the water is not deep enough or the Bayonne Bridge is not high enough. To understand the Bayonne Bridge problem (and care about the answer), we have to look back to August 1914…

Free Trade

KORUS has been in the news. The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, negotiated in 2007 but not ratified by Congress, was in trouble. One reason was Ford. With a 1% share of the South Korean car market, U.S. automakers want more.…

Cotton and Crocodiles

A Malaysian proverb tells us, “Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.” Looking at cotton markets, perhaps we should remember the crocodiles. According to The Wall Street Journal, cotton prices are soaring. Speaking as economists, it…

Trash and Trade

A WSJ article tells us “Memo to All Staff: Dump Your Trash.” But should they?According to the article, Texas state workers, Phoenix city workers, and Dartmouth college professors have all been told to take out the trash. Texas, as a…

More Than Chicken Feet

Chicken feet are back in the news. But the story is about much more. A delicacy in China, chicken feet are a perfect U.S. export. Except for animal feed, there is little demand for them in the U.S. By contrast,…

Threatening the Life of a T-Shirt

A typical t-shirt starts as cotton in Texas. Traveling by truck or train to California, it continues moving westward until it reaches China. In China, the cotton becomes yarn which is made into cloth which is made into  a t-shirt.…

Ricardo and China

What happens when you build an airport and nobody uses it?  China has an answer. Although China faces underutilization as it develops its transportation infrastructure in the air, by rail and roads,  it seems to be continuing. China’s policy took me…