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Hot Topic: Trade Wars – Economics Awakens


Trade Wars: Economics Awakens

By Ninos Malek,  May 2018


“Trade wars are good and easy to win.”  ~President Donald Trump

“Wars make not a person great.” ~Jedi Master Yoda

Have you ever traded baseball cards or lunch items with a friend? What made you trade? If your friend has done something to irritate you, and you decide to punish him by saying: “This is war! I am not trading with you anymore!” is your friend the only one who will lose? In a war, there are winners and there are losers. We refer to that as a zero-sum game. However, when two individuals voluntarily trade, then both individuals are winning, or the trade would not have taken place. We refer to that as a positive-sum game.

So if trade is a positive-sum game and war is a zero-sum game, what about a “trade war”?


  • International Trade
  • Trade Barriers
  • Balance of Trade
  • Public Choice Theory


Download Trade Wars – Economics Awakens classroom materials.

  • Essay (Student Reading)
  • Student Handout
  • Teacher Guide