Yesterday, I wrote about an excellent piece on globalization and international trade that appeared on Tuesday's "All Things Considered" on NPR. Yesterday evening, the second part was broadcast, telling the same story from the side of a worker in Honduras. While Honduras benefited tremendously by the arrival of the sock industry after tariffs were removed 20 years ago, much of that benefit is threatened if the U.S. restores the tariffs. These tariffs would protect the U.S. sock industry, but as shown in the example of Tuesday's broadcast, that industry has already moved on. I personally doubt whether it would return.
Addressing the Wednesday broadcast, it provided a poignant story, humanizing the economic benefit of trade and the potential costs if that trade is lost. My only significant criticism is in the last paragraph of the story. The reporter makes it seem as if physical capital is totally transferable and mobile. That is not the case. While some of the technology may be moved, much may be abandoned or sold. Chances are if a firm is relocating, they will buy new (read improved) capital. And one doubts the firms would take the buildings with them. They will remain, offering grim reminders of what could have been - or hopefully offering a place for new opportunities to take root.
I look forward to your comments.