Discovering Global Trade

 The world is becoming more interdependent as countries produce more than their domestic markets can consume and they want to export goods/services to other countries. This interdependence is influenced by the growth of international companies looking for lower costs of production and new markets for their products. People need to better understand how global trade influences producers or consumers. Understanding the concepts of global trade is complicated and constantly changing. This module, entitled Understanding Global Trade, will focus on the basic entry level concepts.

Global trade is important to al of us because it allows us to have a higher standard of living. This is illustrated in the Two Country example of trade. Economics of strongly driving the world to international commerce and all of the different facets of other lives will be impacted by these changes. We need to better understand these changes if we are to help others understand and benefit from these changes.

The first unit introduces basic vocabulary terms and uses a fictional two country example of trade to illustrate some of the aspects of trade. Examples of different country's budgets introduce competitive or comparative advantage in the production of certain products. The second unit looks at the role of geography on world trade. The factors include location, weather, demographics and government policy, and illustrate the trade that occurs in coarse grains, soybeans and wheat. The third unit introduces a few agricultural trade policies in which the vocabulary terms are utilized. The last unit directs the learner to a variety of web sites concerning current issues in agriculture trade. 

The module will benefit extension staff wanting to develop an awareness of basic issues involving global trade. It is recommended that staff start with the first unit since it contains the vocabulary activity. It is recommended that this be a computer based learning activity due to the nature of the activities and the content flow of the components. This is applicable for clients who want an introduction of the basic issues surrounding global trade.

This module has been designed for professional development, but may also serve as the basis for presentations, learning activities, or programming on these topics. This module consists of the following:

Unit 1: Basic Concepts of Trade

Handout 1: International Vocabulary

Handout 2: Vocabulary

Handout 3: Two Country Trading Example

Handout 4: Crop Budgets Illustrating Competitive Advantage

Handout 5: Crop Budgets


Unit 2: Geography and Ag Trade

Handout 1: Activity for Country Facts

Handout 2: Brazil Country Facts, Land Use, Climate, Population, Political

Handout 3: China Country Facts, Land Use, Climate, Population, Political

Handout 4: USA Country Facts and Political

Handout 5: Iowa Land Use, Climate, Population

Handout 6: Map Comments

Handout 7: Exports and Imports of coarse grains, wheat, and sugar

Handout 8: Everything Depends on Everything Else

Handout 9: Trade Terminology


Unit 3: Policies that Influence Trade

Handout 1: Dynamics of Agricultural Competitiveness: a Global View

Handout 2: Agricultural Trade and the Doha Round: Lessons from Commodity Studies

Handout 3: Country Goals


Unit 4: Current Issues in Agricultural Trade