Blast from the Past

by Don Boudreaux on May 12, 2017

in Balance of Payments, Trade

Rummaging through long-ago Cafe Hayek posts I came upon this one from December 18, 2005.  In it I quote from an e-mail sent to me back then by the economist Jack Wenders.  Here’s Jack, now unfortunately no longer with us, speaking to us from across the years about a topic – trade deficits – that continues to be a source of great confusion and much policy mischief:

If China buys lumber, concrete, steel, furniture, etc. from the US, it’s considered great. But if China buys exactly the same material embedded in a building within the US, it’s considered bad. Go figure.


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