It may have been just a passing tweet, but President Trumps threat to cut off trade with all countries trading with North Korea tells us a lot about mercantilist thinking: The notion that because importers on net send money to exporters, they have all the leverage as though all of the benefits of trade flow in one direction. The worlds reaction to the bluff a combination of amused disbelief and terror at the economic implications demonstrates that trade is a symbiotic relationship: Buyers and sellers need each other.
When a consumer purchases an iPhone, it is because it…

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