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


Debbie Henney, FTE Director of Curriculum Receives Bessie B Moore Service Award

  Foundation for Teaching Economics is proud to announce that Debbie Henney, director of curriculum for the Foundation for Teaching…

FTE Pays Tribute to Jerry Hume

It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of William J. Hume, known as Jerry Hume, former Chairman…

Why We Should Be Teaching Students Economic Literacy

Ted Tucker, Executive Director, Foundation for Teaching Economics October 26, 2022 More high schools are offering courses on personal finance…