The Cost of Exports

My latest at The Hill can be found here.  A snippet:

For example, let’s suppose that you grow corn and that your neighbor grows wheat.  In order for you to get some of your neighbor’s wheat, you will have to give them some of your corn.  In other words, your farm will have to export corn so that your farm can import wheat.  In this context, we readily understand that the corn given up isn’t a benefit from the exchange, but is instead the cost of the wheat.  The same is true when we talk about trade between countries. When we export goods or services to other countries, we receive imports in return. Exports are the cost and imports are the benefit.

If Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton are going to continue parading such economic ignorance as knowledge, I encourage them to voluntarily overpay at the grocery store.  If what you give up to get something is truly a benefit, then doing so would surely be a path towards making their households even wealthier than they already are.