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Focus Question: What the functions of trade barriers?


For a visual and kinesthic way to explain interdependence of trade and trade barriers to younger students, try this activity:

String Trade Activity

  • This activity illustrates the interdependence of the global economy. Split your class into several groups, each student representing a particular country. Have the students do a bit of research to determine who their country trades with and what they trade. For instance, the person portraying Japan might import cars to the person portraying the United States. Each trade agreement is represented by a string passed between the two students. Have the different countries pass their strings to each other. Illustrate the problems that can occur when a country steps back, which shows tension in the string, representing a tariff. Show how the market changes when a war occurs and a country cannot trade anymore by cutting the string. Lastly, show economic embargo when a country cuts all its incoming strings.
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