Friday, June 1, 2012

Hmmmm... those of us who want to assuage fears about trade and outsourcing need to get our stories straight

So this is interesting. I saw a Stihl commercial assuring viewers that while Stihl products are engineered in Germany, many are built in the United States and then exported around the world.

Strange... usually when people get concerned about outsourcing to Asia or Mexico, we economists note that even though they build the stuff, we engineer it and market it from the U.S. and that's actually where a lot of the value added comes from. We basically just reverse the Stihl argument!

Granted, this is probably a good thing. We engineer stuff? Great! We build stuff? Great! We should be encouraged by all of it. But it is interesting how things get flipped around. Hopefully the people who actually get worked up about trade won't notice the inconsistency.


  1. Trade is not a zero-sum game, is it? :)

  2. I don't think the people who get worked up about trade worry about consistency.


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