Did you know that the 3rd full week in May is World Trade Week?!
This little-known holiday was first conceived in 1926 by Stanley T. Olafson to promote the benefits of trade and cooperation between neighbors during a time of isolationism. By 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had officially proclaimed World Trade Week a national observance by the U.S. Government, and many presidents since FDR have used World Trade Week to highlight the positive aspects of global trade on local and national economies, the most recent of which being President Barack Obama in 2016.
As with most things, International Trade has its pros and cons, but our rich trade history has shaped the world we live in today. International Trade is an important topic for classroom discussion as it gives students a better understanding of America’s place in the global economy, and just how dependent every country is on its neighbors for goods and services. Do you know where your food comes from? How about the shirt on your back? NPR’s Planet Money devoted a series of podcasts to the life of a T-shirt to help consumers understand the complicated process of an idea becoming a tangible product, and how something as simple as a shirt could impact the lives of so many people around the world.