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International Trade and Comparative Advantage

For your next white paper for company deployments, you have been asked to write about trade, cost, and price using your work in Acme Mexico as one example.

Multinational corporations are continually seeking sources of comparative advantage by investing in developing countries. Sometimes, they are initially willing to pay a high price for that advantage. For example, U.S. tobacco companies create strong incentives for local farmers in developing countries to grow tobacco instead of crops used for domestic food production by offering underwritten loans, subsidies for startup costs, and a guaranteed demand for their tobacco crops. The following questions pertain to the foundations of modern trade theory and comparative cost of production and pricing decisions:

1. Explain why the U.S. would subsidize the short run costs of production for tobacco farmers in foreign countries. Do these practices guarantee the tobacco farmers a profit in the short run? Long run? Explain.

2. How does this practice shift the equilibriums (price and output) for tobacco and domestic food items (analyze both the local and international effects)?

3. In the case with Acme Motors, what are the production gains to the entire company from the facility in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas specializing in Autoturbo Quattro engines (i.e., why do they just make engines in Nuevo Laredo rather than the entire auto)?

4. Why would Acme Motors shift its production of engines from Detroit to Mexico and then shift the engines back to the U.S. to be assembled into the finished auto?

5.What are the gains and losses for consumers in these types of international production and trading patterns?

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International production and trading patterns are featured.

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  • BSc, Dokuz Eylul University
  • MBA, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
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