Its no secret that all those dodads that people get from Walmart are cheep. They are also usually packaged in such a way that they can withstand being put in boxes, crates, shipping containers, being scanned and moved half way around the world. Then they are unpacked sorted transported, wearhoused and put on our local Walmart’s shelves. Then we subsequently buy this do dad and to get to it we need to take off the hard plastic and the little baggies of soft plastic to get to our cheep asian prize.
Lets say we buy a flat screen tv. It will be packaged in styrofoam and the little clips and screws will come in plastic bags. The warranty and the instructions come in a plastic bag. Do we throw this in the garbage? Do we burn it? Do we return it to Walmart. It is always a conundrum to me.
Then we got the death of trees. When we ship things from Asia sometimes we get insects that ride along. They might be adventurous bugs looking for a new exciting home with new and exciting food and maybe less competition. So sometimes they are not successful in their hitching a ride. They might not survive, they might not find hospitable environs with tasty food. But sometimes they do. Take the Emerald Ash Borer, known to be from Asia. It likes ash trees. In Asia it seems to be a minor pest but hitching a ride with some cargo from China perhaps it arrived in America.
It found a new a vast land with almost no natural predators. We have ash trees which they love. And they went to town. Eating and going through their life stages and boring and laying eggs. The new larvae are born under the bark and eat and form galeries until they are big enough to survive. They then bore out of the tree and fly to find a new ash tree. They much on the leaves but it is the boring that does the ash trees in.
The emerald ash borer has killed uppers of 50 million ash trees mostly in the mid and upper mid western states of Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana.
What is the cost of global trade? Should we be concerned about the trade deficit?
I think the cost of glabal trade is climate change, plastic in the oceans and the death of trees.