Issue

Trade

Behind almost every product we buy and the GDP numbers we worry over, there is a story whose trail crosses the globe. Every physical product starts as raw material somewhere, from the gold in our jewelry to the shrimp at our favorite restaurants and the minerals within our mobile phones and laptops.

The rapid industrialization of countries like India, China, and Brazil and a voracious consumer culture in Europe, the United States and Japan mean ever greater demand for these raw materials—and ever greater pressures on the individuals, communities, and environments that bear the cost of providing them.

These local costs too often remain hidden. They are obscured by companies and governments that put a premium on production and exports. They are little understood by consumers, whose concept of "price" and "value" does not include damage done to people and places far away.

Trade is an effort to make those connections plain, to show the true costs of producing the commodities that have become essential to our lifestyles but that we mostly take for granted. These reports touch on goods and challenges across the globe that share a common theme: the implications of a vision of endless prosperity set against the reality of a finite planet.

Trade

Dairyland in Distress

Dairy farms—Wisconsin's economic engines—have been decimated in recent years due to decreased demand, lack of workers, and slumping milk prices.

Nobody Listened

Native American women become targets of the oil industry in the United States.

Burning Forest for the Trees

In the name of renewable energy, the British government is subsidizing the clear-cutting of the American Southeast.

China's Footprint in Pakistan

Will China's investment in Pakistan deliver the broad-based growth, prosperity, and jobs it promises? How will it reshape local politics, infrastructure, and the environment?

Meet the Journalist: Vince Beiser

"The most important solid substance on earth," Vince Beiser tells us, is sand—used to build skyscrapers and shopping malls from Boston to Beijing. But the world is running out.

This Week: Child Labor and Your Smartphone

This week: cobalt mining comes from one of the planet's poorest countries and all too often it is mined by children, skepticism about Kosovo's deradicalization and rehabilitation programs for returning jihadists, and Pulitzer Center welcomes new Executive Editor, Indira Lakshmanan.

Beyond War: The Rohingya: A Genocide On Our Watch?

At a Beyond War conference panel, journalists and Pulitzer Center grantees discuss their reporting on the Rohingya crisis while the former Ambassador to Burma explained attempts by the United States to curb the persecution.