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

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?

The Race for Cobalt

Vivienne Walt and Sebastian Meyer traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to most of the world's cobalt, to see how huge global demand can be met without rampant child labor and corruption.

Venezuela’s New Gold Rush

For many people, gold fires the imagination, but can it resolve a crisis? Venezuela finds itself in distress and is going all-in on gold mining—an industry tainted by conflict.

Paradise Papers

ICIJ's global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.

Meet the Journalist: Rachel Nuwer

Rachel is a Brooklyn-based freelance science journalist who is writing a book about the illegal wildlife trade. She traveled to Malawi and South Africa to report on the war on poaching.

Debating Australian Mines in Africa

The Common Core-aligned land rights lesson plan and education resources attached introduce students to the impact of mining by Australian companies in Africa. Students explore a multimedia...

Waste disposal

What is the most efficient way to reduce the amount of waste? Can we ever reach the point of waste elimination?

Rana Plaza

Use the six resources attached to learn about the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, which is considered one of the worst accidents ever experienced by garment workers.

Human Rights Reporting

Students will critically examine the legal, professional and moral obligations of journalists as witnesses to all kinds of human rights violations.

This Week: Kingdom of Women

This Week: A village in China where women rule, an island off British Columbia was supposed to be an economic salvation, and illegal mining is causing problems for Venezuela.