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

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.

What Is Left for Venezuelans?

Venezuela is facing its biggest crisis yet: a high inflation rate, shortage of food and medicine, and abuse of power by authorities. And that's only part of the picture.

Rhinoceros Poaching in South Africa

South African wildlife sits on the brink of disaster as rhinos continue to be poached. With so much at stake, villagers fight to protect the keystone species, resources, and the tourism industry.

Meet the Journalist: Karim Chrobog

Pulitzer grantee Karim Chrobog reports on South Korea's innovative food recycling program–and compares it to the US, where 30 to 40 percent of what is grown and raised in the United States is wasted.

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.

This Week: Rohingya, The Lost Genocide

This week: As the world looks upon the Rohingya's plight, a refusal to acknowledge genocide; the fight to list mental health as a global health challenge; and the arduous process of finding schools for special needs children while abroad.