In a recent episode of Macro N Cheese, Steve spoke with a guest about the MMT view of exports as a benefit and imports as a cost. There ensued some disagreement on social media (where else?) This week Steve invited Bill Mitchell to weigh in on the topic. As their discussion develops, this becomes an episode we’d recommend to anyone who is still unclear on the meaning and consequences of foreign trade deficits.
“Exports have to be a cost because you’re foregoing real resources that you could use yourself. And imports have to be a benefit because you’re getting real resources from other countries that you didn’t previously have which allow you to expand your consumption possibilities. The question then is: does that mean that exports are bad and imports are good? Well, not really. That’s where people get tripped up.” (Mitchell)