Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word

How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade


About The Book

From former Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Fred P. Hochberg comes an illuminating and engaging tutorial on the basics of modern trade.

Trade—the exchange that powers the world—allows us to sell what we produce at home and purchase what we don’t. In the age of globalization, trade has joined together more people than ever before, providing access to major new markets and countless new products that have revolutionized our lives.

However, for millions of people, global trade has become a popular target for blame and the frustrations of modern life. Much of the public only connects trade with unfathomable, high-level deals causing the fundamental principles to often seem inaccessible and confusing.

Through the lens of six quintessential American goods, Fred P. Hochberg breaks down colorful and compelling real-world examples to dispel the widespread myths and confusions surrounding trade. By using six widely consumed American goods—the taco salad, the minivan, the banana, the iPhone, the college degree, and the HBO series Game of Thrones—Hochberg highlights the story of America’s most surprising trade relationships while sharing the essentials of trade that everyone should know.

About The Author

Photograph by Martha Stewart

Fred P. Hochberg served as the Chairman and President of the Export–Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) from 2009–2017, becoming the longest-serving Chairman in the institution’s history. Hochberg also served for five years as Dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School in New York City, and has been as a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics and David Axelrod’s Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (January 14, 2020)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982127367

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Raves and Reviews

“At a time when trade is under fierce assault, Fred Hochberg makes a strong and effective case for its importance and value. A timely book with an important message.” —Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York

"Written by a uniquely qualified expert, this is a witty, enjoyable book that makes clear the great benefits—but difficult politics and policy choices—of international trade." —Frederick W. Smith, Founder and CEO, FedEx Corporation

“By turns practical and insightful, Fred’s indefatigable spirit, sound judgement, and depth of experience shine through in Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word. Throughout his unique upbringing and accomplished career, which spanned a period of profound political and economic change, Fred set a standard of leadership and level-headed collaboration while dealing with the complex issues around global trade and the many ways it impacts our day-to-day lives. And these meaningful lessons about trade apply to all of us—in business and in life.” —Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JP Morgan Chase

"Think a trade war with China and the rest of the world doesn’t impact you? Think again. Fred Hochberg shows how much free trade shapes your everyday life—and what would happen if it disappeared—in this fascinating journey through the trade networks that make our lives possible. It’s the only book on trade you’ll ever need to read." —Ana Navarro, CNN Political Strategist

"A rousing, well-argued defense of global trade in a time of isolationist entrenchment.” —Kirkus

"If you want to understand the importance of global trade to a vibrant U.S. economy, read this book!" —David Rubenstein, Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group

“[A] quip-filled and illuminating debut . . . Lay readers looking to reach a more informed opinion on trade policy would do well to pick up this nuanced and approachable account.” Publishers Weekly

"Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word is a clear-eyed, informative defense of the importance of free trade. If you’ve ever wondered what makes it possible to enjoy all the products that make daily life possible, this book is for you. And if you haven’t thought about trade, this engaging book will make trade a fascinating subject, one that you never knew you were interested in.” —Indra Nooyi, former CEO of Pepsi-Co

"Fred Hochberg knows what he is talking about. As a former Chairman and President of the US Export-Import Bank, he has seen firsthand how trade is mutually beneficial, not a zero-sum game. In this appealing and engaging book, Hochberg makes a compelling case for trade as a driver of global prosperity, innovation, economic resilience, good jobs, and a higher quality of life for billions of people across the globe. I particularly enjoyed his account of how trade helps empower women—seen clearly in the story of his own mother, who became a successful entrepreneur because she was one of the first people to appreciate the benefits of US-China economic links. I highly recommend this book.” —Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank and former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

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