Economics & Economy

Could mounting trade tensions harm U.S. services to China?

Jun 19, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese products, up from the $50 billion already in the works. That's a big escalation. If he follows through, nearly half of all imported goods from China could be subject to a tariff. But there's another side of trade we haven't been talking about as much lately: The roughly $56 billion worth of services the United States sells annually to China. 

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69: Why does "zero tolerance" look like this?

Jun 19, 2018

By now, you've probably seen them. Heart-wrenching images of parents and children separated and the southwest border, sent to jail or youth detention centers. The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" for illegal border crossings is just one of several seismic changes to immigration enforcement in recent weeks. Immigrants seeking asylum from gangs or domestic violence will no longer be admitted, reducing legal immigration as well. So how'd we get here? And what does Congress need to do to fix a policy that's drawn bipartisan outrage?

This guy's invention got U.S. Patent No. 10 million

Jun 19, 2018

Today marks a milestone of in the American innovation economy. Back in 1836, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent No.1 under the current numbering system. It took 155 years to get up to patent No. 5 million and then just another 27 years to issue 5 million more. Patent number No.

A look at China's unlikely lingerie capital

Jun 19, 2018

On a dusty road in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, a slim, middle-aged man stood in front of an open truck and played an announcement through a speaker.

“Apples for sale! 1.20 yuan per jin,” the message repeated on a loop.

That's less than 20 cents a pound, which is cheap even for China. Guanyun County, some 300 miles north of Shanghai, used to consistently rank among the poorest areas in this province.

How a small plant became a big business

Jun 19, 2018

When things get popular on Instagram, there’s probably a profit to be made. That’s just what happened with the popular succulent house plant. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal sat down with Alyssa Bereznak of the The Ringer, who wrote "How Succulents Took Over Instagram," to talk about how the plants are a booming business. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.