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Is this how globalisation ends?

By Barry Eichengreen

06 Sep 2023 · 10 min read

informed Summary

  1. Despite numerous challenges, including the global financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, globalization continues to thrive. Large corporations and small businesses alike benefit from the ability to operate in multiple countries, and consumers rely heavily on imported goods.

The death of globalisation has been declared more often than you can count. Yet despite myriad tensions and challenges, the global system of production, trade and finance endures. Globalisation survived the Global Financial Crisis. It survived Brexit and four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. And it survived Covid-19, confounding predictions that the virus would spell an end to global supply chains. 

It is tempting to conclude that globalisation is simply too deeply embedded in modern society to be reversed. Corporations such as Apple, which designs its products in California but manufactures in Asia, derive enormous benefit from the ability to hire talent, source inputs and conduct assembly operations in multiple countries around the world. What is true of large corporations and manufacturers is increasingly true of small companies and services as well. The Wall Street Journal wrote recently of Scottevest, a travel clothing firm that once employed 20 office workers at its headquarters in Ketchum, Idaho but now instead uses graphic designers in Ukraine, customer service agents in Albania and an order processor in India, all made possible by the internet’s global reach.

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