EP 406 Changing Nature of Global Trade

In his book ‘The Box’ Marc Levinson explained how shipping containers were essential in the growth of international trade.  Now as he looks at the new wave of globalization, he sees a changing landscape.  Countries have begun to recognize, even before the recent pandemic, that supply chains can be precarious and unreliable.  And while there was an explosion in world trade involving manufactured goods from 2001 to 2008, rising 120 percent, it has fallen off since.  That is a concept you may find interesting since concerns about trade, and its imbalances, have fueled political discord in America, the United Kingdom and other countries.  Mind you, it is not apparent that countries are retreating to their borders, but there is a shift to greater reliance on suppliers and partners on a more regionalized basis and much of the trade today, and into the future, is trending toward services.  In large part this is due to the aging of populations worldwide and the need for more medicine, entertainment and other services, as opposed to hard goods, in the trading process. Thus, Mr. Levinson’s latest book is titled ‘Outside the Box’: How Globalization Changed Moving Stuff to Spreading Ideas’.  We discuss these evolving changes with him on this podcast.