The Death of Globalism, at Last By James Reed
Could the end be nigh for … globalism? We have endured the end of everything of value to us, so it is only cosmically fair, that if the universe is taking the disintegration path, that globalism cops it too:
“Investors have been on edge as the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China, tiptoe toward a trade agreement. Yet even if President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping reach a deal, a tariff peace won’t mean a return to the old ways of doing business. The global system of trade is being realigned. A decades long drive toward freer trade across borders has begun to reverse. Globalization is being overwhelmed by populism, nationalism, and protectionism. Brexit threatens to erect new trade barriers between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. India just moved to limit foreign operators selling goods online. An eroding global consensus on free trade has led U.S. companies to modify their supply chains, often bringing suppliers closer to their end markets. In the 1990s, global trade regularly grew at twice the rate of worldwide gross domestic product; since 2012, it has been rising only slightly faster than GDP, on average, according to the World Trade Organization. For this year, amid slowing global economic growth and rising barriers, the WTO has lowered trade expansion expectations to 3.7% from 4%, and said that first-quarter trade is slumping to 2010 levels.
Seaborne shipments to the U.S. fell 4.5% in February, including a 4.6% drop from the European Union. It was the first such decline in almost two years, according to Panjiva, a supply-chain data provider. A recent Bain & Co. survey of more than 200 executives at multinational companies who do business in China found that 60% felt that the recent trade war had given them a chance to recalibrate their business strategies. Over the next year, 48% said, they expect to seek out new suppliers, and 42% expect to find raw materials elsewhere. Corporate executives are adapting to a world where globalization is no longer the dominant force. “I probably never would have said it was going to end, but I’m starting to wonder,” says Don Allan, chief financial officer at Stanley Black & Decker(ticker: SWK). “The trend seems to be heading that way. Countries are becoming more focused on protecting their world and less on how to work together as a global economy.”
Allan has been struck not just by the Trump administration’s antiglobalism agenda, but also by changes elsewhere, like the fragility of the European Union since the financial crisis. “There’s definitely a major shift that has been going on for the past 10 years, and it has accelerated in the past five years,” Allan says. The shift comes at a time of profound technological and political changes—including the advent of new robotic-manufacturing techniques, a North American energy boom, and China’s state-led push to sell higher-value goods—that have already led companies to reconsider and realign their global footprints. Those changes could eventually prove to be even more powerful than antiglobalization at rerouting global trade.”
I am happy to see a swing in the great pendulum of history back towards economic nationalism. Even economic collapse would be preferable to the tyrannical globalist system continuing. But, for the late 21st and early 22nd centuries, if humanity makes it to then, people really need to find a lateral solution to the rise and fall and rise of globalism, and finish off the globalist disease for all time.