Almost 15 years ago, in The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman popularized the latest wave of globalization as a world of giant corporate supply chains that tripled world trade between 1990 and 2010. Major corporations such as Apple, Dell, and GE offshored manufacturing to low-cost economies; China became the world's factory, mass-producing and exporting computers and gadgets to Western shoppers. This paradigm of globalization has dominated global trade policy-making and guided hundreds of billions of dollars in business investments and development spending for almost three decades.
But we are now on the cusp of a new era. Revolutionizing World Trade argues that technologies such as ecommerce, 3D printing, 5G, the Cloud, blockchain, and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the economics of trade and global production, empowering businesses of all sizes to make, move, and market products and services worldwide and with greater ease than ever before. The twin forces of digitization and trade are changing the patterns, players, politics, and possibilities of world trade, and can reinvigorate global productivity growth. However, new policy challenges and old regulatory frameworks are stifling the promise of this most dynamic, prosperous, and inclusive wave of globalization yet. This book uses new empirical evidence and policy experiences to examine the clash between emerging possibilities in world trade and outdated policies and institutions, offering several policy recommendations for navigating these obstacles to catalyze growth and development around the world.