We long ago stopped having to make everything we need: forging tools, handcrafting shoes from hides and weaving textiles for clothing. The expansion of global trade is affording us the opportunity to rediscover and reinvent the art of “making” itself, which could in turn profoundly impact what we make and what we trade.
Many industry observers are sounding alarms about the looming impact of automation, robots and 3D printing, which they fear will destroy jobs, disrupt value chains and maybe even reduce the need for international trade. But data and evidence don’t support the hype.
The next generation of smarter and more powerful machines will rely on even more sophisticated semiconductors to achieve new capabilities. Pressure is on to “win” in the global chip race, which is why efforts to protect innovations in chipmaking are front and center in the current trade war – for better and for worse.
AI is already changing global value chains and international trade patterns. Trade rules crafted today in the WTO or free trade agreements will play a critical role in further shaping how AI is further developed and deployed globally.
E-commerce allows us to order anything around the world with just an Internet connection and the click of a button. As digital trade has expanded, so have barriers like data localization. International trade rules are still racing to catch up with an increasingly digitally connected world.
Discussions are now underway as to whether EU antitrust policies need to be relaxed in order to allow greater latitude to meet the challenge posed by Chinese mega-firms.
At some point between the start of the Thanksgiving holiday and Cyber Monday, did you reach for your credit card or use another secure payment system like PayPal to make a purchase online? You’re in good company: 259 million Americans routinely buy online. Last year, internet sales in China on “Single’s Day” reached $25.3 billion — $6 billion more than what Americans purchased online over the entire Thanksgiving weekend. In the future, the whole world just might be cashless.
On November 5, U.S. sanctions went into effect that target Iran’s energy, shipping, and banking sectors, including vessels and banks called out by name. Ahead of the November deadline, Iranian oil tankers moving supplies offshore went “dark” in unprecedented numbers, trying to cloak their movements.
Until recently, the gains from commercial use of space manifested primarily in the growing use of satellites that enable precise navigational maps in your car and the dish on your roof to channel satellite television into your home. A new era is dawning in which private companies routinely launch payloads into space. We’re a long way off from having the framework of rules we might need here on Earth to accommodate the take off of the global space industry.
In its June 2018 report, the White House creates a taxonomy of ways the Chinese government acquires American technologies and intellectual property to aggrandize Chinese productive capabilities, stand on the shoulders of American innovation, siphon information from open and proprietary sources, and enlist Chinese nationals to accrue knowledge through research arms of universities and companies in the United States.