The Future of Globalization

The world has changed. Where once governments espoused the wonders of free trade and committed to breaking down trade barriers, leaders today denounce free trade agreements (FTA) as a threat to their growth and talk about building literal walls between countries. If trends are to continue, the world’s economies will see a reversion to local insular economies of the pre-cold war era.

This paper aims to link the historical trends which have led us to today’s globalized economy, and the prospects of a country-centric, localized supply chain model. It will also explore through the lens of apparel and footwear manufacturing a hypothetical scenario where the world recedes into multiple self-sustaining local economies, and how economies could move towards local arenas supported by circular economic models.