Where it once required a ship to travel for several months to deliver goods from one landmass to another, that is no longer the case because as many financial experts state, the world is becoming a global marketplace as time and distance shrink for traders. The term globalization has been tagged onto the ease of trading between countries, financial institutions, and marketplaces. With the change in international trading, the interactions increase between people in diverse areas of different countries.
This can include the sharing, importing, and exporting of services, cultures, ideas, and natural resources. With the dramatic turn in travel when the airplane began transporting goods between countries approximately 60 years ago, the increase in world trade has burst from its cocoon as if it were a butterfly needing to dry its massive wings. Add to that the speed ships now have, and the massive cargo capacity available on even a single ship, and you can see that the increase in globalization has expanded around many industries, created millions of jobs, and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
Although some say the world has been influenced and changed by international trade on three different and separate waves of industrialization, it is often difficult to look outside the egocentric timeframe humans have as a reference point in the current reality. One thing is certain, in the past 60 years, some businesses have been able to create a market for their goods around the world, and global financial institutions such as the GBTI Bank have helped finance globalization. To counter that, politicians are constantly trying to set boundaries that benefit their countries without leaving the trade routes too open or make the nation too vulnerable.
Countries are not the only ones worried about the potential problems that globalization can cause in product sales, services, and wars. There are also tariffs, trade regulations, and international restrictions that are changing often enough that large corporations must employ attorneys to keep on top of the changes to prevent costly and damaging fines and public relations disasters. Maintaining working relationships with various countries in a foreign marketplace may be one of the most difficult parts of how international trade has changed the world. As bribes were once demanded and provided, those giving and receiving those bribes even 10 years ago may now fall under scrutiny and be penalized or jailed for those actions.
As changes come within the globalization and marketing of goods, there are bound to be the need for many types of industries to protect their products. When that happens, the cycle begins of ‘what he did, she did,’ thus creating a more difficult environment to trade within. Once the protection begins, the openness of the trade agreements suffers, and international distribution is suddenly filled with all types of suspicions that were not openly there before. An example of this type of disruption to international trade agreements has occurred several times in the past decade when large corporations had to fight long legal battles over the rights to their own goods. While it may seem like a great idea to ship a product off to another country to have them build or create the merchandise and then ship the completed item back to the country of origin, it can often have disastrous ramifications if trade agreements break off because both companies have the ability to produce the items, although one of the businesses may not have the legal rights.
Another problem associated with globalization is the transactions countries make with one another through the demands of their citizens that can actually damage the financial integrity of the country. Take the problem of rice. While many countries can grow rice, most import the food substance instead of having their citizens grow it. That means another product must be produced that can be exported to provide the monetary worth to pay for the purchase of the rice. If the product value rises, more goods must be produced to pay for the rice, but because the rice is an import the population depends upon and demands as a food source, the costs must be paid, no matter how high they become. When trade wars interfere, another source must be found for the item, or the population must learn to go without.
Since consumers are the driving force behind the shift into heavy international trade and globalization, denying individuals within a country something they want or are used to having can become a problem for governments, companies, and international trade organizations. For the first time in recorded history, consumers have real power over the world marketplace with the trillions of dollars they spend on goods and products each year. Consumers can no longer grow their own food, sew their own clothes, or make their own furniture. What they can do is demand those items be provided to them at a reasonable price – and that often means through international trade.