Globalization and trade

By: | Issue #642 | at 09:21 AM | Channel(s): International Trade  

Globalization and trade

Global trade is entering uncertain times. A new industrial age is afoot and there is a question of whether we’ll stumble.

There’s an old Louisville Slugger behind the door that’s seen service since the 1950s - albeit in recent decades more for home defense than hitting a homer over the fence.

What’s more American than a baseball bat?

Over in Helsinki, Finland, a company was formed in 1950, ostensibly to distribute U.S. cigarettes and related products. The company, at the time known as Amer-Tupakka, was successful enough that in 1961 the company acquired the right to produce and sell Philip Morris cigarettes for the Finnish market.

But change in corporate direction came in 1989 when the now Amer Group bought Chicago-based U.S. Wilson Sporting Goods. By 2004 Amer was out of the tobacco business and fully engaged in sports, acquiring (and occasionally divesting) brands like a kid trading baseball cards. In 2015, Louisville Slugger was added to Amer Sports catalogue of companies, which already included a less known manufacturer of baseball and softball bats, DeMarini. 

So, what’s more American than a baseball bat? is a more complicated question than meets the eye.

Louisville Slugger is just one of the countless brands whose ownership and distribution are part of the advance of globalization through trade and technology.

Organized globalization of economies has been underway for centuries. It can be argued that institutions like England’s East India Company and similar state supported corporations were the globalizing force of their time.

Now nothing is more ubiquitous than a cellphone stuck to the ear or being viewed whether a person is walking a street in Topeka or Timbuktu. Whether it is a phone, the Golden Arches, or presidential inauguration baseball hats, globalization exists at every level of modern life and international trade is fueling it. And that’s a dilemma.

What is a fair share and how can it be determined?

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George Lauriat's avatar

American Journal of Transportation