Business Article Review on Globalization by Neil Irwin

Neil Irwin’s article “Globalization’s Backlash Is Here, at Just the Wrong Time” argues that the backlash to globalization being witnessed in recent times has come too late and is detrimental to the interests of the economies across the world.  The author contends that real pain of globalization was felt between the 1990s and early 2000s, when it resulted in offshoring of innumerable jobs from the rich to the poor nations, and when low-tech assembled products from China destroyed the small-scale industry across the globe. Since then, globalization has resulted in creating a global market for rich nations to sell their technologically advanced products and services, and an economically stronger middle class that can consume these. A backlash now can only hurt the economy of the rich nations once more.

According to the author, in the first major spurt of globalization that occurred between the 1990s and the early 2000s, economies became highly interconnected and cross-border trade in goods and services rose from 16 percent in the early 1990s to nearly 31 percent around 2008 (Irwin). Improved communication, new online markets, stronger shipping and transport network, and trade deals that reduced tariffs integrated once-poor nations like China into the global economy. As a fallout of this, some sectors such as low-tech product manufacturing, call center jobs, and auto factories in the rich nations faced stiff global competition from countries like China, India, Mexico, and Eastern Europe (Irwin).

In the current scenario, the share of this type of trade in the economy has become steady. Globalization today is more about connectivity in the form of social and digital media, remote working, freelancing, and online shopping. Information and technology, instead of capital, are the new drivers of globalization. These have provided new avenues of employment and business, resulting in improved standards of living of millions of people.  This richer middle class is as much a competitor as it is a consumer of goods and services like cars, mobile phones, vacationing, appliances, and grooming. Although these are exactly the type of goods and services a country like the United States is good at producing, western nations led by the U.S. have pushed for an ill-timed re-set of the terms of the global economy. These terms also include tariffs on some of the exports from China, who is seen as the main contributor to the disturbance in western economies. In addition to the tariffs, the U.S. President, Donald Trump, recently called for punitive actions against China (Irwin). If China and more nations impose similar tariffs in response, it could create stiff barriers to international commerce and everyone would be deprived of the rewards of globalization.

The bottom line, according to the author, is that globalization has to be viewed from a larger perspective than as a cause for job loss. I agree with the author’s opinion that globalization has opened up international trade, which plays a crucial role in the growth of the global economy. The move to disrupt globalization by introducing tariffs and other barriers would jeopardize international trade. The move could have adverse effects on the ability of developed nations such as the U.S. to sell their goods and services to expanding and developing markets. Already, China, which is one of the leading importers of American products and services, is scrutinizing and reconsidering whether to continue with or halt imports from the United States.



Work Cited

Irwin, Neil. “Globalization’s Backlash Is Here, at Just the Wrong Time.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Mar. Accessed 13 June 2018.