International trade: A troubling trajectory

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America’s police on trial

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International trade


Fears are growing that trade’s share of the world’s GDP has peaked. But that is far from certain



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WHEN Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, it deployed a state-of-the-art global supply chain. Although the pioneering smartphone was designed in America, and sold first to consumers there, it arrived in stores from Shenzhen, China. It had been assembled there by Foxconn International from parts made by two firms in Singapore, six in Taiwan and two in America. Since then, competition in smartphones has intensified thanks to lower-cost rivals such as China’s Xiaomi. It uses a similar supply chain, but slightly fewer parts are imported: the growing sophistication of Chinese manufacturers means that more components are being made at home.
The rapid spread and subsequent slight …

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