A new world order is emerging for the vital supply chains that deliver most of the goods we rely on for our daily existence.
Companies, especially tech companies, are questioning the orthodoxies of the past 50 years of globalization. Those orthodoxies include always seeking out the lowest-cost manufacturer, no matter how distant, and never carrying surplus inventory or parts. The results of the shift currently under way could include the movement of jobs and manufacturing representing hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity in the decades to come.
This situation represents “an extreme concentration which should make us worried,” says Emily Kilcrease, director of the energy, economics and security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank that in the late 2000s supplied talent to the Obama administration. “But it makes us extra-nervous that it’s in such a geopolitically fraught location, given China and Taiwan tensions.”
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