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Globalization and Everyday Life – Leon Tsai

I wake up in the morning, to an alarm set on my iPhone, which was assembled in China. The batteries in iPhones actually from Samsung, a South Korean company. I get dressed and drive to work in my Japanese Toyota Highlander. When I get to work, I make a cup of coffee from the Keurig at work, with the coffee beans in the K-cups being sourced from the Americas, Africa, or Indonesia. I could continue to go on about the various instances of globalization’s impact in my daily routine. From the metal sourced in our phones to rubber in our car tires, we deeply depend on this global integration of people and trade. Globalization provides us greater access to resources and products, while also lowering costs for regular consumers.

Globalization impacts people all around the world, including my relatives in China. In 2012, China surpassed the United States in being the world’s leading trading nation. Their economy is largely supported by their trade with Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States. China’s import trade value was $1.84 billion in 2017 (Statista, 2018). They also depend on imports coming into the country, mostly in the form of raw resources. My relatives in China also can contact me through their iPhones, eat at McDonalds, and watch their Sony televisions. Regardless of where we are on the planet, countless everyday items were either made in another country or use materials sources from other countries.

Globalization has been great for the US, on the individual level and at the macro level. It’s a huge part of our daily experience, but it’s always a huge part of our economy. Our main imports include fuel, in the form of crude oil, and machinery. I would be remiss in not pointing out the fact that so many common products are labeled “Made in China.”

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