By Jacob Susskind
The most important parts of my daily life are the meals I eat, the activities I participate in, and everything that enables this. Almost every item I consume or place I go to is a product of globalization. For example, my apartment building, Terp Row, was built by German construction equipment manufactured by Liebherr––a company based in Switzerland. Liebherr has a global supply chain, meaning the parts and components of their finished products are from all over the world. Sixty percent of all bulldozers in the U.S. comes from overseas suppliers.
Globalization is the reason anyone came to America. When my family wanted to escape Germany’s Third Reich, they boarded a boat and came to Ellis Island. Globalization breeds international connection, which allows for new immigrants to be accepted, find jobs, and diversify the economy. Because of immigration by my ancestors, I can live the American dream by going to UMD and interning at IBM, where the services I sell can be applied across the globe. Fifty percent of IBM’s customers are foreign companies as the company operates in about 170 countries.
The economic benefits of globalization outweigh the costs in the long term, but in the short term, there can be negative consequences. In the long run, a country’s economic well-being is measured by GDP. The other component of GDP can also be boosted by more economic activity, healthier competition, and more open attitudes. However, in the short term, domestic business may suffer because their enterprise and consumer customers may turn to international alternatives. An example of this can be seen in the American auto industry as cars have been imported from many countries such as Germany and Japan through trade pacts causing American cars to be out-competed.