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Freight Pain

The Rise and Fall of Globalization

Courtesy Reuters

As politicians blame international trade for closed car-parts factories in Ohio, shuttered furniture plants in the Carolinas, and the arrival of deadly pet food from China, discomfort with the global economy is growing throughout the United States. A 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center found that only 59 percent of Americans polled thought that trade was good for their country -- down 19 percentage points since 2002. Yet even as Americans lament too much globalization, they are in fact on the verge of facing the opposite dilemma: too little. Two factors are driving the retreat of globalization: rising transportation costs and diminishing reliability, both of which are causing long-distance supply chains to lose appeal. Companies that provide American and European customers with goods made in Asia are rethinking their business models and seeking ways to shorten the distance between the factory floor and the store shelf. Although international trade in manufactured goods will

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