With the cost of everything climbing ever upwards, could we be seeing the beginning of the unwinding of globalisation? When manufacturing and assembly jobs start returning home, could we be approaching the point where increased transport costs remove the competitive advantage of 3rd world labour?
I’m sure “free market” types will call for increased transport subsidies to keep the globalisation agenda on track, but at the end of the day the market will do what is most economically sensible, even if that means retreating from a global marketplace.
However it pans out, the way we make stuff, move it to overseas markets and convince people to buy it will all be done differently in the near future. I just hope the decades of degradation our manufacturing infrastructure has endured hasn’t destroyed our ability to bring more industry home. Between the big box retailers, lack of local protection for industry and the woeful state of our trade skills base (and lack of new apprentice skills coming through) we don’t have much local manufacturing to revive.