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International Trade and Its Effects on Globalization Research Paper


The evolving world has proved that nations are indeed exchanging goods and services and strengthening interdependence. Many nations are involved in both inbound and outbound trade by importing the products and human resources that the country does not possess and exporting their surplus outputs.

International trade provides a pathway that encourages interdependence across nations though the exchange of goods and services. International trade influences globalization by strengthening the relationship between nations. In essence, globalization is the move from independent nations to interdependent nations.

Every nation is obliged to produce what it is capable of producing in maximum levels, trade what is in surplus, and obtain what it lacks from the other nations. International trade is one of the core factors that have facilitated the growth of globalization. It enhances integration of the global economy, where people find it easy to produce and sell their products. International trade has enabled nations to break the trade barriers and trade freely (Bentes, Davis, Ryan, Sales, & Underwood, 2011).

Unlike in earlier days when the free flow of goods and services was prohibited, international trade has helped in eradicating the trade barriers. Currently, companies are able to outsource production raw materials as well as skilled labor to enhance their production process. With the integration of raw materials from different nations, the companies are able to produce high quality products, which are sold both in local and international markets.

International trade has played a great role in strengthen the interdependence of nations by enhancing the emergence of global institutions. Global institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WHO) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) play a significant role in driving globalization. The global institutions encourage investment in foreign countries and this has helped in upgrading the sluggish economy of such countries.

Globalization and international trade have enabled undeveloped countries, mainly in Africa, to have the privilege of receiving products and services from esteemed organizations.

It is evident that most electronic and automobile products are manufactured in developed countries, and it is only through international trade that the developing nations can access them. Globalization has enabled companies to have Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) across nations. The FDI’s reap mutual benefits to both the investors and the individuals in the investment country.

In essence, international trade has influenced the growth and expansion of globalization and the entire world is slowly becoming a global village. This paper will base its discussions on the topic, international trade and its effects on globalization. It will start by giving a brief historical background of the discussion topic, and thereafter, it will give a detailed discussion of the ways in which international trade has indeed achieved globalization.

Historical background of international trade and globalization

International trade and globalization came into full effect after the World War II. At that time, the factors of production were immobile, where; colonialists structured and controlled global trade. The raw materials as well as finished products were less mobile and the international organizations had to reconstruct and organize the disarrayed world after the war. There was a need to create an integrated economic system for those nations that were interested in forming an array.

When some allied nations agreed to form an international cohesion, they envisioned the creation of international organizations. Their visions gave birth to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in 1944. International trade would obviously involve various nations that operate using different currencies. The 44 allied nations set up the IMF to manage the international monetary system, where, the involved nations agreed on having cooperation between the nations and thus, they fixed a parity of currencies.

Before the establishment of the IMF, the United States had the powers to manipulate the exchange rate of the US dollar. However, thereafter the IMF came into being; no state was in a position to influence the exchange rates, as all the involved nations had to adhere to the terms and conditions of the IMF.

In addition to the formation of the IMF and the World Bank, GATT formulated during the same period to facilitate the formation of an integrated economic system across the world. A favorable legal and physical environment facilitated the growth of international trade. Regional trade agreements emerged during the 1980s and most importantly, invention of containerization enhanced the flow of goods across trade-integrated regions.

The international organizations facilitated international trade activities that grew from one region to another. Foreign direct investments surged thereafter, and multinational corporations started forming. Currently, the world is at the global production network phase. International trade has taken a new form, from regional integration to global integration.

There are complex networks that facilitate the communication process and the global production process. International trade and globalization have strengthened international growth though the enhanced logistics of telecommunication. Firms can now operate across the world comfortably. International business managers can outsource raw materials at considerably cheap prices, do the productions process wherever they can minimize the productivity costs, and seek markets where they would maximize their profits (Soros, 2002).

The establishment and growth of international trade agreements was a key element to globalization. Essentially, globalization took effect after World War II, and it has since then accelerated considerably due to enhanced technological and communication infrastructure. The greatest growth in globalization occurred in the mid- 1980s when technology took the upper hand.

With the enhanced technology, communication, and transportation, the comprehension of the happenings in the world became very easy and readily affordable. The increased liberation of trade further enhanced globalization as firms found it worthwhile to carry out the different phases of production in different countries. Thereafter, the firms would shop around the globe to find the regions where they would sell their products and reap maximum profits.

The World Trade Organization that was established in 1995 has played a great role in facilitating free trade, and at the same time, it has established ways to protect those nations that would be molested by super powered nations. Currently, international managers can easily manage their international firms by the aid of a computer.

The internet, with the help of advanced software enables the international managers to monitor and manage the progress of all the activities of all the company’s firms. The managers can shop around the internet, sell their products online, and purchase any product or service over the internet (De Blij, 2009). Generally, international trade in line with the advanced technology has made the world a global village.

How international trade has effected globalization

As discussed, international trade has played a critical role in paving the way for globalization. The world has simply become a global village out of the interdependent relationship that has developed across nations. There is increased integration of people, enhanced development of ideas, and enhanced financial activities among other pathways through which international trade has effected globalization. The different pathways are as discussed below.

Enhanced trading activities

In the contemporary world, the mercantilism trade system of ancient days does not apply as it only benefited one trade partner while the other partner suffered. With the growth of international trade, individuals and nations are becoming enlightened, and the colonial era is becoming extinct.

Globalization is taking over the ruling of trade systems, where, countries being involved in international trade struggle to ensure that they reap maximum profits from the trading activities. Nations have made it their obligation to ensure they are involved in positive trade balance. International trade has made nations to be on toes as they struggle to ensure they have more exports than imports.

Nations struggle to accumulate as much wealth as possible, and the process enhances the trading activities across nations. International organizations have enabled the globalization of trading activities by enhancing free trade and controlling all the trading activities (Cairncross, 2007). Nations can import raw materials as well as human resources with some expertise in a certain field. Further, the trading activities can take place across the internet without much struggles of commuting.

The most interesting trade activity that has made the world a global village is the stock market trading activities. Globalization and the enhanced worldwide web has made it possible for investors to monitor the stock prices from anywhere in the world. People can easily connect to brokers from across the world, buy shares, sell them, and do all the stock trading activity as long as they are connected to the internet.

International trade has influenced globalization by making things happen instantly. Nowadays, people can do online shopping from across the globe the goods are delivered at their doorsteps. Companies do not have to struggle to market their products physically as the online service providers can do the service on their behalf.

International trade and globalization has lead to the development of a healthy competitive market environment (McDaniel, 2000). Nations have found it worthwhile to set economic development goals that are to be achieved within a specified period. Globalization has enabled nations to embark on export-oriented strategies that enable the nations to reap maximum benefits from their international trade activities.

Some nations, especially the first class nations find it worthwhile to import unprocessed raw materials at a considerably cheap price. The nations then process the raw materials into finished products and sell them at high prices that reap them maximum profits. In essence, international trade and globalization have made nations to embrace a game of wits, where, only the intelligent players survive.

The international organizations have always made it their obligation to ensure they protect nations that are prone to molestation in the name of international trade. Overall, it is right to conclude that international trade achieves globalization, which in return enhances the trading activities across nations.

Improved transport system

One of the core factors that influence international trade is the transportation industry. For any international trade to happen, products and services must be transported from one nation to another. In ancient days, people could use silk roads and products would take centuries to reach their intended destination. That meant that it was impossible for one to trade perishables. This and other sectors that had transportation difficulties influenced the inventors to work on developing efficient transport systems.

The continued innovations and improvements of the earlier transport systems have ungraded the transport systems to increase their general capacity and throughput (Archibugi, Howells, & Michie, 2000). Ever since international trade took full effect, the scale and volume of products and services traded have increased considerably.

There was a considerable shift in international trade that achieved globalization in the mid 1980s. The improved transport sector decreased the time that products would take before reaching the desired consumer and there producers were able to have a more extensive market coverage than before (Engardio, 2007).

Air transport is the fastest means of transport that have enabled traders to access markets for their products across the world. In earlier days, there were restrictions of those who would access the international transportation systems because it was quite costly. Therefore, people could only trade their products and services within the place of production as it could not be economically beneficial to pay for airfreights.

However, the price of international transportation has decreased considerably. Moreover, the volume of products that one can transport internationally has had an increasing trend over time. This means that producers, especially those dealing with perishable products can expand their production without the fear of making losses.

Secondly, the increased levels of production would mean that producers would enjoy the reduced production expenses because of the advantage associated with producing in a large economy of scale. The air transport system has contributed heavily in the expansion of international trading activities, which has facilitated globalization. There is more interdependence across the world, where, people are able to trade different products in different parts of the world.

Water transportation has played a great role in enhancing the transportation of heavy goods. Continents have constructed harbors that enable them to enter and connect with the maritime shipping networks. Through water transport, countries are able to obtain heavy commodities, spare parts and finished automobile products among other products. Starving nations in sub-Saharan Africa are able to obtain relieve food that is shipped all the way from the donor nations.

Water transportation costs have decreased considerably with time and this is a clear indication trade would flourish. China, for example, has greatly benefited from water transport. Through the water transportation systems, the country is able to import uncountable number of containers of raw materials and export thousands of containers of manufactured goods. Rail and road transport takes on from the ports to transport the containers to the respective localities within the country.

In essence, without international transport, international trade would be impossible (Bentes, Ettinger, Husisian, Povarchuk, Ryan, Simpson, & Tretter, 2009). In fact, international transportation has had increased pressure because of the additional demand of freight services. Similarly, ports and roads have had congestions, and this is a clear indication of increased international trade and globalization.

Increased productivity

International trade essentially means that firms have a wide market region. Therefore, the firms are obligated to increase their productivity to be able to meet the demands of the new markets that arise from one time to another. The increased productivity ensures that the firms enjoy the advantages of a large economy of scale. Moreover, international trade offers firms with the opportunity to use cheap resources like capital and labor.

A firm, for example, is able to outsource raw materials and human resources at a considerably cheap price (Jeter, 2009). Given the fact that these are the two main factors of production, the farm is able to reduce its production cost considerably. Such a firm produces more efficiently and thus, it could increase its productivity.

Nations can enhance their global efficiency by increasing productivity, trading their surplus and importing whatever the nation lacks. From this perspective, it is evident that nations work hard to increase their productivity, and thus have some surplus output for exportation purposes (Corona, 2011).

International trade and globalization brings in interdependence amongst nations. While a nation may be producing an array of products, it may decide to focus on one sector that gives the highest level of income. With the focus on one sector, a firm would decide to enhance its production system and that would be one way of increasing its productivity. Moreover, a firm that foresees its expansion of its international trade would struggle to maintain a good relationship with its external suppliers.

That would be a sure way of ensuring that the firm continuously obtains inputs at a reasonable price and thus, it can increase its productivity without necessarily having to undergo exaggerated input costs. International trade and the globalised world have even enabled firms to increase their productivity though making openings in foreign countries. The foreign firms find it worthwhile to process the products in their various FDI’s instead on processing them in their headquarters and meeting the transportation costs to the markets.

Moreover, firms can obtain lowered production costs in the foreign lands and that would generate some whopping profits to the firm. One of the countries that have increased its productivity considerably is China. China has consistently increased its productivity at par with the growing demand of products and availability of input resources. In essence, China supplies almost every type of product to the developing countries, and all nations globally should adapt China’s habit. China is a great example of a nation that is at par with the globalizing world.

Enhanced communication infrastructure

The desire to communicate business matters efficiently is one of the core factors that motivated inventors to invent ways to facilitate the communication process. The inventions of affluent communication systems have brought the world closer.

Communication and the flow of information is the superhighway of international trade and the founders of the internet deserve credit as their inventions have contributed greatly to the world’s economy (Bhagwati, 2002). The World Wide Web has made the world a global village as international managers in different geographical locations can now chat as if they are together.

Currently, the communication process is simplified such that individuals can obtain responses within a shortened time. This factor has enabled international managers to coordinate their businesses across the globe with much ease. With the enhanced information technology and communication (ICT) systems, international managers can bargain the costs of production. They can easily communicate and find their way into regions where they can obtain high quality labor pools at considerably lowered prices.

The enhanced ICT networks have enabled international firms to recruit their staff online, run seminars online, and send memos and any important and urgent information online. ICT enables the international managers to maneuver through the databases on their various FDIs, make comparisons, and determine the areas of weakness of a particular FDI. Further, ICT has greatly helped in the reduction of fraud cases as finance managers are obliged to avail financial data online.

The managers can access the data and identify areas that appear fishy. Moreover, international managers are able to monitor their employees globally with the help of the ICT system. They can easily identify weak employees and identify their areas of weakness that need some reformation.

The ICT systems also help in identifying strong employees and rewarding them accordingly. This factor has not only enhances international trade, but also brings the world closer. ICT has greatly enhanced the interdependence of nations as business managers can even obtain human services without necessarily having to meet physically with the service providers.

The ICT systems have played a great role in making worthwhile investment decision for international managers (McFarling, 2000). With the help of the ICT systems, international managers can easily obtain the physical and metrological information about a place. They can understand the economic processes, likely climatic changes, and political uproars that would affect their businesses in one way or another.

With such critical information about a place, investors are able to forecast the economic environment and make wise investment decisions. If, for example, a country has a history of having political uproars every other time they carry out elections, it would not be worthwhile to invest in such a country during their election period. Investors would find it worthwhile to wait until the country regains stability before it can think of investing.

As expected, foreign investors who intend to do international trade or invest in a foreign land are likely to meet people with different cultures. With the enhanced ICT systems, the investors can research from the internet to find out about the cultural believes of the people in which they intend to invest. Currently, there are musical productions and computerized programs that can enable foreigners to learn about a community’s cultural heritage and prepare psychologically on how to embrace the culture.

In essence, ICT has played a great role in international trade. With everything computerized, the world is a global village. One can trade for products and services online without necessarily having to commute. E-commerce is an ICT-enabled application that enhances international trade by enabling people to get what they want across the globe. The new era of mobile phones and computers that are upgraded to do almost everything has made everything possible.

There are computer programs that enable consumers to order items internationally, book flights online, reserve international hotels online, and even pay for the services online. The ICT systems have simplified things by enabling people to save on time and money to search for the readily available services. As large as it may be, the world is simply a global village in which one can go around in a matter of seconds with the help of the enhanced ICT systems.

Enhanced financial activities

The most important factor in any trade is the method of payment for the products and services traded. As evident, the buyer and seller may not meet physically as all the transactions are done either online or by the help of mobile phones. International trade has played a key role in keeping innovators on toes.

In earlier days, transferring money internationally was costly and time consuming. Currently, that is not the case, as various online payment systems exist. The banks have coordinated with the online systems and they give message alerts to the client whenever an international transaction takes place though the mobile phones. The enhanced payment systems assure the sellers and buyers that they would trade without much difficulty.

It is noteworthy that international trade exposes traders to the foreign exchange markets. These Over-The-Counter (OTC) markets do not involve any form of central exchange. This greatest development of the ICT systems has enabled international traders to manage their business globally. The international firm managers are able to reduce their transaction costs by eliminating the exchange and clearing fee.

Although the foreign exchange markets exposes international firms to the risk of unanticipated changes in the currency exchange rates, the international managers have learnt to reap the best from the OTC markets. They make a detailed plan of their predicted costs and revenue flow, and evaluate the impact of a change of the prevailing exchange rates (Stiglitz, 2006). Though contentious, some countries have set monitory policies to guide the exchange rates of their currencies.

In addition to the enhanced financial pathways that have enhanced international trade and made the world a global village, the international organizations have played a great role in ensuring that the financial activities worldwide are in control (Epping, 2009). The World Bank, International Trade Organization, and other international organizations have taken an upper hand in controlling the valuation of currencies, banking, legal, and insurance activities of all international trading activities.

In fact, the banks have gone ahead and made it possible to offer investment capital for international transactions. The letter of credit is sent to the exporter on the other side of the continent as a payment guarantee from the bank. The letter acts an assurance that the recipient will complete the payments upon delivery of the products.

Some international firms operate under an insured environment in case of any damages. A cargo, for example, may take several weeks to reach its destination because of the long distance that is involved, and thus it needs some insurance cover, which some global financial organizations offer.

The enhanced financial pathways of international trade have played a critical role in encouraging companies to take part in international trade (La Bella, 2010). Nowadays, the financial environment of international trade is somewhat standardized. In essence, the enhanced programs of the ICT systems have made the world a global village. The OTC markets enable international managers to control their FDIs across the world with much ease.

Depending on their product line and the anticipated market, the managers could decide to diversify their line of production and ensure they earn maximum profits. The production systems, transport systems, insurance, and providence of investment capital are some of the factors that have enhanced globalization, and they have encouraged firms and individuals to take part in international trade.

Strengthened relationship and Integration of people

One thing that makes strong relationships is the assurance that a relationship would reap some mutual benefit to all the involved stakeholders. International trade has played a prominent role in many countries. The trade agreements between member countries provide a platform of building partnerships that enhance coordination of the governments.

In fact, there have been cases where third world nations have pleaded with foreign investors to invest in their country to help in upgrading the sluggish economy. International trade has enabled undeveloped countries, mainly in Africa, to have the privilege of receiving products and services from esteemed organizations. From this perspective, the strengthened relationship brings in the interdependence factor amongst the involved individuals.

Investors have found it worthwhile to invest in such nations because of the availability of cheap labor. Moreover, globalization and the enhanced technology play a prominent role in aiding the international management of the multinational firms across the globe (Ethier, 2001).The internet and the World Wide Web have enhanced international management.

International trade and the global economy have resulted to the development and growth of integrated production processes. Ever since globalization came into being, there has been growing levels of integrated manufacturing services, financial services, and most importantly, distribution services (Brightbill, Laroski, Sullivan, Bentes, Smith, & Wharwood, 2012).

The integration of the services has enhanced the relationship of all the involved individuals. Obviously, for people to work in harmony, they have to develop a harmonious work environment.

The whole process results into improved logistics in all the business processes. All stakeholders involved in international trade, regardless of their race, gender or color will work together for the betterment of their business. The whole process will lead to the improvement of the entire international trade pathways.

The transport system would improve, resource exploitation would enhance, and most importantly, the transaction and legal environment would be supportive. All the entire complexities associated with international trade would simplify, and the volume of goods exchanged internationally would increase considerably.

From the perspective of the development of strengthened relationships between the involved stakeholders, international trade has indeed achieved globalization (Gregory, 2007). International trade has strengthened the interdependence aspect between the involved stakeholders. All stakeholders understand and value each other. Unlike the earlier days when the whites would perceive Africa as a dark continent, international trade has brought a reason for the whites to value the products and services from Africa.

In fact, the whites have found it worthwhile to invest in sub-Saharan Africa, where they obtain cheap labor and ready market for their products. International trade has enabled the whites to generate massive volumes of wealth, and the laborers have some sense of satisfaction from the income they get from their hard work in international investments.

International trade facilitates regional trade agreements, where, countries within a given geographical region come to an agreement to remove trade barriers. The countries trade freely and thus strengthens the relationship between trade partners. International managers would have the privilege of sharing ideas, experiences, products, and services across nations within one trade region (Morgan, Skinner, Bentes, Brophy, Chaklader, DeFrancesco, & Henter, 2013).

The regional economic integrations enhance international management by constructing broadened governance profiles and agendas that enhance economic growth. Regional trade agreements have offered a platform that enhances political stability, harmonization, and security among member countries. Countries that had grudges with their neighboring countries are free to integrate, learn business ideas, and compete for the common advantage of both countries.

International trade, globalization, and regional economic integrations create a healthy competition across countries and amongst international businesses. The countries struggle to ensure they are at par with their competitors (Sirkin, 2008). Similarly, international managers are kept on toes to ensure they are at par with their competitors.

Overall, the healthy competition brought about by international trade, globalization, and regional integration not only strengthens the relationship between the involved parties, but it also plays a critical role in expanding international trade.

Enhanced economic landscape

International trade is very risky, and any entrepreneur can find it difficult to engage in the trade. However, the international organizations, technological industries, heads of states, and all involved stakeholders are trying their best to enhance the economic landscape for international trade by simplifying custom procedures and removing trade barriers.

In the recent past, there were notable trade impediments, prolonged clearance times, and other inconveniences while handling import or export products particularly in the less developed nations. Nowadays, the international trade organizations are working hand in hand with the heads of states of such nations to ensure they address all the above-named hindrances (Cox, 2005).

The notable efforts to abolish the difficulties in carrying out international trade include the emergence of trade blocks, decreased tariffs, as well as approaches to promote international trade. In the recent past, increased levels of economic integration have enhanced international trade.

Evidently, upgraded transport networks enhance trade flows and international transactions. Regional trade integrations have been on the rise and the efforts have created free trade zones amongst countries. Governments have facilitated export-oriented activities and even collaborated with banks to act as guarantees while handling foreign monies.

It is evident that the enhanced economic environment has played a great role in encouraging firms and individuals to participate in international trade. Moreover, the enhanced technological systems have played a prominent role in aiding international trade and management of multinational firms across the globe.

The trade standardization concerns have greatly benefited international traders who have access to reliable information that offers them with the confidence to trade globally. The international traders and consumers are assured of receiving high quality products that have met the international standards.

In essence, the enhanced economic landscape has brought a lot of transparency in international trade. A set of new firms are considering entering into international trade to access greater opportunities of growth and development (Gupta & Choudhry, 2007). International trade is slowly pulling people to live, work, trade, and depend on one another in the globalized world.

Specialized production and the enhanced economic lifestyles

Although international trade is somewhat risky and challenging, countries that are actively engaged in international trade can attest that they have somewhat benefited from engaging in international trade (Archibugi & Michie, 2007). The economic lifestyles of the citizens of countries in East Asian, Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore have improved because of international trade that has influenced globalization.

Supposing there was no international trade, nations would only produce enough products for domestic use. This would simply mean that only a few nations would be self sufficient to sustain some adequate living standards. Hunger, malnutrition, and non-industrialization experiences would be prevalent in most nations. In essence, international trade and globalization have played a significant role in enhancing the economic life styles in most developing nations.

Through globalization, third world nations access electronics that are manufactured in industrialized nations. In return, the developing nations would produce raw agricultural products, export the surplus, and earn some foreign income. In essence, international trade achieved globalization by enhancing the dependency across nations. The stakeholders of international trade accumulate as much wealth as possible, and thus, they are able to enhance their living standards.

As indicated earlier, no nation is self-sufficient (Bhagwati, 2004). While one nation produces oil, for example, the other nation is able to produce agricultural products and the two nations trade their products. International trade has enabled nations to maximize productivity of the items that the nations can produce, and sell the surplus to nations that need their products. African nations are well known for their production of agricultural products.

It would be more expensive to produce electronics and automobiles in sub-Saharan Africa than in the US or Japan; or rather, the region would lack the expertise to produce electronics and automobiles. International trade enables every nation to engage in specialization by efficiently producing what it can in large scales. As evident, specialization is one of the factors that have played a great role in ensuring that people produce what they can best.

It is the only sure way of deriving wealth without many struggles. Specialization enables the producers to have reduced production costs, increase productivity, and generate surplus for commercial purposes (DeCarlo, 2011). In the recent past, the international transport systems have experienced an increased in the number of items to transport internationally.

This is a clear indication that specialization has enabled firms and individuals to have growing shares in the international market. International trade has effected globalization in this manner by strengthening the relationship across nations. Since the 1980s, the developing nations have recorded increasing volumes of agricultural products exports. This is a clear indication that the nations are slowly diversifying and thus, they are improving their living standards.


From the discussions, it is evident that without international trade, only a few nations would manage to live decently. Indeed, international trade allows consumers to access a variety of resources from around the globe. Oil, for example, is not found everywhere, but the entire world uses automobiles that consume oil because it is traded internationally. The Chinese are well known for their labor, and globalization has enabled them to travel around the world to offer their construction services.

Agricultural products, automobiles, electronics, and everything else that one can think of is readily available across the globe because of globalization and international trade. Strengthened interdependence enhances specialization, which enables nations to adhere to one line of production, thus lowering the productivity costs and increasing productivity. Foreign investors are accumulating wealth from their FDIs while employees in the FDIs earn decent wages that enhance their lifestyles.

Producers are assured of the ready market for their products. An increase in the demand of products globally motivates the producers to produce additional products. Increased productivity is a clear indication of enhanced lifestyles. It indicates that there is an increase in the number of people and firms finding their way into trading internationally.

Increased international trade means that nations are developing and that the international economic pathways are becoming user friendly from time to time. Indeed, international trade has achieved globalization as it has enhanced interdependence amongst nations; a world without international trade is just unimaginable.


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