World trade has increased dramatically since World War II. On average, trade has grown 3 times as fast as world economic growth. This development is often referred to as the globalization of the economy.
Trade has become much more complicated as well. Trade consisting of one country trading its end products for those of another country, such as the United States trading wheat to Germany for automobiles, is only one part of trade these days. Instead, many end products today are the result of coordinating inputs from many different parts of the world, assembling in another country and shipping to many countries. This is a truly amazing feat in many ways. It also has created concern over the impact of such globalization on people and the environment.