Spread of coronavirus could hasten the great coming apart of globalization

Even before the virus arrived in Europe, climate change, security concerns and complaints about unfair trade had intensified anxieties about global air travel and globalized industrial supply chains, as well as reinforcing doubts about the reliability of China as a partner.

The virus already has dealt another blow to slowing economies, and emboldened populists to revive calls, tinged with racism and xenophobia, for tougher controls over migrants, tourists and even multinational corporations…

The political tensions between the United States and China over trade, as well as concerns about climate change, already had raised questions about the sense and cost of shipping parts country to country and the potential for carbon taxes at borders, he noted.

Coupled with the risk of a supply chain that is vulnerable to the breakout of the next coronavirus, or the vulnerabilities of an increasingly authoritarian China, Mr. Niblett said, “If you’re a business you have to think twice about exposing yourself.”

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