We are entering a phase of severe uncertainty with many causes. I am no expert but observe globalisation, the commoditisation of labour and technology have a major impact.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will significantly impact international trade.
For the better in terms of communication, transactional accountability and ease of supply chain access. For the worse in terms of staff and disruption of the “old guards” of Bank, structured finance and documentary credit.
With this uncertainty, it is not surprising to see the industrialised nations, USA, UK, Germany, France etc. seeking to restrict imports on the basis of “make local, buy local” but it’s a vain attempt to capture popular votes and close the “stable door after the door has bolted”
Open your news feed (or paper) on any day and you’ll see reference to increased global trade, (examples today: http://www.ttjonline.com/news/uk-timber-product-imports-rise-18-in-jan-feb-5815345/
Trade is now global and those technological disruptors will foster an ever increasing globalisation with choice of import and export suppliers.
Amazon for example enabled UK SME’s to export £1.8Bn in 2016 (http://realbusiness.co.uk/tech-and-innovation/2017/05/15/luxury-candle-brand-looking-for-leg-up-to-export-globally-at-amazon-academy/) and can now link qualified suppliers to importers.
The economic factors of choice, quality, price and convenience will remain but with global supply chains and access, not by closing borders.