The coronavirus pandemic abruptly shifted the terms of the debate to one that is more visceral and practical to everyone who buys things.
From the White House and Congress to boardrooms and business schools, the debate is no longer whether the relentless march of globalization over the last three decades has led to an outcome that is “fair” or a “good deal” — but whether it has become simply too risky and unreliable to tolerate.
As countries around the world confronted abrupt shortages of everything from personal protective equipment and medicine to laptop computers for schoolchildren, the pandemic put on naked display just how dependent the world had become on imports for basic goods, particularly from China. No longer the stuff of economic texts, disruption to global supply chains became a matter of life and death.
The old debates about lowering prices by maximizing efficiency when the world is running smoothly —…