Today, more than 95% of cargo moves by ship, the bulk of it in standardized shipping containers."Massive imports from Asia began as a result of containerization during the Vietnam War. Containers were used to ship military freight, and on the way back to the U.S. they picked up the first televisions and electronic goods from Japan."-- Marc Levinson, author of The Box: How Shipping Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger
The Kennedy Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiated concessions of $40 billion worth of tariffs. When the changes are implemented in 1972, tariffs are slashed in half. At the same time, the dollar is taken off the gold standard. Trade to Asia is off and running.
By 2008, Toyota is expected to sell more cars in the United States than General Motors.
"Boeing starts flying these planes nonstop daily from Tokyo to New York and that just collapses borders and opens up the world."-- Alfred Eckes, chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 1982-1984
Motorola's DynaTAC system includes the first commercial handheld cellular phone and network infrastructure. By 2005, more people have cell phones in the developing world (1.4 billion) than in the developed world (800 million). Luxembourg has the greatest rate of cell phone use: 155 subscribers per 100 people.
How far have we come? Sometime in 2007, the one billionth person will go online, and China will have more Internet users than the United States.
"It slashed tariffs in manufacturing and agriculture, but most important it opened trade in services -- things like banking, insurance, technology."-- Richard Newfarmer, economic adviser at the World Bank
George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev declare the Cold War officially over at a summit meeting in Malta.
Gecis, a division of GE Capital, establishes the first international call center, with 50 employees in India. In 2004, GE sells 60 percent of its call center operations, by then employing 17,000 people worldwide, for $500 million.
"More than it having cheap labor or good infrastructure, the thing about China is that it ultimately will have a very, very high consumer market. Much bigger than we've ever seen and if you're not there you will have felt as though you've missed a serious opportunity."-- Ted C. Fishman, author of China Inc.
The number of foreign students studying in the U.S. peaks at 586,323. After tighter student visa restrictions are imposed following 9/11, the number of foreign students in American Universities declines. In 2007, 58 percent of all foreign students come from Asia.
Chinese PC maker Lenovo purchases IBM's iconic PC business for $1.3 billion. Also that year, China National Offshore Oil co. is the high bidder, at $18.5 billion for U.S. oil company Unocal, but withdraws its bid after resistance from U.S. lawmakers.
The NYSE Group goes shopping, acquiring Euronext, taking a 5 percent stake in India's National Stock Exchange, and forming an alliance with the Tokyo Stock Exchange.