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On supply chains, using one tiny widget’s journey through North America


You may have a view of trade as being straightforward: one country either buys or sells a product to another country. However as this older piece shows, it’s never quite that simple: One Tiny Widget’s Dizzying Journey Through the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

That’s not to say all products are like that. As we learned during the pandemic, all it takes is for a shutdown of one country and suddenly we can’t get a product. But for many products, the journey isn’t from A to B. It’s from A to B to …Z? It’s complex. And if there is a disruption along the way, disaster can occur.

One thing for sure, given how the pandemic disrupted supply chains, I expect many companies are countries are going to be revisiting how they get products and how they can better protect themselves against not being able to get it in times of emergency.

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