June 24, 2021

Global Supply Chains

Stephen Carmel

The “Rubicon” of global trade has been crossed—there is no turning back, and there is no decoupling. The purpose of supply chains is simple, ensuring a reliable supply of stuff. The execution of said goal is incredibly difficult. Although risks in the supply chain cannot be eliminated, they may be mitigated. Mr. Carmel says that the best way to ensure the reliable supply of stuff is not through isolationist policies but through a continuation of the global system of comparative advantage production. There will be times when supply chains falter—through ecological disaster, human error, or terrorist disruption—but these risks pale in comparison to the possible breakdowns brought by a non-trading world.


Mr. Stephen Carmel emphasizes the importance of understanding global supply chains. He believes that understanding the supply chain’s role within national security is critical—specifically the prevalence of foreign dependency within supply chains. Although, he also points out that there is very little we can do at this point in terms of becoming less dependent on foreign sources. Carmel also makes many implications that the federal government often does harm to the global supply chain and makes the flow of goods more complicated. Yet, when considering this fact, it is important to note Carmel’s role as Senior Vice President of Maersk Link, a private shipping company and how that may skew is perception of the federal government’s role.