Trade: Tables Turned

In early-1980s Britain,  there were plastic wall signs for sale that sent up the government’s Buy British campaign. Consisting of a Union Jack emblazoned with the Buy British slogan, in the bottom corner were the words Made in Japan. Today, that joke doesn’t work on multiple levels. 

Japan has moved way up the value chain, and cheap, imported plastic goods are now expected to originate from elsewhere in Asia. The UK no longer runs large trade deficits with Japan.

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