[P2P-F] Fwd: 3D printing: a threat to global trade

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 14:38:17 CEST 2017

this is quite an explosive report in my view:

 3D printing a threat to global trade.pdf

Executive summary  3D printing is still in its infancy. For now it has
very little effect on cross-border trade.  This will change once high
speed 3D printing makes mass production with 3D printers economically
viable. The first technical steps have already been taken.  3D printing
will lead to less trade growth because 3D printers use far less labour,
reducing the need to import intermediate and final goods from low wage
countries.  It is tricky to define the exact potential of 3D printing, but
some experts expect a share of 50% in manufacturing over the next two
decades. Tentative calculations show that, if the current growth of
investment in 3D printers continues, 50% of manufactured goods will be
printed in 2060 in scenario I, with this figure possibly being achieved as
early as 2040 in scenario II in which investment doubles every five years.
 This is estimated to wipe out almost one quarter of world trade by 2060
under scenario I (or two-fifths by 2040 under scenario II).  Automotive,
industrial machinery and consumer products are the industries that, as a
result of 3D printing, will take the lead in suppressing cross border trade
These industries are top investors in 3D printers and are large players in
world trade.  In automotive, the dominant bilateral trade flows are
exports from Mexico, Japan, Germany and Canada to the US. So these flows
will be most affected by 3D printing.  Locally printed car parts will
increase jobs at US-based automotive factories.  In industrial machinery
and consumer products, the largest bilateral export flows also have the US
as their main destination. China is the main origin country.  The
direction of flows in the most important 3D printing industries will lower
US trade deficits with Mexico and Germany (automotive) and China (machines,
consumer products), all large contributors to the US trade deficit.  Less
trade means that countries with trade deficits in manufacturing will see
deficits decline. This will be more pronounced for countries that import
relatively many products from leading industries in 3D printing. Countries
with a surplus in manufacturing trade will see their surpluses shrink,
especially if they currently export many products that will be 3D printed
in the near future


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