For decades, governments across the world have operated on the assumption that globalisation is an unstoppable force. Whatever their ideological disagreements, countries as diverse as the US and China, Russia and Britain, embraced similar policies, based around expanding global trade and investment flows.

But the increasing rivalry between the US and China, allied to the outbreak of a global trade war, has put this process into reverse. The buzzword of the day is no longer globalisation but “decoupling”. The underlying idea is that, for a mix of economic and strategic reasons, national governments will seek to decrease their dependence on certain foreign markets and technology.

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