Reorganization of International Production, GVC Resilience and Prospects for North American Integration

Prof. Gary Gereffi, Duke University

Discussant: Prof. Carlo Pietrobelli, UNU-MERIT

Chair and moderator of the session: Associate Professor Rasmus Lema, UNU-MERIT

[This is the final session in UNU-MERIT's UNESCO Chair webinar series Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Sustainable Development in Latin America”]


During the past decade, a series of disruptions have led to significant reorganizations of international production and trade.  These include not only the fragmentation of supply chains and severe product shortages linked to the COVID-19 global pandemic since early 2020, but also recent waves of economic nationalism associated with Brexit, the ongoing U.S.-China trade conflicts and restructuring of regional trade agreements initiated by the Trump administration, and a broad wave of anti-globalization sentiment tied not only to trade and investment but also immigration concerns.  Using a global value chain (GVC) perspective, Prof. Gereffi will argue that since the 1970s, the evolution of trade policies and firm strategies has contributed to the reconfiguration of GVCs across global regions in major industries like apparel, automobiles, and electronics. To understand these shifts, we must examine both the predictable as well as unintended consequences of trade policies, as well as the adaptive strategies of the large multinational enterprises (MNEs) that orchestrate the governance structures of GVCs. In the post-pandemic era, the role of explicit industrial policies has become prominent not only in large emerging economies like China, but also advanced industrial economies like the United States.  What is the likely impact of new U.S. industrial policy under the Biden administration for North American regionalization?  Prof. Gereffi will discuss how Mexico and Canada are likely to confront the challenges and opportunities in U.S. industrial policy for strategic sectors such as semiconductors, clean energy, electric vehicles, and critical minerals, and whether a North American regional GVC will be stronger or weaker. 

About the speaker

Gary Gereffi is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Economics and Management from the University of Padova, Italy on March 13, 2023. Gereffi has published over a dozen books and numerous articles on globalization, global supply chains, and economic, social. and environmental upgrading, and he is an originator of the Global Value Chains (GVC) framework. Recent books include: China’s New Development Strategies: Upgrading from Above and from Below in Global Value Chains (G. Gereffi, P. Bamber, and K. Fernandez-Stark, eds.), Palgrave Macmillan, Sept. 2022; Handbook on Global Value Chains (S. Ponte, G. Gereffi, and G. Raj-Reichert, eds.), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019; Global Value Chains and Development: Redefining the Contours of 21st Century Capitalism (G. Gereffi), Cambridge University Press, 2018; and Global Value Chains in a Postcrisis World: A Development Perspective (O. Cattaneo, G. Gereffi, and C. Staritz, eds.), The World Bank, 2010. 

Practical details

We will be live streaming the webinar on our Facebook page, LinkedIn page and on our YouTube channel - on any of these channels, you will be able to comment, interact and ask the speaker questions during the event.

Direct links to the livestream events:

Venue: UNU-MERIT YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn channels

Date: 16 May 2023

Time: 15:00 - 16:00  CEST