Your car seat is global.
Including stops in South Carolina, Mexico, Tennessee, Michigan and Illinois, it probably visited multiple states and countries before winding up in your car or truck.
Similarly, the firm that controls more than a third of the global car seat business, Adient, is officially based in Ireland but its corporate office is in Milwaukee. With locations in 33 countries, it also owns 30% of a Shanghai-based automotive interiors business.
You can see where we are going. Made by firms with a global reach, a car seat reflects the complexities of world trade.
Where a Car Seat Travels
And yes, Mexico was an attractive destination. Its free trade agreements made travel easier and cheaper:
I guess we should conclude with NAFTA. The North American Free Trade Agreement assured the cheaper and relatively effortless movement of a car seat’s components.
Our Bottom Line: David Ricardo
David Ricardo (1772-1823) would have applauded the car seat. As the 19th century economic thinker who first explained comparative advantage, his focus was opportunity cost. We just need to do what we do best and sacrifice the alternatives. Then countries can optimize output through specialization and trade.
And the world becomes more productive…even for car seats.