Global trade patterns track ever-changing pathways in the exchange of capital, goods and services among nations. The decades leading up to 2014 saw the rise of regional trading blocs, reduced industry in many nations, the increased participation of former communist countries, and the rising stars of China and India.
In trading blocs, such as the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), countries trade among themselves, impacting other nations by cutting off imports and exports with them.
Newly industrialized countries like China and India have dramatically increased their share of manufacturing exports. As of 2013, China had risen to number one in the world for exports, followed by the European Union. The United States was third.