So what's going to be left to trade?
Handcrafted specialty goods will always find a market. It is still incredibly difficult to produce microprocessors and memory, and there are only a few good chip fabricators in the world. Ironically, some commodities such as cobalt and phosphorous may become more valuable than finished goods, especially for countries not willing to extract rare elements. Companies like Apple claim they will one day no longer need rare earth minerals, but are still guaranteeing their own supply of elements such as cobalt direct at the source.
One global industry that is clearly not ending is tourism. Citizens of newly developed countries are eager to visit other countries, and cheap airfares are encouraging more and more people to travel. Last year, four billion passengers flew on scheduled air service. Perhaps the future will hold far more cultural exchange than goods exchange. Think global and buy local!
Peter Yared is the founder and chief technology officer of Sapho, a start-up focused on improving the employee experience of technology. Previously, he was the chief information officer of CBS Interactive and founded five enterprise software companies that were each acquired.