As economies develop and emerge, they tend to become major players in international trade.
Deutsche Bank circulated a research note discussing the role of the US in global trade.
One of the drivers of trade growth Deutsche Bank identified was the cyclical rise and fall of various countries emerging as major exporters over time.
As Germany rebuilt after World War II, they quickly rose in the 50s and 60s to pick up a larger share of world exports, followed by a slow levelling off and decline in more recent decades.
Japan’s share peaked in the 80s and 90s, and has trailed off since.
The “Asian Tigers” — Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea — steadily grew their export market share through the late 90s.
China’s rise as an exporter picked up steam after 2000 and continues to this day.