The decades following World War II experienced an explosion of global trade. The annual growth rate of global exports averaged 8 percent in the 1950s, 9 percent in the 1960s, and 20 percent in the 1970s (World Trade Organization). During this boom of global trade, the volume of UK exports grew in absolute terms. However, up until the mid-1970s, the UK trade growth lagged behind the global average. After that period, UK trade growth met and often exceeded the global average. This shift, not coincidently, occurred when the United Kingdom (UK) joined the world’s largest customs union, the European Union (EU).