Conventional definitions imagine world trade as taking places among nations -- international trade, it is called. Convention also holds that everyone is best off when such trade is carried on as freely as possible. Neither the definition nor the polemic of free traders has changed much, except for a pseudo-scientific overlay of mathematics, since David Ricardo laid it out in 1817. But the world has changed some in the last 176 years.
Chips and satellites are part of that change, of course, but so is the spread of a social institution, the multinational corporation. Some figures from a 1992 World Bank report make this point well. After noting that multinationals had shifted “labor-intensive stages of production” to Third World states, the report continued: