Uncertainty about trade policy bleeds into this issue. What’s that? You want specifics? Here you go:
Uncertain American trade policy is key to our lead Trending item on July’s dysfunctional US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Over in Dispatches, the Internet Association offers things to consider while modernizing NAFTA.
Early in Donald Trump’s presidency, he hosted Harley-Davidson at the White House to celebrate a made-in-America brand. But as Will Swaim reports in his “Hog Heaven” feature, that produced some queasiness because Harley’s ambitions are global—even when it comes to acquisitions and manufacturing.
Tariffs imposed on foreign automobile manufacturers would seem to be intended to level the playing field for America’s Big Three automakers, but our “Most Business Friendly States for Manufacturers” sidebar “Best States for Autos” begins with Ford, Fiat/Chrysler and General Motors fretting over such tariffs being imposed on them for manufacturing done in Mexico and elsewhere around the world. This month’s book ends with a sobering reminder amid all this, as Looking Back columnist Kenneth Pomeranz detail how US “fair trade” laws actually led to the rise of offshore manufacturing.
But while Elaine Pofeldt’s Banking story examines export financing as Trump shakes up a trade world filled with financial institutions loathe to shakiness, experts Elaine interviews show you how to successfully navigate through it. Yes, friends, there are success stories out there. How else to explain the Port of Oakland setting an all-time record for June import volume—before the peak shipping?
Georgia and South Carolina ports set all-time record months for container volume in May.
Indeed, the East Coast is where it’s at these days thanks to the Panama Canal expansion, something Craig Guillot highlights in our annual big ship readiness update. You want numbers? As of May, Florida’s JAXPORT recorded an average of 21 percent year-over-year growth in Asian cargo volumes during each of the past five years. Look for more upbeat port news to come following this past spring’s federal funding approval for expansion and deepening at JAXPORT as well as the ports of Charleston, Philadelphia and others all along the East Coast. This is due, of course, to the arrival of Super Post-Panamax vessels, which recently prompted the Broward County Board of Commissioners to begin a $437.5 million expansion project to add new berths for larger cargo ships and install crane and rail infrastructure improvements to work those huge tubs.
Jeez, it sounds as if we should be giving more love to Florida—oh, snap, we do, as this is also our annual Florida issue, with Guillot’s report on the Sunshine State manufacturing more than tourism and Katie Kuehner-Hebert showing how Amerijet and Polk County’s Central Florida Development Council have helped make that happen.
Need some help making it happen for you? Check out our fifth annual “America’s 100 Leading 3PLs,” where Steve Lowery rounds up not only the third party logistics providers that meet your specific needs, but he includes advice from CEOs of some of this country’s top 3PLs. Kuehner-Hebert does the same with leaders of economic development corporations.
Success stories still abound in these uncertain trade days, as Peter Buxbaum proves in his look at air cargo growth to and from the Middle East. Also not to be missed are Jeff Atkins’ piece on using software to visualize you end-to-end supply chain, Iaz Putzger’s report on how rail availability makes ports more attractive and two more Guillot stories (someone’s angling for a raise) on the shipping companies and US ports leading the green movement.
Finally, I would be remiss were I to neglect what is deemed in Trending as “the greatest Global Trade story … ever!” It concerns the Maine Beer Box, which is a shipping container filled with brews and adorned with dozens and dozens of working taps, that just arrived in Iceland. Cheers!
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