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UNCTAD AND IMO: REMOVE UNNECESSARY REGULATORY OBSTACLES TO MARITIME TRANSPORT DURING AND AFTER COVID-19

maritime transport

UNCTAD AND IMO: REMOVE UNNECESSARY REGULATORY OBSTACLES TO MARITIME TRANSPORT DURING AND AFTER COVID-19

The world’s reliance on maritime transport makes it more important than ever to keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing, and to support ship crew changeovers, the United Nations maritime and trade bodies said in a joint statement published on June 9.

UNCTAD and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reiterated calls for governments to promote crew well-being by allowing crew changes and ensuring seafarers and other maritime personnel have access to documentation and travel options so they can return home safely.

Maritime transport depends on the 2 million seafarers who operate the world’s merchant ships, which carry more than 80 percent of global trade by volume, including most of the world’s food, energy, raw materials and manufactured goods. Crew changeovers are essential for the continuity of shipping in a safe and sustainable manner, but the process is currently hampered by travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNCTAD and IMO reaffirmed the urgent need for “key worker” designation for seafarers, marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, offshore energy sector personnel and service personnel at ports. Governments and relevant national and local authorities must recognize that these workers provide essential services, regardless of their nationality, and should thus exempt them from travel restrictions when in their jurisdiction, the organizations pleaded.

“Such designation will ensure that the trade in essential goods, including medical supplies and food, is not hampered by the pandemic and the associated containment measures,” read their joint statement. “We emphasize that, for trade to continue during these critical times, there is a need to keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing, while at the same time ensuring that border agencies can safely undertake all necessary controls. International collaboration, coordination and solidarity among all is going to be key to overcoming the unprecedented global challenge posed by the pandemic and its longer-term repercussions.”

international supply chain

Ecommerce Expert Explains How to Develop an International Supply Chain

When selling products, you may need to import them from other countries and have them delivered to a warehouse or home. There are different ways to do this whether by air, train, or by sea. During this process, there are fees and regulations you should be aware of.  I will be explaining how to develop an international supply chain with three key elements: the type of shipping, selecting and booking your freight, and post-delivery supply chain.

Types of Shipping

There are several well-known types of shipping, such as Free Carrier, Free Alongside Ship, Cost and Freight, Cost/Insurance and Freight, Cost Paid To, Carrier and Insurance Paid To, and Delivery at Place, among others. In my experience, I have found three types that are used more than the others: Ex Work, Free on Board, and Delivery Duty Paid.

Ex Work means your goods are at the manufacture’s warehouse and you are responsible for shipping the product to your destination. In this case, you will have to pay for customs, customs bonds, taxes, and any charges that may come up during the process.

Free on Board (FOB) is when your product will be delivered to the port or ship. What does this mean? The manufacturer will get your product on the boat, but you will be in charge of getting it off the ship, through customs, and delivered to you. What I do not like about this type of shipping is that when the manufacturer drops the product off, it is unsupervised, and my insurance does not kick in until the next step. There is an uninsured moment, so I recommend avoiding FOB shipments.

Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) is one I deal with all the time and I also call it Door to Door. The goods are shipped to you and delivered to your warehouse or your house location. Whoever you negotiate with will pay all deliberate duties, and it is a good way to avoid unseen costs.

These three terms are extremely important when negotiating with manufacturers. I usually quote Ex Work or DDP, because, throughout the entire process, there is someone in charge of the shipment.

Select Freight

A freight forwarder is a person or company that deals with the shipment of goods from the manufacturer to a customer, market, or point of distribution. You have traditional ones, like DHL and FedEx, which more commonly do air shipping. DHL is usually the most expensive option, but the fastest large provider and can take two to ten days to deliver. FedEx can take up to two weeks, depending on the shipping type.

You can tell your freight forwarder where to pick up your product and where to deliver them to. The forwarder will handle the rest. They help you in handling customs, bonds, and taxes. There are plenty of companies that do this and can help you with all forms of transportation. I use freight marketplaces, which work like Expedia, giving you options and quotes from several freight forwarding companies. I regularly use Freightos and have had a good experience. Pro-tip: make sure to insure the full shipment, and don’t fudge your invoices.

Domestic Supply Chain

Once you have chosen your type of shipping and selected a freight forwarder, you need to find a place to store and ship your goods. What you will select depends on your business model. Some common solutions are Amazon FBA, delivering it to your warehouse, or use a third-party logistics or fulfillment center (3PL).

The ideal supply chain would be choosing Ex Work, using a freight forwarder, and ensuring shipment the entire way. You will have to pay for the cost of freight, taxes, and tariffs. The quickest route would be shipping to California, and from there, to your 3PL or warehouse. You can put everything in one location and distribute to the rest of the country.

Mastering these three key elements will guarantee the successful shipment of your goods and the success of your commerce. Having a good partner or a 3PL will add value to your business. It is important you do your research before you start importing products.

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Scott Bartnick is a strong professional leader with a degree in industrial and systems engineering, specializing in public relations. Bartnick is a serial entrepreneur, published author, and successful business owner. He has extensive and diverse experience with eCommerce consulting, operational excellence, public relations, sales, and marketing. You can reach Scott at The Five Day Startup.

ecommerce

What are Common Mistakes Ecommerce Newbies Make?

Ecommerce businesses have recently seen a growth in their sales, and many business people have decided to start their own ecommerce business to capitalize on how well ecommerce has performed during COVID. However, newbies tend to make common mistakes that could easily be avoided if they caught them on time. These mistakes do not happen due to a lack of interest or knowledge, but probably due to the speed in which people are trying to jump into business. Once you realize the errors, you can easily correct them with a little more research.

The most common mistake newbies make is starting out with a new product. They try to create their own new product, instead of offering a product that is already trending. It would be better to start by following a trend to get people interested in the brand. This way, your business will attract more customers who want to purchase a product they have already seen others use and know it works, or it will fulfill their needs. By starting out with a new product, something people do not know nor trust, can set you back and lead to failure.

Some also choose to sell a high-ticket product. This means it will be a much higher cost per purchase, and you will need to have a set budget separated for advertising costs. Starting with high-cost products can be too big of a step to launch your business. You should focus on starting with a product within your budget to guarantee that you will not be losing money and your revenue will meet your goals.

Another common mistake is people not understanding their metrics correctly. There are several metrics to keep in mind.  Some of the most important ones are:

-Email click-through-rate.

-Cost per acquisition.

-Organic acquisition traffic.

-Social media engagement.

-Micro to Macro Conversion Rates.

-Average order value.

-Sales Conversion Rates.

-Customer retention rate.

-Customer lifetime value.

-Repeat customer rate.

-Refund and return rate.

-Ecommerce churn rate.

-Net promote score.

-Subscription rate.

The key metrics–the ones you really need to know and understand–to start your ecommerce are advertising cost, cost of goods, and revenue. It is particularly important to understand them before you go into business because the lack of knowledge can easily mean loss of money when you start advertising. Make sure you understand the cost per purchase and know how to make it work according to your budget.

One common mistake newbies tend to make is not setting up the right payment processors to accept the purchases. An example of that could be PayPal putting your money on hold for the next 30 to 60 days. To avoid situations like this, you need to find processors that were specifically created for ecommerce businesses and can make this transaction easier for you and for your customers.

Luckily, these mistakes are avoidable. The most important step is to do thorough research and understand your return on ads spent. You need to have an advertisement budget set aside; to spend and to have in case you lose money. Create a spreadsheet with your cost of goods and your revenue. Find merchant processors that are experts on ecommerce and suppliers who can provide the best prices to lower your cost of goods.

Starting an ecommerce business is like starting any other business. You need to be prepared to do it, understand what it takes to start a business and have the knowledge of what steps you need to be taking. If you do your research and know your key elements, you will be able to avoid all the common mistakes newbies make.

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Steven Ridzyowski has been a leader in the eCommerce/digital media buying space for over ten years. Ridzyowski takes pride in being self-taught in all aspects of his career. It’s probably why he is such a driven entrepreneur today! He started out of high school, deciding to never go to college and learning advertising blogs with Google AdSense and taking on what would soon become his career and passion.

After a couple of years doing that, Ridzyowski was introduced to affiliate marketing. During that time (2008-2010), cellphones and ringtones were becoming popular, and Ridzyowski became an affiliate in the ringtone niche for a few years. Little did he know, he was paying “influencers” on YouTube to have links for ringtone offers in the music video description, before “influencers” became the sensation they are now.

As he grew and became a successful affiliate marketer, he worked alongside many advertisers and colleagues. Ridzyowski then went on to create his own white label skincare brand, which became one of his pivotal successes.

Between the moment of changing from affiliate marketing to owning and running digital media buying for his own skincare brand, he started to follow trends, learning the ins and outs of digital marketing, spending over $30m in paid digital ads across the entirety of his career. Ridzyowski mastered different advertising platforms, generating income across many businesses in various niches and verticals.

Today, Steven Ridzyowski is focused heavily on e-commerce and marketing, especially with his new agency, which offers a turnkey solution for e-Commerce.  Ridzyowski has mastered everything from product research, to product trends, to marketing in all kinds of niches. In the past three years, he has created converting funnels to growing multiple 6 to 7-figure stores with his agency. He has helped hundreds of companies, both large and small, reach their full potential and created an online presence for them. Ridzyowski is also a member of the Forbes Business Council and the Young Entrepreneur Council.

Connect with Steve Ridzyowski on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenridzyowski/

Follow Steve Ridzyowski on Instagram @ StevenRidzyowski

“Like” Steve Ridzyowski on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StevenRidzyowskiOfficial/

Follow Steve Ridzyowski on Twitter @ SteveRidzyowski

Watch Steve Ridzyowski on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf-IaxhjT9vKP_P-bkmam8Q

shippers'

Shippers’ New 2020 Priorities

While cities and states are slowly reopening, there is still significant uncertainty surrounding the global economy and when we’ll head towards recovery. Shippers are experiencing never-before-seen challenges and, in maneuvering them, realize it’s vital to understand the change in consumer behavior and how it impacts the supply chain.

A recent Consumer Brands’ Association Coronavirus Survey found 68% of Americans are optimistic about the next 6 months and the United States’ ability to reopen the economy. Despite consumer mentality improving, shippers’ concerns on COVID-19’s impact on the supply chain remain top of mind.

While some industries experienced a surge in demand, including healthcare, grocery and consumer packaged goods (CPG), this hasn’t been the case across the board. Some faced a reduction or, in some cases, a complete halt in business. These new challenges and concerns have led shippers to shift their strategies and develop new priorities for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Shippers’ Top Priorities

As reported in the recent Q2 2020 Coyote Curve Market Forecast, the truckload market has likely already hit the bottom in Q2 at a -9% spot rate, and contract and spot rates should more or less converge from here. Due to the circumstances, the rate environment will most likely be more forgiving than usual, but it will definitely be volatile; and, with rates regularly fluctuating, shippers must keep their key priorities top of mind.

First and foremost, shippers’ top priority is keeping their people safe during this unprecedented time. They’re also focusing on keeping team members productive despite disruption, making necessary strategic shifts in production, managing rapid and frequent shifts in demand, and maintaining operational efficiency.

The priorities for those experiencing an influx of demand are quite different from those seeing a decrease. Shippers in surging markets are focused on supporting frontline employees by ensuring their facilities have necessary crucial safety items like personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and sanitization products.

The industries experiencing a downturn, such as durable goods, have been focused on keeping their businesses operating and their people productive. They’ve had to prioritize repurposing available capacity to streamline operations, while others have turned to private fleets to haul less-than-truckload or full truckload shipments. To support COVID-19 relief efforts, some industries even shifted their production lines completely, like automotive manufacturers producing ventilators or clothing manufacturers making masks and scrubs.

Other shipper priorities include managing increased production output, despite lower processing rates. These lower rates come from new facility regulations mandating safety procedures, social distancing, and fewer employees per shift, resulting in less efficiency. Shippers are also dealing with a less frequent transportation schedule and imbalanced inventory, adding to the struggle of keeping supply chains running smoothly.

A new 2020 for shippers

Regardless of the industry a shipper operates within, the outlook for the remainder of 2020 is much different than originally planned. The entire supply chain realizes the importance of developing new strategies to adhere to the current situation and prepare for future disruptions.

Shipping processes will inevitably change to improve supply chain visibility and automation and update future inventory and warehousing procedures. These new plans and strategies focus less on short-term, cost-based decisions, and more on proactivity, flexibility, and efficiency.

Shippers have rewritten their 2020 plans to address these new priorities. While some tactics have higher initial costs, investing now will allow shippers to better recover from future disruptions. Other new strategies include:

-Collaborating with other shippers to garner insights and best practices

-Creating pop-up fleets at surging origin points

-Focusing productions on the lines making the most, the fastest

-Working with 3PL providers that offer flexible, instant capacity to haul freight

-Moving live-load pick-ups and deliveries into temporary drop trailers

-Reducing number of SKUs to eliminate unnecessary variety

What comes next

 Some shippers have found it easy to identify ways to better prepare their businesses for future disruption and have established new processes to do so. However, this doesn’t mean they have avoided uncertainty altogether. Shippers are asking themselves three key questions:

-How do I keep my employees healthy and safe?

-How do I keep my facilities up and running efficiently?

-How do I limit disruption to my supply chain?

Since COVID-19, shippers immediately made shifts to maneuver the unthinkable. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer as to when or how shippers will see less market volatility, and they may even see more complexities in the meantime. This brings additional geographic and industry disparities.

As the economy moves towards recovery, we anticipate a surge in demand and a corresponding increase in volume. Industries, especially those whose shippers slowed down, will have lean inventories and, when demand rises, need to increase production. While shippers’ results may differ from their original 2020 goals, we believe a recovery in consumer demand will be here soon.

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Nick Shroeger is the Chief Network Solutions Officer at Coyote, a leading global third-party logistics provider headquartered in Chicago. Since joining the Coyote team in July 2009, Nick has been a key leader in identifying challenges of the supply chain industry and developing and scaling solutions. In his current role, Nick leads Coyote’s research and innovation efforts for both shipper and carrier solutions as well as network connectivity with Coyote’s parent company, UPS.

Global Trade Magazine Opens Nominations for 8th Annual “Americas 50 Leading 3PLs”

Global Trade Magazine has officially kicked-off its 8th annual “America’s Top 50 Leading 3PLs” nominations. This year’s selected nominees will showcase the most competitive movers and shakers transforming domestic and international logistics, exceeding client expectations while maintaining an exemplary company profile with competitive solutions.

Following last year’s focus on “needs-based” and “high demand” categories, the 2020 feature will spotlight specialty industries including E-commerce/Omni-Channel, Temperature-Controlled, Hazmat, Distribution, Freight Forwarding, and much more.

“It’s a measure of the quickly growing/changing/evolving global marketplace that arguably the most critical industry serving it, Third Party Logistic Providers (3PLs), continues to grow, change and evolve at a dizzying pace,” explained former senior editor Steve Lowery.

Global Trade Magazine will determine the final 50 nominations based on industry reputation, outstanding operational excellence, game-changing initiatives, disruptive technology solutions, and unmatched levels of innovation. This list showcases leading companies while providing a comprehensive list for businesses seeking new partnership opportunities.

“It’s easy to say that one must move faster, deliver services quicker, be more innovative and have organizational agility to flex with the world, but it takes something quite different to lead the cultural transformation that is required to make these goals a reality,” said Rich Bolte, CEO of BDP.

“Leadership will have to change as well. Leaders will be measured by their ability to innovate and create potential disruptions. The old paradigm of measuring only performance and execution has changed.”

To see a complete list of recipients, please visit globaltrademag.com to view the current issue.

Nominations are currently open and will be accepted through August 15 at 5 p.m. CST.

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE YOUR 3PL

foreign

The Proposed Expansion of Mandatory Foreign Investment Filings During the Pandemic

In the midst of the pandemic, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) has proposed several revisions to its regulations (“Regulations”) that change when short-form filings (called “declarations”) are required with respect to covered foreign investments of U.S. businesses which work with critical technology [2]. What is most significant for foreign investors is that the proposed rules expand the mandatory declaration and required CFIUS review to include critical technology transactions that range well beyond the 27 industries originally designated by CFIUS – to cover all sectors of the economy [3].

The raison d’etre for this proposed CFIUS rule change is not entirely clear. While the modification largely reads as being technical in nature, CFIUS does, however, observe that other, unspecified “national security considerations” are involved. Thus, a reasonable inference from current circumstances is that CFIUS seeks the ability during the Covid-19 crisis to review acquisitions by China in a broader range of business sectors in order to assess in advance the national security risk, if any, in situations where financially struggling U.S. firms with innovative dual-use technology might be more willing than before to consider such investments as a lifeline.

Interested parties in the business community should note public comments are due by June 22, 2020.

The Proposed Expansion of Mandatory Filings for Critical Technology Transactions

By way of background, under the existing Regulations, a mandatory declaration is required for transactions involving certain U.S. businesses that: 1) produce, design, test, manufacture, fabricate, or develop one or more “critical technologies”; and 2) use the critical technology in specified ways in one or more of 27 specified industries. Significantly, under the revisions, CFIUS eliminated the second prong of the requirement – i.e., the nexus to 27 industries, and refocused the requirement instead on companies that have critical technology that would require certain export licenses or other authorizations to export, re-export, transfer (in-country) or retransfer the critical technology to certain transaction parties and foreign persons in the ownership chain.

CFIUS indicates that the new focus of the mandatory filing requirement on export control requirements for critical technologies “leverages the national security foundations of the established export control regimes, which require licensing or authorization in certain cases based on an analysis of the particular item and end-user, and the particular foreign country for export, re-export transfer (in-country) or retransfer.” 85 Fed. Reg. 30894.

While that is true enough, in fact, the existing standard already is based on the export control standards. The term “critical technology” was and still is, defined as technologies that are subject to export controls (i.e., articles or services on the U.S. Munitions List, items on the Commerce Department’s Control List, and other specialized lists)[4]. Now, in addition to being subject to export controls (e.g., on one of the enumerated lists of controlled items), the technology must specifically be subject to a licensing requirement.

In effect, CFIUS has doubled down on export controls as the criteria for mandatory filing – the item must be on a controlled list and a license must be required for the particular foreign acquirer that is a party to the transaction.

The Significance of the Proposed Change in Mandatory Filing Requirement

Is this licensing requirement a meaningful distinction for foreign investors? While many of the items on these export control lists do require licenses or other authorizations for export, this is not necessarily the case for the export of all items to all countries for all uses. On some lists (e.g., the Munitions Lists), every article and service requires a license for export to all locations. On others (notably the Commerce List, the main list of “dual-use” technologies), items controlled are only licensable for certain countries and certain purposes to certain end-users, as designated on the list.

Overall, however, the universe of items on controlled lists versus those on the lists where licenses are required probably aren’t all that different – i.e., the range of mandatory filings is not very meaningfully limited by this change. Notably, for certain near-peer competitor countries like China and Russia, the distinction is particularly limited. Indeed, for these countries, many items on the Commerce List will require licenses in any event. Moreover, since China is under a U.S. arms embargo in place for many years, any export of an article or service on the Munitions List would certainly require a license (which would not be granted).

In any event, even if the new nexus to export license requirements narrows somewhat the class of critical technology transactions subject to mandatory declarations, this change is undoubtedly more than offset by the elimination of the required nexus to the 27 specified industries. Under the proposal, foreign acquisition of any U.S. business – regardless of what industry it works in – would require a mandatory declaration where the business utilizes critical technology provided that certain export licenses or other authorizations would be required to export such items to the foreign acquiring party.

On balance, this change is significant. It broadens the scope of the mandatory filing requirement to a wide variety of acquisitions involving critical technology applications from medical devices to commercial vehicles to a wide range of high tech sectors. Foreign investors thus would need to be considerably more diligent in considering the CFIUS risk with respect to structuring a broader range of these acquisitions.

Why the Expansion of the Mandatory Filing Requirement?

Why the expansion of mandatory declarations and does it relate to the pandemic?  CFIUS offers only vague explanations – noting its further consideration of public comments made in prior rulemakings, the Committee’s additional experience assessing mandatory declarations, and “other,” unnamed, national security considerations” [5].

One very possible set of such “national security considerations” is to afford CFIUS the ability to investigate a considerably broader range of transactions involving China where any critical technology requiring a license is involved. Since many dual-use items on the Commerce Control List and everything on the Munitions List do require licenses for China, the expansion of jurisdiction would be significant – as it applies without regard to the industry where the critical technology is used.

The logic of this expanded approach would be that, under Chinese laws and policies on civil-military fusion, any Chinese company, regardless of industry, could be required to divert the critical technology it is acquiring to the state sector for military use. Thus, it arguably makes sense for CFIUS to seek to examine these technology deals across the board.

This action also would be consistent with a range of other recent Administration actions during the Covid-19 crisis – from restrictions on participation in the U.S. bulk-power infrastructure to additional export control restrictions on Huawei – all of which appear to be focused on limiting U.S. high tech engagement with China.

Why now? The pandemic has raised the specter of foreign firms from potential adversaries buying sensitive assets at steep discounts. Numerous European governments are very focused on protecting sensitive assets against distress buying.  In this context, recent comments by Ms. Ellen Lord, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, suggest concern that during the pandemic smaller U.S. companies that support the aerospace and defense sector could experience “significant financial fragility” and therefore be more vulnerable to acquisition by potential adversaries [6]. She also noted the prospect of “nefarious” acquisitions involving the use of shell companies during the pandemic and indicated a desire for CFIUS to have more authority to address these situations. Thus, it just may be that the proposed revision to the Regulations is an effort to address this felt DoD need.

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A partner in Eversheds-Sutherland, a global law firm, Mr. Bialos [1] previously served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Industrial Affairs and co-chairs the firm’s Aerospace and Defense practice.

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References

[1] A partner in Eversheds-Sutherland, a global law firm, Mr. Bialos previously served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Industrial Affairs and co-chairs the firm’s Aerospace and Defense practice.

[2] 85 Fed. Reg. 30893 (setting forth amendments to 31 C.F.R. §800). The mandatory filing requirements were established pursuant to the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”).  The proposed amendments also make clarifying changes with respect to mandatory declarations in transactions involving foreign States. Specifically,  section 800.244 of the Regulations (see 85 Fed. Reg 30898) would, among other things, change the definition of “substantial interest” with respect to transactions where a general partner, managing member or the equivalent is involved, to clarify that the foreign state’s interest is only relevant it applies only where a general partner, managing member, or equivalent “primarily directs, controls or coordinates the activities” of the entity that is the acquiring party.  In effect, this change narrows to a limited extent the range of transactions with foreign government involvement where a mandatory declaration is required.

[3] CFIUS accomplishes this expansion through a series of technical amendments to the Regulations: Section 800.254 (defining U.S. “regulatory authorization” to refer to the types of export licenses that require mandatory declarations); section 800.256 (introducing the concept of “voting interest” to include foreign persons in the ownership chain that would need to be analyzed from an export control standpoint to determine if a license would be required to transfer the technology in question to that party); and 800.401 (which re-scopes the mandatory declaration requirement for critical technology transactions).  See 85 C.F.R. 30895-8.

[4] 31 c.f.r. § 800.215.

[5] 85 Fed. Reg. 3894.

[6] See Transcript, Press Briefing of Ellen Lord, Undersecretary of Defense (A&S) Ellen Lord on COVID-19 Response Efforts (April 30, 2020).   Available at: https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Transcripts/Transcript/Article/2172171/undersecretary-of-defense-as-ellen-lord-holds-a-press-briefing-on-covid-19-resp/

mandatory declaration

CFIUS Proposes Changes to Mandatory Declaration Requirements

On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published a proposed rule that would amend the scope of mandatory filings before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), an interagency body that reviews foreign investments into the United States to assess national security risks. The proposed rule follows the Treasury Department’s publication of the regulations implementing the Foreign Investment Review Modernization Act, a statute passed in 2018, which aimed to streamline and modernize the CFIUS review process.

We previously summarized the CFIUS regulations here and here. The proposed rule amends the scope of the mandatory declaration requirement for transactions involving U.S. businesses involved in critical technologies and makes clarifying revisions to the definition of “substantial interest” in the context of acquisitions involving foreign governmental involvement.

Modification of Critical Technology Rules for Triggering Mandatory Declarations

Most notably, the proposed rule would make three key changes to criteria triggering a mandatory declaration requirement in transactions involving a “TID U.S. business” involved in “critical technologies.” (For an analysis of what constitutes a TID U.S. business, please see our earlier alert here.) The current rule requires a mandatory declaration to be filed, among other circumstances, in a covered investment or covered control transaction of a U.S. business involved in critical technologies that are used or designed for one or more industries identified by NAICS codes in Appendix B to 31 C.F.R. Part 800. The proposed rule would, first, refine the scope of the critical technologies triggering the mandatory declaration by covering only those technologies that would require “U.S. regulatory authorization” for the export, re-export, transfer (in-country), or retransfer to the foreign acquirer involved in the transaction.

Second, as described further below, while focused in the first instance on the nationality of the foreign acquirer, if the foreign acquirer is itself subject to an ownership interest of 25% or more from a person in a third country, the export licensing requirements applicable to that third country person will also be relevant.  Third, the amendments would eliminate the current requirement that the TID U.S. business be listed as one of the industries identified in Appendix B.

Regarding the first element, the proposed rule would define the term “U.S. regulatory authorization” to include authorization required by the Department of State under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”); the Department of Commerce under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”); the Department of Energy relating to assistance to foreign atomic energy activities; or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission related to the export or import of nuclear equipment and material. In most cases, the availability of a license exception under the applicable export control regime would not be given effect; that is, if the export requires a license to the applicable parties under the relevant export control regime, the availability of a license exception for export would not similarly provide an exception to the mandatory declaration rule.

There are, however, four carve-outs—the first concerns the general authorization under Department of Energy export controls, and the other three concern three license exceptions under Part 740 of the EAR (specifically, the Strategic Trade Authorization (STA); Technology and Software – Unrestricted (TSU); and paragraph (b) of the Encryption (ENC) license exceptions). Thus, for example, transactions with foreign acquirers from countries with favorable treatment under the EAR’s Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) license exception at 15 C.F.R. § 740.20(c)(1) may be exempt from mandatory declaration requirement under the proposed rule. Second, the proposed rule could potentially expand the scope of transactions that trigger a mandatory declaration based on the export license requirements applicable to owners of the acquiring foreign entity.

In this regard, the proposed rule would also make the mandatory declaration requirement applicable to transactions where there is a foreign person who holds or is part of a group of foreign persons that together hold, a “voting interest for purposes of critical technology mandatory declarations” in a foreign acquirer. The proposed rule defines the term “voting interest for purposes of critical technology mandatory declarations” as a 25% voting interest or, in the case of entities organized as partnerships, a 25% interest in the general partner, managing member, or equivalent of the entity.  Thus for, example, if foreign acquirer X of a TID U.S. business is from country to which a critical technology can be exported without a license, but X is 25% or more owned by Y in a third country to which an export license would be required, the mandatory declaration regulation would be triggered.

Finally, although not necessarily its intent, the proposed rule may actually broaden the application of the mandatory declaration requirement by removing the current Appendix B, such that the declaration requirement would no longer be limited to only those 27 industries listed in Appendix B. As a result, any acquisition of a U.S. TID business with the requisite involvement with a critical technology may trigger the mandatory declaration requirement, without regard to the industry in which the TID business operates.

Modification of Definition of “Substantial Interest”

The proposed rule would also amend the definition of “substantial interest” for purposes of transactions involving foreign governments. The current regulations require a mandatory declaration to be filed in transactions where a foreign person obtains a “substantial interest” in a TID U.S. business, and a foreign government (other than excepted foreign governments, currently only the U.K., Australia, and Canada) has a “substantial interest” in the foreign acquirer. The current definition of “substantial interest” applies, with respect to a foreign government’s interest in a foreign acquirer organized as a partnership or similar entity, when the foreign government holds at least 49% of the general partner, managing member, or equivalent of the entity.

The proposed rule would narrow that provision by applying it only when the general partner or equivalent entity primarily directs, controls, or coordinates the activities of the foreign acquirer. The current rule also contains a provision that any “voting interest” held by a parent entity in a subsidiary entity will be deemed to be 100%. Because there was some confusion as to whether this provision applied to non-voting partnership interests, the proposed rule would remove the term “voting” to clarify that this provision applies to such entities organized as both corporations (and equivalent entities) and partnerships (and equivalent entities).

Comments Due by June 22, 2020

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted through June 22, 2020.  Parties with interests which may be impacted by the rule should strongly consider submitting comments prior to this deadline to ensure that all relevant industry insight is considered by CFIUS prior to the final rule becoming effective.

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post-covid-19

The Logistics Industry in a Post-COVID-19 World

The COVID-19 pandemic is slowly passing. However, we still have a long way to go before we can say we are safe from it. Nevertheless, these past few months were difficult, and it is safe to say that some lives were affected in such a way that they will be different forever. The same can be said for many industries that had to – and still have to – struggle with the pandemic in order to stay in business. My guess is that the logistics industry in the post-COVID-19 world will look a bit different than it used to.

Inventory levels

All companies that had low inventory levels suffered major setbacks. Being left without goods and without means of getting new supplies shipped is a disaster for any company.

With that being said, one of the first changes that must be implemented is that inventory levels are always high. Companies will have to factor in any possibility to protect their business if a similar situation arises in the future.

What about the supply chains?

During the pandemic, it was shown that one of the major disadvantages of stretched supply chains is that they can easily break at any point. You never know when the logistics department will fail to deliver, and your entire business is affected by it.

As a solution to this problem, companies will have to invest their resources into shortening the supply chain and making sure that the merchandise is transported from one end to the other in the shortest period of time.

Managing the workforce during high demand

We have witnessed how high demand for a certain product can create holes in the market if there is no possibility of restocking. For a short period of time, it was virtually impossible in some countries to get your hands on a bag of flour or toilet paper. When panic spreads, people often act without thinking.

The logistics industry in a post-COVID-19 world will have to invest in workforce management training during high demand season.

Many smaller companies will disappear

The COVID-19 situation caused many smaller logistics companies to bankrupt. Since only the larger companies that have higher inventory levels and better overall performance survived, they will invest in purchasing bankrupt businesses in order to expand.

This will lead to a change in the market, and competition will be lower as well. Since there will be a smaller number of logistics companies on the market, there is a possibility for a monopoly to develop. When only a few people share a greater concentration of power, they set the rules to favor them. This will result in surviving companies developing a competitive advantage in the global market.

There will be less money for the development department

One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was the financial loss that many companies suffered. People got fired, and paychecks were substantially reduced in order to keep the business running.

I am not sure if this will affect future salaries, but I can safely say that companies will try to keep more money in the system. The department of development, research, and innovation might not get the same amount of funding as in the past.

This step will help logistics companies to have a solid amount of cash to keep the business running if a similar situation occurs in the future.

How will these changes affect the prices in the logistics industry in post-Covid-19 world?

As I stated above, some of the major changes that will happen in the logistics industry in a post-COVID-19 world are shortening of the supply chain, securing higher inventory levels, and investing in workforce management to deal with challenging situations. Furthermore, larger companies may hold a monopoly on the market.

All of these steps require a lot of money. For that to happen, the prices will have to go up. It is unclear about the percentage, but it will happen.

What can you do as an owner of a small logistics company?

Owners of small logistics companies will have to find a way to keep up with this situation or perish from the market. If you are among them, here is a little advice on how to prevent this from happening to your business.

Make partnerships

This might be a decisive move, but making a partnership with other companies in the same situation can increase your overall strength on the market.

Try moving your business elsewhere

Looking for a fresh market without large competition might be a smart move. Many companies may decide to move to a smaller area, or even to a different country, in order to increase their business. A company might make the transition less painful.

Big changes are coming!

As we can see, big changes are coming in the logistics industry in the post-COVID-19 world. As always, when an economic crisis occurs, only the stronger ones will swim out on the surface. Nevertheless, that does not mean that others will lose their plays on the market. Informing yourself in advance will help you prepare for the upcoming changes, and maybe even save your business! With that in mind, spend your time on research that will help you keep your business running. Stay safe and good luck!

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John Palmer is an economic expert with over two decades of experience. Working as a freelance blogger, John uses the opportunity to reach out to a wide group of people and educate them on how to manage their business in a challenging situation. However, he does branch out into other areas, as he also writes for moving companies such as Easy Move KW. Some of his other interests include business startups, management, and business continuity.

global trade

Global Trade Talk: Reconfiguring US-China Supply Chains for a Post-Coronavirus World

Global Trade Talk is part of an ongoing series highlighting international business, trade, investment, and site location issues and opportunities. This article focuses on the conversation between Jack Perkowski, JFP Holdings Ltd., and Keith Rabin, KWR International, Inc.

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Hello Jack, how are you? It has been a long time since we last talked. Before we begin, can you tell us about your background and current activities?

After graduating from Harvard Business School, I went to work on Wall Street, joining Paine Webber, where I served for 20 years and ended up running the Investment Banking Department. I then decided to do something different for a second career and became interested in Asia. That led to a trip to Hong Kong in 1990 and my moving there in late 1991. I quickly decided within Asia, China was the key driver, and in 1992 made my first trip to the Mainland.

At that time, China’s auto market was small and fragmented. They were manufacturing about 500 thousand vehicles a year, but it was clear the country wanted to develop a large auto industry. However, foreign companies were slow to enter because volumes were too small, so to encourage investment, the government allowed foreigners to have majority ownership in automotive components companies. That is now allowed in most industries in China, but at the time, auto components were the only industry where this was permitted.

I decided to do a roll-up buying majority ownership in a dozen leading auto component companies; putting them under one umbrella; introducing new management and quality systems. To test whether this could work, I visited 100 factories in 40 cities, and concluded it was a viable strategy. I then went back to Wall Street and raised $150 million over the Christmas holidays in 1993 to fund the company. In February 1994, I founded ASIMCO Technologies, an automotive components company focused on China’s emerging auto market. A year later, we raised another $150 million. Over several years, we invested $300 million, which is a lot of money even today. In 1995, though, it was a very large sum.

ASIMCO evolved into a company with 12,000 employees, 17 factories and about a billion dollars in sales. In 2009, ASIMCO was sold to Bain Capital, and I started JFP Holdings, which helps foreign companies to determine whether there is a market in China for their product, service or technology. We also help Chinese companies to expand in overseas markets. We are very hands-on, undertaking research, and then helping our clients to effectively develop and implement their strategies and ongoing business operations.

Almost ten years ago we published an interview with you titled “Profiting from China’s Domestic Economy” concerning China’s rise over several decades to become the world’s second-largest economy. Can you talk about China’s emergence and the role it now plays in the world economy?

China’s growth has been very rapid and it became the world’s second-largest economy about the time we spoke in 2010. Its GDP was about $1.3 trillion in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) – and over the past 20 years, it has grown by more than tenfold to about $14 trillion. In contrast, the US remains the world’s largest economy, at about $22 trillion.

Japan, which had been in second place, is now third, at about $5 trillion – so there is quite a drop from second to third place. Therefore, if you are a company looking for growth, China is very important. It is hard to see how in coming decades a company can maintain or build a global leadership position if it does not have a meaningful presence there. This is reflected in the Fortune 500 list, which now has as many Chinese firms included as from the US.

Per capita income in China has also risen to around $10 thousand a year. That, however, is a bit misleading, because it is an average. It includes an emerging middle and upper class of more than 500 million people, which is about 1.5 times the entire population of the US. These people largely live in major cities and are rapidly increasing their consumption. McKinsey, for example, estimated [1] last year that China delivered more than half of global growth in luxury spending between 2012 and 2018 and is expected to deliver 65% of additional spending into 2025.

This is important. US companies and policymakers need to think of China – not only in terms of manufacturing and sourcing – but also as an important driver of global growth. Therefore, while we need to address the dangers of being over-reliant on China in our supply chain, we also must remain aware of China’s growing global market share, so we can benefit and participate in a fair, constructive and competitive manner.

It is true that China’s economy is increasingly driven by consumer demand. It has also become an important source of R&D and innovation – trends that have risen dramatically since we last talked. Can you talk about this phenomenon, where China stands, and what it means to the US and companies and investors?

Unlike many who located factories in China as a way to reduce the costs of US production, I did not set up ASIMCO as an export company. Our emphasis was on becoming an important part of the local auto market. At the same time, we worked with foreign companies such as Bosch, Caterpillar, and others that sourced components in China, but viewed that as an extra revenue source and a way to ensure our factories could produce to international standards. Lowering labor costs was certainly a factor, but not the central element of our strategy, as I knew costs would rise as China developed. Toyota, for example, is a company that takes a similar view and doesn’t really embrace cost alone as a strategy. It has always wanted its suppliers to make components locally where possible so they can be close to where they are being used. That has been our approach as well.

Bottom line – to benefit from growth in China you need to be there. That is the only way to truly understand and participate. When we began, potential Chinese customers told us they would not take us seriously unless we had a factory there. That is important. The Chinese understand networks and supporting firms follow production. This leads to investment, infrastructure, and development of auxiliary industries and innovation within the supply chain. Academic institutions also respond and take steps to train engineers and others with the critical skills needed. This leads to advanced research and an ability to apply technologies and launch success stories. These make investors comfortable and provide additional benefits – which have value not only in China – but in other markets around the world.

With respect to innovation, few Americans realize how rapidly China is developing in areas including digital technologies, consumer payments, e-commerce, and services. In some areas, it is becoming more advanced than the US and we can learn from them. It is important to keep this in perspective and to balance the need to address trade issues and strengthen and safeguard our supply chain with the need to remain present and involved in this increasingly important market. This is the way we can sustain and advance growth and our global competitiveness.

At the same time, there is a legitimate concern in the US about Chinese technology. I spoke to a group of tech executives and investors in Jackson Hole last year. All they wanted to talk about was China’s development of 5G. While there are security implications if Chinese 5G equipment is installed in the US, you can’t blame China for taking steps to move up the value chain. The US also needs to upgrade our capacity and competitiveness – and our ability to develop the products, services, and supply chains that are needed moving forward.

China’s growth has heightened its political ambitions and in recent years we have seen growing tension in the South China Sea, the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative, control over rare earth metals, rising tariffs and trade disputes, blockage of Huawei and a generally more competitive posture than in the past. This has strained bilateral relations with the US and led to anxiety in Asia and other countries. What does this portend for China and US-China relations moving forward? Considering these developments and backlash over China with coronavirus what changes are we likely to see from China in respect to its trade and bilateral relations with other nations and multilateral institutions?

China joined the WTO in 2001 and there has since been a sharp uptick in every economic measure. Its economy has grown about ten times and the country has clearly benefitted from globalization. Meanwhile, the US and the rest of the world looked the other way as many Chinese policies and business practices during this period have been in violation of international trade practices. We have been like two ships passing in the night. No one, regardless of who was in the White House, wanted to address contentious trade, IPR, technology transfer, and other key issues.

Every year there was a state dinner or two and leaders of each country would shake hands, but important issues were never discussed in a direct, constructive way. President Trump has done this for the first time and the dynamics have changed. Up until the coronavirus, however, most of the world considered the Trade War as “Trump’s Trade War,” but the virus has caused trillions of dollars of damages throughout the world, and now many more countries will be concerned about China’s behavior. This will place more pressure on both Chinese companies and the government – and the country will have to adjust. At the same time, China’s leadership is going back to its more authoritarian roots, and no one likes that —least of all the Chinese people.

While many of China’s relationships with other countries are likely to be more confrontational going forward, I remain optimistic. At the beginning of the year, a phase one US-China trade agreement was signed. When it came out, many said the US did not get what it needed, and others said it was like the “unequal” treaties China entered with western powers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I knew it could not be both and read through it.

Everyone has focused on the provision that says China will buy significant merchandise from the United States over the next two years, but the agreement also deals with IPR, currency manipulation, and other key issues. Most importantly, it includes an arbitration mechanism that provides for quarterly meetings between the US Trade Representative and China’s Deputy Prime Minister where issues of non-compliance are discussed and resolved. To me, this seems like a better approach than trying to take Chinese companies to court.

The real question is will the phase one deal be implemented? In my view, the economic devastation that has resulted from the coronavirus ensures that it will. The US and the Trump Administration want the purchases to go through and China wants tariffs to be lifted. So both sides are under pressure to comply. In a curious way, while our countries are at odds at the governmental level – there are real incentives to work through these important issues – which many in China also would like to see resolved. As a result, I believe the virus will help to build consensus and facilitate the implementation of the January 15th agreement.

The COVID-19 coronavirus is having a dramatic effect on global health as well as the global economy and China. What is the current situation in China? How has the virus affected its economy, and can we trust the data that is emerging? What lessons can we draw from the Chinese experience and what changes might result in respect to US-China and global economic relations and trade moving forward?

I don’t know the exact number of cases and deaths in China, and you can certainly fault their transparency and failure to alert the rest of the world. But, once China recognized the seriousness of the virus, the government imposed draconian measures within its borders that could not be applied here. For example, in the US you cannot rope off and restrict millions of people or undertake the kind of contact tracing and restrictions seen in China.

In this way, China was able to arrest the spread of the virus but nonetheless took a big hit in the first quarter. The second quarter will also not be great. China is, however, implementing stimulus measures – not the roads, bridges, and the infrastructure spending we saw after the 2008 financial crisis – but measures to increase the development of 5G and other technologies that were outlined as key industries in the country’s “Made in China 2025” plan.

As a result, China is likely to have a strong second half. The IMF predicts 1.3% annual growth in 2020. This is certainly down from the double-digit growth enjoyed over recent decades, but it is still positive. The bottom line is, while China is still practicing social distancing, imposing precautions, and incurring hardships, the country is largely back to work. We know that because we deal with businesses and factories all over China, including Hubei province where the virus originated. From what we see, the factories are close to full production. China was the first to take the hit, and it is now the first to recover. Beginning in the third quarter, we think growth will pick up and China is likely to see a V-shaped recovery.

For decades the US embraced China’s rise, and production moved there so companies could reduce costs, raise profitability, and access a new, large emerging market. That began to change with growing concerns over jobs, income inequality, and supply chain security. This sentiment accelerated as President Trump began to impose tariffs and even more now with the coronavirus. The result is more serious talk about bringing jobs and production back to the US. Is this possible and what would it mean for US companies, policymakers, and our economy?

It is definitely possible. A lot of production in the US moved to China in recent decades and the pendulum went way too far in that direction. Many jobs were lost; there was social dislocation, and the security of supply chains for a number of key products has been endangered. At the same time, while the US still possesses research and development advantages, foreign-based supply chains, industrial infrastructure, technical expertise, and networks place us at a disadvantage when it comes to implementation and development.

Much of the offshoring was motivated by the search for lower labor costs – but I think tax and regulatory issues in the US also played a role. So, while we need to address environmental concerns and keep to high standards, we must make the country more attractive if we are to bring companies back. This is particularly true in industries where there needs to be a US presence. That is something that has become even more apparent as trade and political disputes further aggravate this imbalance, and now with the coronavirus, logistics and transportation disruptions have caused inventories to run low.

We are also seeing and helping clients and companies to shift production out of China to Southeast Asia and other emerging markets. This is being done to optimize and diversify supply chains, maintain cost competitiveness, minimize tariff exposure, and to allow access to these growing markets. This is true not only for the US but also for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, European, and other firms. What considerations should companies consider as they reconfigure supply chains and their approach to international markets?

Every company needs to use this time to reexamine its supply chains to determine where they are vulnerable. If they don’t do that – they are simply not doing their job. Governments need to do that as well. If you don’t want the pharmaceutical and other critical industries and materials dependent on China or other nations, it is not enough to criticize foreign practices. You also have to provide real alternatives and incentives to bring production back here. This is true both from an inventory as well as an investor and national security standpoint.

Industries will not, however, come back to where they were in the 1970s and 1980s. The world has changed and we are now far more integrated than we were in the past, both in terms of supply and demand. While the need to address this issue has been clear for some time, US-China trade tensions and the coronavirus have accentuated the need to readjust. Until recently, companies were content to leave production in China as investments and this capacity was already in place – even though many factories were set up at an earlier time when labor costs in China were lower and conditions less developed.  Now, however, as it has become clear how dependent we are on foreign supply, there is more incentive to reevaluate. In many cases, customers, stakeholders, and investors will demand it.

Some of that production will come back to the US, but where cost remains a key determinant, much of it will go to other countries, such as those in Southeast Asia. A concern I have, however, is these countries are so much smaller than China there is a limit to how much production can be shifted there. There is also less opportunity to sell into the local market. Depending on the industry and location, infrastructure and services may also be lacking.

For example, in China, about 25 million vehicles are now manufactured annually, and there has been substantial investment into forging, casting, and other needed functions. These are expensive operations that are hard to replicate. At the same time, Southeast Asia is relatively close, and we are seeing interest from both foreign and Chinese companies to move at least part of their operations there. Because they offer an opportunity to diversify, countries like Vietnam are benefitting from the shift. Other Southeast Asian countries also provide benefits and need to be examined.

A major obstacle in moving jobs and production back to the US is the need to rebuild and upgrade infrastructure as well as our educational, immigration, and healthcare systems to provide the skills and environment needed to allow the transformation that must unfold. What steps need be taken by the US, state, and local governments if we are to rebuild our manufacturing capacity and to both repatriate production that moved offshore and new trade and investment back to the US?

We definitely have the ability to compete. We need to rebuild parts of our economy, but the cost and scope of a large national infrastructure program will be huge and complex, as is education, immigration, and healthcare reform. I believe, however, these goals will be achieved over time.

We also possess many advantages. For example, we are now an energy exporter and able to supply ourselves at low relative costs. Our universities and capital markets also provide strength.  The largest obstacle I see is the need to reduce regulation and institute favorable tax policies.  Addressing the devastating impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, which employ the vast majority of our population, is also now a major, if not our most important, priority. We need to get these people back to work ASAP.

Over the years, we have worked for many economic development agencies as well as private developers to facilitate their efforts to attract trade, investment, and business activity within a range of sectors. Drawing from your experience, what advice can you give to US companies and economic development agencies seeking to attract foreign trade and investment and business partners to enhance their businesses, local economies, and international competitiveness.

There are certain things economic development agencies can do tax-wise to provide incentives and create a welcoming business environment. At the same time, it is especially important to clearly and effectively position themselves to demonstrate competitive advantage and why their cities or states are attractive destinations, while also demonstrating their support for companies who relocate there.

When you travel around China, as we did when we arrived, local authorities roll out the red carpet. They make you feel wanted and have an interest in supporting your development. In contrast, I recently accompanied a Chinese manufacturer to a US Midwestern State as they contemplated setting up a facility there. One of their requests was to meet with local officials. The company we were working with was at first unsure who to meet with but eventually set up a meeting.

The officials were very nice, but it was clear this was unusual and they were not accustomed to meeting foreign companies. They were unsure of what they could contribute and did not seem to understand why they were there. In China, local governments are much more determined and willing to play an active role in wooing investment. In a sense, they try to be partners with businesses that base within their jurisdictions. That seems almost a foreign concept here.

As a result, US companies and economic development agencies should be more active and aggressive – to reduce barriers, provide incentives, and demonstrate an interest in attracting businesses that want to base in their city or state. They also need to demonstrate clear reasons as to the benefits of the location – so decisions are based more on value than on cost alone.

Thank you Jack for your time and attention. Look forward to following up soon.

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Keith Rabin serves as President at KWR International, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in international market entry, site location and trade, business, investment and economic development; as well as research and public relations/ public affairs services for a wide range of corporate and government clients.

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/China/How%20young%20Chinese%20consumers%20are%20reshaping%20global%20luxury/McKinsey-China-luxury-report-2019-How-young-Chinese-consumers-are-reshaping-global-luxury.ashx
breakbulk americas

Breakbulk Americas 2020 Will Take Place November 3-5, 2020

Breakbulk Americas has been rescheduled for November 3-5, 2020 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The new dates are due to the move of Breakbulk Europe from its time slot in late May to the end of September. 

“We needed to move these two events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented crisis that has affected everyone,” Nick Davison, Portfolio Director for Breakbulk and CWEIME events, Hyve Group said. “Breakbulk Americas was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place so we could deliver a full suite of Breakbulk events this year. “

“Our aim was to minimize disruption and make it as easy as possible for our customers to participate in both Breakbulk Europe and Breakbulk Americas under safe conditions.” 

Breakbulk Americas will now be held in Halls A and B at the north end of the GRB Convention Center. Revised hotel accommodations for the new dates will be released shortly. 

“Our team is grateful for the assistance from Visit Houston in helping us to find a solution,” Jamie Reesby, Event Director for Breakbulk Americas said. “It’s an inspiring example of our community collaborating in the throes of a crisis to keep this event, a mainstay of the project cargo and breakbulk industry, on track. I’m looking forward to seeing the industry come together as we enter the fourth decade of Breakbulk Americas.” 

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About Breakbulk Americas 

Breakbulk Americas has been the established hub for the project cargo and breakbulk industry for more than 30 years. Based in Houston, it hosts more than 5,000 professionals from across the industrial supply chain based primarily in Canada, U.S. and Latin America, including the America’s largest EPCs and oil & gas companies. For more information, visit americas.breakbulk.com 

Breakbulk Americas is one of four Breakbulk global events, along with Breakbulk Asia in Shanghai, 3-4 Aug. 2020, Breakbulk Europe in Bremen, 29 Sept.-1 Oct. 2020 and Breakbulk Middle East in Dubai, 9- 10 Feb. 2021. 

About Hyve Group plc 

Hyve Group plc is a next-generation FTSE 250 global events business whose purpose is to create unmissable events, where customers from all corners of the globe share extraordinary moments and shape industry innovation. Hyve Group plc was announced as the new brand name of ITE Group plc in September 2019, following its significant transformation under the Transformation and Growth (TAG) program. Our vision is to create the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events delivering an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers. 

Press contact: Leslie Meredith, Marketing & Media Director –Breakbulk Events & Media E: Leslie.Meredith@breakbulk.com 

T: +1 801 201 5971