The RTMA has developed a strategy to help its members compete in the marketplace. It is focused on providing benefits in the following areas:
• Manufacturing Innovation
• Strategic Growth
• Workforce Development
• Access to Markets
• Political Advocacy
We are partnering with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability to provide appropriate information for state of the art manufacturing processes and product innovation. At our monthly meetings, we have had presentations on topics such as additive manufacturing analysis, robotics, automation systems, and clean energy manufacturing.
Members should attend these meetings so they are fully aware of approaches to enhance their operations. Further, RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability also provides consultant services to implement innovation, often supported by grant monies.
In order to help members meet the challenges of the global marketplace, the RTMA provides a variety of programs to assist manufacturers enhance their knowledge, productivity and financial success. The RTMA’s Core Value Program is a diagnostic tool which will provide member companies information comparing them to their peers regarding key performance measures. It identities both strengths and weaknesses, and presents an opportunity to make strategic competitive improvements leading to financial growth. Members can take advantage of this program and improve profits.
In the Fall, we will be offering a program with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business, to deliver a program on strategic growth, which can assist our members improve performance, expand their reach and grow profits. We will begin to promote this program in late August.
Workforce Development has been the keystone in the arch of program services at the RTMA. The RTMA provides an employee placement service in order to assist its members in acquiring qualified skilled employees. Members can use this program and meet their employment objectives.
As a membership benefit, RTMA offers Tooling U Courses at no cost. Tooling U is the nation’s number one manufacturing specific online training service, providing real-world, practical, and technical education with more than 400 unique online classes targeted to engineers, machinists, press operators, assemblers, and industrial maintenance professionals.
Subsidized MasterCam training is provided to members through OptiPro, a certified reseller and training facility for MasterCam, the world’s most popular CAD/CAM software.
To encourage education and training in precision machining, the RTMA offers several scholarships. Member employees are eligible.
We are also providing assistance to help companies implement apprenticeship programs. The RTMA serves as an intermediary sponsor and coordinates among the employer, New York State Department of Labor, the apprentice, and the training provider. This program has been a tremendous success and members can meet their skilled labor needs by participating.
ACCESS TO MARKETS
The RTMA has created an internet marketing program. Its purpose is to promote its members to the marketplace in order to attract requests for quotes. In case you wondered where the RFQ’s are coming from, they are coming to RTMA members via a page in its website. The RTMA website highlights members’capabilities and provides a searchable database of RTMA members.
The RTMA is a member of the Manufacturers Alliance of New York State. The Alliance works to advocate on behalf of the state’s manufacturing community. It organizes a coalition of grass roots efforts, meetings with legislators and key policy makers.
The RTMA works with the Coalition for a Prosperous America to advocate for a national manufacturing strategy and balanced trade policy to promote american manufacturing. Our Executive Director is on its Board of Directors.
The RTMA has established its own private health insurance exchange. We have our own plans and have been able to save participating members millions of dollars. We also offer additional insurances such as disability, vision and dental. Members with 20 or more employees can benefit.
Working with USI Insurance, we provide a Workers Compensation Program which is highly competitive, offering upfront discounts and group dividends.
RTMA members are also able to take advantage of a Staples discount on thousands of items for the office and breakroom.
The RTMA also offers monthly meetings which allow members to network with local suppliers and manufacturers.
Monthly guest speakers present on topics of interest such as OSHA Regulations, leadership training, team building and strategic growth. The RTMA has several special events. They include a June Golf Outing at Ridgemont Country Club, a Fall Clambake and Golf Outing at Locust Hill and a Holiday Social.
Take advantage of these benefits and opportunities that the RTMA presents to its members. There’s something here for everyone and if you have any questions about engaging in these benefits, contact our Executive Director, Kevin Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-292-3761.
RTMA KeyNote Address:
fIND OUT WHAT'S GOING ON WITH TARIFFS AND TRADE
The RTMA is a member of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA). CPA has as its mission, the implementation of balanced trade policies for domestic manufacturers. I am a member of the Board of Directors and have been engaged over the years in lobbying our congressional representatives to enact balanced trade policies. While we have had a voice, it is only this year that we have been truly heard and seen appropriate strategies and tactics employed by the Trump Administration to address our trade deficit.
I have had a number of conversations with members regarding the price of steel and aluminum, with the inception of the Trump Tariffs. I have called upon Michael Stumo, Executive Director of the CPA, to speak to our membership on May 17th at the Burgundy Basin Inn. He will be providing an update on the Trump Administration’s Strategy in its campaign for balanced trade.
Stumo works closely with Trump Administration Officials, as well as Democratic and Republican Members of Congress. He educates political, media and business leaders on issues including trade imbalances, trade enforcement, manufacturing policy and related issues. He knows what he is talking about.
I encourage you to attend the May 17th Meeting from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Burgundy Basin Inn and find out how Washington is affecting your business.
IMPROVING UPON TRUMP'S HIGH-RISK, LOW-YIELD CHINA TRADE
By RYAN HASS MAY 3, 2018
The foundations of the United States-China relationship are as brittle as they have been in decades. A confluence of factors from both sides of the Pacific have pushed the relationship to its present precarious point. China’s mercantilist economic policies bear a significant brunt of the blame, along with China’s growing military assertiveness, internal suppression of dissent, non-responsiveness to legitimate U.S. concerns on trade, efforts to influence American political discourse, and injection of ideological tension into bilateral relations. Rather than pursuing a serious strategy to tackle specific problems, though, the Trump administration has embraced an undisciplined instinct for confrontation. Such an approach will not generate greater Chinese responsiveness to U.S. concerns, but it could do harm to American businesses and workers.
In Washington, a lack of emphasis on policy coordination has enabled various parts of the U.S. government to interpret Trump’s rhetoric on China as permission to pursue their preferred initiatives. The result has been a cascade of near-simultaneous actions—on Taiwan, Tibet, trade, technology, law enforcement, and maritime issues—which have overloaded the circuits in Beijing. Such an absence of prioritization in the relationship has removed any pretense of American seriousness in seeking to resolve specific problems, and instead has reinforced suspicions in Beijing that America’s efforts are animated by anxiety about its decline and China’s rise.
On trade issues, in particular, the Trump administration has not conveyed a consistent, coherent narrative that defines specific concerns, identifies clear objectives, and articulates a strategy for achieving those objectives. Instead, President Trump has fixated on the trade deficit, while his Treasury secretary has talked about negotiating a deal with China, and his trade representative has harped on the need to change China’s economic model. At the same time, President Trump regularly talks in glowing terms about Xi Jinping as if he were disconnected from the Chinese policies the administration opposes, thus deflating the pressure American trade officials are trying to exert.
Meanwhile, by taking new steps on Taiwan at the same time as threatening tariffs, the Trump administration has diluted the focus on trade and diverted Beijing’s concentration toward pushing back on Taiwan. Trade and Taiwan compete for top billing in Beijing these days, to the consternation of American trade hawks who are seeking to focus China on its need to dismantle its industrial policies.
The Chinese have responded with a combination of bewilderment and steadfastness. In addition to concluding that Trump has little interest in the substance of governing or little control over the levers of power, many in Beijing also believe Trump lacks conviction to sustain a strong push to alter China’s economic model. The mainstream Chinese view is that Trump is a dealmaker in search of a better bargain than his predecessors could secure, or at least one that could be portrayed as better. But in the event the Trump administration organizes itself to challenge China’s economic model, Beijing is laying the groundwork to defend its economic system.
Domestically, President Xi has begun girding the public for a fight. He has called for China to stand firm, become more self-reliant, and reduce dependence on the United States. Chinese state-controlled media have signaled that the state-led sector will maintain a central role in the Chinese economy, the Made in China 2025 initiative will stay intact, and the state-backed Belt and Road Initiative will move forward. Xi also has used U.S.-China trade tensions as a rallying call for China to indigenize development of chips, semiconductors, and other inputs for the high-technology industries of the twenty-first century.
So, why does it matter if the United States and China clash over trade issues, and what is a better path forward?
A likely consequence of these dueling approaches will be a test of political pain tolerance between Trump and Xi. Xi will enter the challenge with the tools to: impose geographically targeted tariffs; squeeze American firms operating in China using regulatory pressure points; push down markets and shrink Americans’ IRA accounts; paint the United States as the unilateralist instigator and China as the “principled protector” of the global trading system; and dilute American pressure on North Korea to denuclearize.
With full control of his government and of the Chinese media narrative and no referendum on his performance on the horizon, Xi believes he has an advantage over Trump, who faces midterm elections in November and a reelection campaign in 2020. Even though China would lose more in an economic battle of attrition, Xi believes China’s political system enables him to absorb more pain than Trump.
From a domestic political perspective, Xi also benefits by standing firm and enjoying the rallying effect of unified opposition to U.S. attempts “to keep China down.” He puts himself in jeopardy if he is seen as capitulating to pressure from Trump or overseeing the collapse of the Chinese economy.
At the same time, Trump also has major cards to play with China. China’s comparatively low level of U.S. imports gives the United States an advantage in tariff escalation because Beijing will run out of targets before Washington. Washington also has ample room to tighten inbound and outbound investment screening, and the ability to further restrict the export of key inputs for China’s economic modernization, thereby slowing China’s climb up the value chain. Washington also could restrict visas for Chinese students, including in STEM fields, to thwart the transfer of know-how, although in practice, Chinese students would simply shift their attendance to British, Canadian, Australian, and other universities and laboratories.
If both sides commit to a race to the bottom, there would be no winners, just losers. Such a downward spiral could lead to economic disengagement, and over time, decoupling of the world’s two largest economies and trading powers. An economic divorce would be financially costly for both sides. It would produce in China a generation of ill-will toward America paired with an overdose of nationalism. An end to U.S.-China economic interdependence also would deprive leaders in Washington and Beijing of a coolant for controlling escalation when incidents arise.
Given these factors, the United States confronts a dilemma on trade. The status quo—a Chinese state-led economic model that favors national champions, disadvantages U.S. competitors, and distorts global industries—is no longer acceptable, given the central position that China now occupies in the global economy. A narrow deal for China to buy American goods to temporarily shrink the trade deficit would be tantamount to kicking the can down the road. And Washington’s current approach of using high decibel unilateral threats to extract Chinese concessions holds little hope of meaningful progress.
Some American market participants are hopeful that risk will be contained because Trump routinely threatens extreme positions and then falls back to conventional policy terrain, and also because personal chemistry between Trump and Xi will put a floor under the relationship. While it would be a mistake to ignore these factors, it might also be naïve to rely upon them: particularly since Trump signed Taiwan legislation during China’s National People’s Congress—which many in Beijing interpreted as a “slap in the face” for Xi —the likelihood that Xi would do anything to make life easier for Trump has diminished considerably.
If Washington is serious about altering China’s economic and industrial policies, it must focus the relationship on these issues and then redefine the costs/benefits for Beijing. On specific concerns, Washington could use the threat of targeted sanctions to press the Chinese to enter into time-bound negotiations to address solvable problems. More broadly, the United States could muster a strong chorus of countries and companies that each underscore to Beijing a uniform set of specific priority requests about areas where it needs to adjust its practices. In other words, Trump could shift the problem from a U.S. vs. China contest of wills toward a world vs. China effort to create a level playing field for all to compete fairly in the 21st century global economy.
Many countries, not just the United States, are disadvantaged by China’s unfair trade practices. Rather than confront the challenge alone, the United States should work to address the problem as a team sport. Doing so would be more effective and less costly than hoping U.S.-China tit-for-tat tariffs do not do significant harm to American workers but do lead to a change in China’s economic policies.
View Original Article Here: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/05/03/improving-upon-trumps-high-risk-low-yield-china-trade-policy/
chINA SAYS 'bIG dIFFERENCES' WITH US REMAIN AFTER TALKS
By GILLIAN WONG, PAUL WISEMAN and DAKE KANG
BEIJING (AP) — A list of hard-line demands that the Trump administration handed China this week could make it even more difficult to resolve a trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.
That's the view of trade analysts who say the U.S. insistence that Beijing shrink America's gaping trade deficit with China by $200 billion by the end of 2020, among other demands, are more likely to raise tensions than to calm them.
A U.S. official confirmed the authenticity of a document outlining U.S. priorities that was presented to China ahead of two days of trade talks that ended Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the talks.
In Washington on Friday, President Donald Trump said, "We have to bring fairness in trade between the U.S. and China, and we will do that." Trump had campaigned for the presidency on a promise to reduce America's trade deficit with China, which amounted last year to $337 billion in goods and services.
"We will be meeting tomorrow to determine the results, but it is hard for China in that they have become very spoiled with U.S. trade wins!" Trump tweeted.
The intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China has rattled financial markets for weeks. In March, the Trump administration slapped tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. China counterpunched with tariffs on a range of U.S. products, including bourbon and blue jeans.
An even higher-stakes fight looms over American allegations that China steals technology and forces U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market. The United States is considering imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing has countered with proposed tariffs on $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft.
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Seeking to avert a trade war, the United States this week sent a high-level delegation to Beijing, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The delegation included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser and hard-line critic of Chinese policies.
After the talks ended, China's Commerce Ministry said the two sides had agreed to establish a mechanism to try to resolve their dispute, though differences remained, Chinese state media reported. The report did not give specifics, suggesting that little progress had been achieved.
The U.S. document is described, in an introductory disclaimer, as being provided to the Chinese ahead of the visit to Beijing by the U.S. officials. It included demands that China immediately stop providing subsidies to industries listed in a key industrial plan. China must end some of its policies related to technology transfers, a key source of tension underlying the dispute, the list also says.
The U.S. wants China not to retaliate against U.S. measures currently being pursued against it. For instance, the U.S. says China should agree not to target U.S. farmers or agricultural products and "not oppose, challenge or otherwise retaliate" when the U.S. moves to restrict Chinese investment in the U.S. in sensitive sectors.
American analysts were struck by the aggressiveness of the Trump team's demands. Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University, said the hard-nosed approach "makes it harder to envision a path toward a negotiated settlement."
Prasad said the Chinese are open to negotiations on opening their market wider and doing a better job of protecting intellectual property. "Beijing is clearly in no mood, however, to meet the U.S. team's expectation of capitulation in the face of threats of tariffs and other trade sanctions," he said.
Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade negotiator who specialized in Asia, said it was encouraging to see the two countries talking and trading proposals. But she said the "kitchen sink" U.S. demands look unrealistic.
"If the U.S. is serious and wants all of this, it's hard to see a constructive path forward," said Cutler, now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Analysts said the Chinese were likely to view the confrontational posture struck by the U.S. as unreasonable and akin to bullying, potentially making it difficult to tone down friction over such issues.
Yu Miaojie, a professor at Peking University's National School of Development, described some of the demands as "like lions opening their mouths."
"When it comes to negotiations, both sides can provide a list of requests and we will seek common ground while reserving our differences," Yu said. "If one side provides a list with unreasonable requests, the Chinese government is unable to accept it."
"China won't be frightened by this kind of threat," wrote Hu Xijin, the chief editor of the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid affiliated with the Communist Party mouthpiece, in a post on the Sina Weibo website. Hu said he believed China would engage in talks seriously but also be fully prepared for them to fail.
Still, the list was welcomed by a U.S. business group which has lobbied the Trump administration for greater clarity on what it wanted China to do. Some groups had complained the administration was sending mixed messages.
"We've been saying that the Trump administration needs to define success and what specific outcomes it is seeking," said Jake Parker, vice president for China of the U.S.-China Business Council. The list submitted to China helps "lead to a solution and avoid tariffs and other sanctions," he said.
The two sides "reached consensus in some areas," the official Xinhua News Agency said.
"Both sides realized that there are still relatively big differences over some issues and that they need to continue to work hard to make more improvements," the report said.
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. delegation. A motorcade was seen leaving the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Friday afternoon and the group departed China later in the day.
The list of U.S. demands was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
The dispute will be tough to resolve because the fundamental issue is that the U.S. wants to stop China from moving up the so-called value chain as it transforms into an advanced economy, said Louis Kuijs, head Asia economist at Oxford Economics. But "there's no way that China's going to change its strategy on that."
Kuijs said the ball is now in the U.S. court on deciding whether the talks were fruitful and merit more discussion or that they're stalled and Washington needs to take more serious measures targeting China.
This is "much more than just a trade dispute," Kuijs said. "This is very much about economic strategy and the U.S. coming to grips with a big country running its economy in a way that the U.S. is uncomfortable with, and becoming successful, and starting to threaten U.S. dominance."
FEARS THAT CHINA HAS HURT INNOVATION IN THE WEST ARE OVERBLOWN
THE ECONOMIST MAY 3, 2018
POPULAR concern about free trade with China has focused on the loss of manufacturing jobs in America and Europe. Policymakers have an additional worry: that China’s rise is hurting innovation in the West. This fear is among the small set of issues that unites American Democrats and Republicans. In 2016 Barack Obama’s commerce secretary said that China’s state-driven economy would weaken the world’s innovation ecosystem. Donald Trump’s advisers allege that China makes it harder for foreign firms to invest in innovation by squeezing their returns. Mr Trump’s trade team was expected to raise this complaint, among others, with Chinese officials during talks in Beijing on May 3rd and 4th, as The Economist went to press. There is one problem. Data suggest that competition with China has coincided with more innovation in America, not less.
The relationship between competition and innovation is complex, even before considering trade with China. Economists agree that the right competitive landscape fosters innovation. But they disagree about what exactly that landscape looks like. More competition might prod companies to try harder to develop new products in the hope of gaining market share. Alternatively, if competition is cut-throat, profits might evaporate to the point that companies have little incentive to take risks.
The fear is that China generates the wrong kind of competition and stunts the good kind. Businesspeople elsewhere worry that when the Chinese government decides to fund this or that industry, investment soars and margins collapse. Overcapacity in steel was caused in part by Chinese investment in steel processing; semiconductor firms think their industry might be next. At the same time, argues Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, foreign companies that beat their Chinese competitors are not adequately rewarded because China presses them to transfer their intellectual property.
The two main academic papers on this question looked at the years around China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001. Far from settling the matter, they were contradictory. Economists studying European companies found that competition from Chinese imports both caused firms to improve their technology and led to a shift in jobs to the most advanced firms. They concluded that 15% of the upgrading of technology in Europe between 2000 and 2007 could be attributed to the increase in imports from China. But economists examining the impact on America argued that, on the contrary, Chinese competition had led companies to spend less on research as profits fell. They calculated that imports from China explained 40% of a slowdown in American patenting between 1999 and 2007, compared with the preceding decade.
The IMF has now weighed in with more recent figures. Its conclusion is rather more cheerful, at least for those who think a trade war with China is a rotten idea. In a report published in April the fund showed that, following an extended period of decline, high-quality patents granted to American companies had risen sharply between 2010 and 2014. It also pointed to a big increase in American spending on research and development during the same years—even as America’s trade deficit with China rocketed (see chart). The growth in patents was more sluggish in Europe and Japan. But both patents and research spending soared in South Korea, the country most directly exposed to manufacturing competition from China.
A separate IMF working paper late last year unpicked some of what is happening in America. Competition from Chinese imports has caused research spending to be reallocated within certain industries, away from also-rans and towards the most productive and profitable firms. At the same time, many researchers left manufacturing industries and moved into service sectors such as data-processing and finance. Both results are consistent with an American economy that is playing to its strengths. The IMF’s analysts concluded that Chinese imports were not a threat to innovation in America, after all, and that policymakers could take a deep breath. No loud inhaling sounds have yet been reported from the White House.
METAL CUTTING TOOLS MARKET HIGHLIGHTING KEY PLAYERS, TACTICAL DECISION-MAKING, SALES VALUE & VOLUME WITH GROSS MARGIN
May 4, 2018 - by amit.p
The Global Metal Cutting Tools Market report contains Market Revenue, Investment Opportunity, Market Features, Market Demand by Segment & Metal Cutting Tools market Growth aspects. A wide variety of applications, Utilization ratio, Supply and demand analysis are also consist in the report. It shows manufacturing capacity, Metal Cutting Tools Price during the Forecast period from 2018 to 2023.
The global Metal Cutting Tools market is expected to reach USD XX million by 2023 at a CAGR of YY % during the forecasted period.
Metal Cutting Tools Market by Manufacturers, Countries, Type and Application, forecast to 2023 to its research database. This research study is segmented on the bases of applications, technology, geography and types.
Metal Cutting Tools Market by Companies: Sandvik, Kennametal, Iscar, Kyocera, Guhring, Sumitomo Electric, OSG, Mitsubishi, MAPAL, BIG Kaiser, LMT, Aloris, Nachi-Fujikoshi, YG-1, CERATIZIT, Union, Hitachi Metals, Korloy, Tivoly, Addison, ZCCCT, Tiangong, Shanghai Tool, Feidadrills, Hanjiang, Xiamen Golden Erge, Chengdu Chengliang, AHNO, Certrix-EG, Kilowood, EST Tools, Harbin No.1 Tool, Sandhog,, And Many More…
In the context of machining, a cutting tool is any tool that is used to remove material from the workpiece by means of shear deformation. Cutting may be accomplished by single-point or multipoint tools. Single-point tools are used in turning, shaping, plaining and similar operations, and remove material by means of one cutting edge. Milling and drilling tools are often multipoint tools. Grinding tools are also multipoint tools. Each grain of abrasive functions as a microscopic single-point cutting edge (although of high negative rake angle), and shears a tiny chip.
Market Segmentation by Type: Cemented Carbide, High Speed Steel (HSS), Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN), Diamond, Cermets, Ceramics,
Market Segmentation by Application: Automotive Industry, Aerospace Industry, Energy Industry, Medical Industry, Rail Industry, Mold Machine Tool Industry,
Market Segment by Regions includes:
• North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)
• Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)
• Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)
• South America
• Middle East and Africa.
For further information of Metal Cutting Tools Market Report, please visit: https://www.absolutereports.com/11521178
hOW cAN WE MAKE MANUFACTURING SECTOR "COOL"?
BY PAUL M. BANKS MAY 4, 2018
Serious questions surround the manufacturing sector of the American economy right now, and the need to confront these issues is an objective that cuts across the entire political spectrum. While America may be united in the goal of trying to resolve the issues plaguing manufacturing, the different political factions of this nation couldn't disagree more about what should be done.
There are no easy answers of course, and every potential solution is complicated, but the inaugural Financial Times Future of Manufacturing Summit USA, held yesterday right here in Chicago, articulated what sort of direction big business should take.
It was held at the Hilton Towers on South Michigan Ave, and it featured an impressive list of guest speakers and high powered corporate types. The summit's theme "thriving in complexity" says it all, as it was the kind of session that required the attendee to have a MBA and or be fluent in shop talk.
Not to sound a tad Marxist, but this country does need to re-prioritize "the means of production." What's currently hindering that are two major unstoppable forces:
a.) globalization of the economy through "free trade" deals that only slightly uplifted portions of the third world, at the expense of eradicating our middle class.
b.) automation and the rapid pace of progress, in which Moore's Law and the robots it creates are replacing the jobs once held down by human beings. In the spirit of today's holiday, May the 4th, #MayTheFourthBeWithYou "these are not the droids you're looking for."
Science fiction was correct, the robots will rise up and overwhelm us, it's just that they're not going to physically exterminate us; instead they'll send us to the unemployment line.
The current political climate makes these complex issues even harder to deal with, as much of the populace reacted to these swift changes in about as poor a manner as possible.
Political leaders have been able to use propaganda and lies to make real life, genuine American human beings sound like the 1/8 dimensional white trash red neck background characters on South Park who shout "DEY TOOK YER JOBS!"
The "dey" can refer to undocumented immigrants, migrant workers, or minorities in general.
The #BuildThatWall crowd themselves don't know who or what they're actually trying to stop with the Mexico border wall idea, a concept that seriously sounds like it originated with a drunken carnival barker who cross-bred with a two bit huckster.
The wall has zero pragmatism, it's just a security blanket for many of the manufacturing workers who have seen their industry, and thus their way of life dissipate. What they actually fear more than anything is change, and that fear manifests itself in xenophobic, racist, white supremacy, nativist, nationalistic, ethnocentric scapegoating.
However, there's a reason we have some overlap between the America Firsters, MAGAheads and Bernie Bros. The rust belt, i.e. the manufacturing workers of America have truly been left behind, by all the elites in government, business, the media- you name it.
The manufacturing sector feels like the red-headed step child of the business world because it's been treated as such.
Sree Ramaswamy, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute pondered this during a FT Future of Manufacturing panel discussion entitled: "Jobs and Management 4.0 - Upskilling Manufacturing Workforce and Leadership:
"How can a sector that's responsible for 70% of R&D (research and development), not to be considered cool enough to attract the best people?"
He's right, a lack of a coolness factor is impeding manufacturing right now and corporate culture has a lot to do with it. It's not just manufacturing, but all sectors of big business in general. Our descendants will wonder how corporatespeak technobabble replaced English as our official language back in the 2010.
One speaker, in just a single sentence, said "we're in a paradigm shift," "robust," and "scalable."
It was five seconds of awful.
There was a lot of "in the space," instead of just saying "industry" or "field." As one speaker said "platform is a buzz word now, I don’t know what platform is supposed to mean, but everyone has one now."
Within 30 minutes I heard "best of breed," "cloud based model," "strategic agility," "core competencies,"
"machine learning," (about 20 times) "core mission," "value-add," "brand trajectory," "vis-a-vis," and "supply chain" (about 100 times).
It was basically Weird Al Yankovic's brilliant music video "Mission Statement," which was intended to be a parody. Manufacturing people don't want to be talked to like this; they're a practical, well-grounded sort.
Hell, no one wants to be talked to in corporatespeak. This kind of speech is so widespread and utterly unlikable that even displaced manufacturing workers felt compelled to vote in November of 2016 for someone who "tells it like it is."
Trump obviously doesn't, as his lying is ludicrously unprecedented, but given our era of political correctness and corporate buzz words, you can see why so many were tricked into believing he's an alleged straight shooter.
CHAIN REACTION: LOCALIZING THE AUTO SUPPLY CHAIN MAY NOT WORK
BY KATE PATRICK
Logistics needs more jobs
Weekly jobless claims for the week of April 28 rose slightly to 211,000 (an increase of 2,000 week to week) but the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate declined 0.1%. The job market is on a strong trajectory, but the logistics industry needs a million more employees, according to a report from The Loadstar.
The Reaction: The labor market is tight, and the entire supply chain industry needs positions filled now. Tailoring jobs and adding popular perks to attract millennials may have positive impact.3D printing has definitely found a home in the automotive industry, as the technology has been used to fabricate spare parts, custom tools, personalized exteriors, lightweight prototypes, and race car components. The complexity possible through 3D printing is especially helpful for making specific car parts, and incorporating the technology is a good way to provide excellent customer service for those who need parts not easily found in traditional supply chains, like components for older trucks. In addition, one of the other great benefits of 3D printed parts is that they are typically more lightweight, and components can also be made in one piece, rather than several.
Tariff effects on manufacturing supply chains
Even though President Trump postponed implementation of the hotly contested steel and aluminum tariffs, manufacturers were rushing to lock down steel and aluminum at desirable prices before the deadline, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Besides doubled delivery times, manufacturers have seen higher prices and are increasingly anxious about how tariffs affect supply chains and bottom lines.
The Reaction: The U.S. steel industry's reactionary approach to Trump's tariffs further shows how the rhetoric — not the tariffs — are doing more harm than good. For markets, this is a classic case of uncertainty causing more problems than public policies or business decisions.
Since we don't know if the tariffs will go into effect, expect more uncertainty and more industry scrambling to prepare for a worst-case scenario.
Mexican auto industry rejects U.S. NAFTA rules for auto supply chains
While the NAFTA 2.0 negotiations are far from finished, we do know the U.S. is pushing to localize the U.S. auto supply chain, based on its latest proposal to require 75% of certain vehicle parts to originate in North America. The proposal also asks that 70% of vehicles' steel and aluminum be North American.
The Mexican auto industry rejected the proposal, calling it too restrictive, The Wall Street Journal reported, and plans to present its proposal for vehicle component origin next week.
The Reaction: The U.S. wants to move more manufacturing closer to home — to revitalize American manufacturing, specifically the broken Midwest and Rust Belt manufacturing towns, as part of Trump's "America First" policy — but because the auto supply chain is global, the goal presents challenges.
Attempting to localize the auto supply chain may not get far in the NAFTA negotiations because the U.S. must negotiate with two other countries that have their own interests and priorities. If they're going to strike a deal, not all the "America First" policies may prevail.
Nikola sues Tesla for patent infringement
Nikola Motor Co. filed a $2 billion lawsuit this week claiming Tesla Motors' electric truck violates Nikola's patents, FreightWaves reported.
Nikola thinks Tesla caused "market confusion" by infringing on Nikola's patents for fuselage, a wrap windshield and side door, thus "diverting" sales toward Tesla instead of Nikola.
The Reaction: Nikola's suit seems like a manifestation of middle child syndrome. Nikola has about 5,000 fewer reservations for its hydrogen-electric truck than Tesla's fully electric semi, and in its latest attempt to discredit Tesla (there are many), Nikola cries foul because it's falling behind in the competition.
It appears Nikola is jealous of Tesla's seemingly incorruptible brand image. Or maybe Nikola is jealous of Tesla's more impressive technology, which is frequently lauded as the best in the auto industry despite its production problems.
Regardless, does it really make sense to sue? Tesla allegedly doesn't have any cash.
Can IoT stem the global food shortage?
According to IEEE, food production must increase 70% to meet the world's needs by 2050. That's why IEEE launched an Internet of Things (IoT) Farm to Table solution to improve farming conservation efforts and productivity. This IoT solution can allegedly:
Help farmers find the best locations to plant seeds
Save 40% of water through a smart irrigation system
Monitor livestock (including movements, readiness for milking and body temperature)
Help predict when harvesting equipment needs maintenance to avoid setbacks and delays
Improve the cold chain by monitoring temperature of produce from origin to destination
The Reaction: Technology often improves the efficiency and efficacy of operations, so using IoT to stem the impending global food shortage could be the solution global farmers need to ramp up production.
Although pilot projects have proved successful (according to IEEE), deploying the technology across the agricultural industry is an enormous project that will require much funding, time, infrastructure and likely regulation as well. To start making IoT-managed farms a reality, farmers and tech companies are going to have to get investors on board.
In case you missed it
Seventeen states are suing Trump's decision to loosen vehicle emissions rules, despite automakers' support of the change, Reuters reported. Norfolk Southern is using predictive analytics to maximize operational efficiency, with decent success, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In other news, Soft Robotics — a tech company that builds robots with rubber gripping hands to pick up objects, designed to operate in warehouses — raised $20 million in a funding round led by Hyperplane VC.
FedEx is now delivering packages from its first hydrogen-fueled truck in the greater New York City area, according to Bloomberg.
But K&J Trucking might have something "cooler": a solar panel-powered refrigerated truck, checking off sustainability and the cold chain with one semi. According to TruckingInfo, the solar panels would recharge reefer batteries so that they aren't drained from maintaining truck temperature, lighting and other technical necessities.
The Wall Street Journal reported that states which hike tolls and taxes may have a better shot at getting the coveted federal infrastructure funding, based on Department of Transportation rules.
Speaking of infrastructure, DOT officials are meeting with the Association of American Port Authorities at the Port of Virginia next week to discuss infrastructure projects.
In other news, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he wants a NAFTA deal by mid May.
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