Tag Archive: NAFTA

The New NAFTA & What It Means

December 27th, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, the USMCA (new NAFTA) agreement was signed by the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  It still needs to be ratified by lawmakers but several immediate protections went into effect.  Since I am surrounded by manufacturing and supply chain organizations and professionals in terms of clients, colleagues, trade associations and more, I can say that there is largely positive commentary about this partnership in N.A. and the improvements to the old agreement.  Of course, there was a lot of negative commentary and debate about the particulars and the impact on trade (you’d have to live under a rock not to hear them!), but it is a noteworthy step forward from our current position!

What does this mean for your business?  Are you “ready” to leverage the opportunities and minimize any risks?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Although most clients and colleagues expected something to work out in terms of NAFTA, many were still in a bit of a waiting pattern.  No matter the final details, it shows that collaboration will take place. I think it is noteworthy that collaboration is an integral part of the business success equation. Many years ago, collaboration was seen as a fluffy topic but it has become key to success. Perhaps we should all think further about how well we communicate and whether we can collaborate with those who don’t see eye-to-eye with us.

From a technical point-of-view, there are bound to be many implications on our businesses,  whether we source materials or products from Mexico or Canada or not. And if you are in another country, there will be an entirely different set of impacts. Think about your extended supply chain, from your suppliers’ suppliers to your customers’ customers and everyone in-between.  Are there opportunities? Risks? Be proactive, and I bet you’ll find at least one opportunity. This is another example of the need for a resilient supply chain.

Check out our new video and article series as well as our soon-to-be offered Rapid Resilient Supply Chain Assessment service:

 



Go Global, the Export Opportunity

October 12th, 2018

95% of consumers are outside of the United States.  Thus, there is VAST opportunity in export – and it isn’t as hard as you think.  

Last week, I spoke at the Riverside County College of Foreign Trade’s Go Global event with Elizabeth Warren on export and global logistics.  There was a lot of excitement about the potential in export.  We talked about cultural differences and opportunities in China, Hong Kong, Africa and Europe, along with simplifying the complexities of global logistics, as the 80/20 boils down to starting with the best partners.  Have you considered exploring export?

 

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Exploring export is quite doable.  There are events such as Go Global.  You can participate with APICS Inland Empire and other trade associations who host tours of manufacturers who are successful exporters.  Ask your commercial banker to refer you to their international division. They are likely to have valuable resources.  Talk with your local manufacturing groups such as MCIE and Riverside County Manufacturers and Exporters.  Contact us and we’ll refer you to international trade resources such as export/trade research, government resources, an international attorney, international marketing and global logistics resources.

We know of multiple manufacturers who have “made their name” and grew their business by focusing on export.  Even if you only want to supplement a robust U.S. marketplace, since we are living in a global, interconnected world, why not at least explore the opportunities in your industry?  You’d be surprised at some of the success stories – exporting successfully to challenging countries, navigating challenging global trade and logistics issues, etc.

Although there is a BIG world out there, you could start close to your country of origin such as Canada and Mexico if you are U.S. based.  Whether NAFTA changes and evolves or not, it is still a great opportunity and one of the best advantages for U.S. companies according to John Tulac, a top notch international business attorney.

Interested?



Tweaks to NAFTA & CEO Input

April 13th, 2017

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump met with chief executives and promised pleasant surprises with NAFTA and talked about upgrading the federal government’s computer systems. According to the chief executives in attendance, innovative ideas emerged. I would love to be a fly on the wall in listening to this group of business leaders think through what could contribute to success.

supply chain

On the topic of NAFTA, there has been much speculation. Lately, the consensus is that there will be moderate changes proposed. How is your business related to NAFTA? Do you collaborate with customers and/or suppliers in Mexico or Canada? Are you prepared for likely tweaks?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

As is apparent, there are no clear facts on how NAFTA will change; however, we can make some educated guesses. Will there be additional costs to bringing products and materials across the borders? Most likely. It certainly doesn’t seem as though it will be huge but sticking our head in the sand to this potential outcome doesn’t seem smart.

Take a look at your supply chain. How are you likely to be affected? What risks should you account for? Is there a way to prepare with minimal spending that will set you up to leverage advantages from the likely moderate changes to occur? Why not prepare for success? Don’t wait for clarity. Consider what is likely, gather your team and think through how to set your company up for success with the most likely outcomes.