The US and China are currently locked in a growing trade war with no resolution in sight. Already the US has imposed steep tariffs on $250 Billion of Chinese goods, with China authorizing tariffs on $110 Billion of US goods in retaliation. While the industrial and consumer goods sectors have been the primary focus, a wider range of industries are feeling the effects, and many US and Chinese companies are looking to new approaches to avoid disruption in their global supply chains…(click to cont.)
In a breakthrough for President Trump, officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico finally reached an agreement to replace NAFTA ahead of the President’s self-imposed deadline for October 1st.
Following an intense negotiation between the US and Canadian delegations that began after the US and Mexico announced a preliminary bilateral agreement back in late August, the two sides ultimately were able to overcome their differences and salvage a deal.
The New Deal: US and Canada Reach Last-Minute Agreement
Canada was absent from these talks and President Trump has threatened to move forward with a bilateral trade agreement that excludes Canada should they be unable to agree to a deal by the end of the month
With the June 1st extension deadline looming, on Thursday, May 31st President Trump announced that he would be implementing the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU, Canada, and Mexico, as the three trade partners were unable to reach a satisfactory alternative agreement with the US. Brazil, Australia, and Argentina appear to have followed South Korea’s path and received permanent exemption status in exchange for quota-based trade agreements. Trump’s decision has heightened fears of an all-out trade war with three of the US’s biggest allies and trade partners and has sent domestic spot prices and futures for steel and aluminum even higher in an already overheated market. For domestic steel and aluminum buyers, these new developments again demand reevaluation of value chains and assessment of risk to protect margins and mitigate hits to profitability. ..(click to cont.)
In a world of high-tech tracking platforms and big data analytics, there are a myriad of metrics to choose from when trying to gauge the performance of your sales organization and identify areas for improvement. Sales executives may find that trying to track everything provides a lot of noise but can obscure the signal—that is, which indicators are actually driving sales performance? Indeed, it is crucial to pinpoint which metrics or KPIs matter most for each particular sales organization. The question, then, is how to decide what matters most for you?..(click to cont.)
After granting temporary exemptions to several US allies and trade partners back in March when the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum were first rolled out, President Trump recently announced further extensions for all parties on April 30th, the day before the exemptions were set to expire. For South Korea, Brazil, Argentina and Australia, the exemptions will be permanent, with South Korea securing a long-term exemption in exchange for export quotas and Brazil, Argentina and Australia in the final stages of finalizing similar alternative agreements. For Canada, Mexico and the EU, Trump extended the deadline for reaching an agreement to June 1st as discussions continue. Amid the news of exemption extensions, US domestic HRC futures are showing steady declines through the end of 2018, down nearly $100/ST in Q4, although current spot prices continue to climb, reaching $872/ST this week. Global aluminum prices have risen another 3% today on uncertainty surrounding 232 tariffs and US sanctions against Rusal and Midwest Premium prices remain high at $0.21/lb....(click to cont.)
On Friday March 23rd, President Trump’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum took effect. A day earlier, on March 22nd, the President announced five new temporary exemptions for Australia, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and the EU member countries, set to expire on May 1st pending further negotiations. Additionally, on March 18th, the Department of Commerce released details on the exclusion processes for US domestic steel and aluminum buyers. Despite slowing toward the end of March, domestic prices continue their upward climb, hitting $859/ST for HR on April 4th, while HR futures have begun to decline, spurred by the recent exemption announcements. On the international front, Europe has initiated a “safeguard" probe to examine the effect of US tariffs on the volume of cheap imports entering the EU market, while China on April 2nd implemented counter tariffs on $3 billion of US exports, including aluminum scrap and stainless steel pipe.....(click to cont.)
On Thursday, March 8th President Trump signed the 232 tariffs into law. As expected, they were 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. Trump also included temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico and a clause allowing US partners to discuss and negotiate other ways around the tariffs. The North America exemptions and flexibility built into the order will mitigate the effects of the tariffs slightly—US HR futures fell $13 to $875/ST in April, still ~$100/ST above current spot pricing which continues to rise—however, the uncertainty of the exemptions which depend on the outcome of NAFTA negotiations means little may change in the long run. Significant cost increases and profitability loss will hit raw material-consuming manufacturing industries in the USA as industries re-evaluate their value chains and footprint given increased production costs in the USA.....(click to cont.)
Trump’s announced tariffs on steel/aluminum have disrupted markets with domestic steel prices already rising – April futures show 20% increases over February spot. Actual implementation is yet to be signed, but significant cost increases and impact on profitability will hit raw material-consuming manufacturing industries in the USA with more widespread ripple effects to be felt across the globe.....(click to cont.)
As we bid farewell to 2017 and its growth challenges, Q1 presents an opportunity to review and correct flaws in the sales process and start the year off on a strong note. In reality, however, most businesses will not seize this opportunity – instead, they will wait for the mythical “auto-correct”: an organic refresh of the sales cycle. This approach, while certainly the easiest, has two fundamental flaws. Drawing on the insights of Fortune 500 executives and top-rung sales organizations, we examine these flaws and look at five reasons your sales organization might be in a slump – and, more importantly, how to get out of it.....(click to cont.)
As the pace of technology's integration into our daily lives continues to increase at an unprecedented rate, organizations are beginning to realize that not having a digital strategy is no longer an option. Companies that do not compete directly within the technology space no longer have the luxury of maintaining the status quo, as legacy business models are continually being disrupted by recent patterns in consumer behavior driven by technological innovations. Examining the success of Silicon Valley unicorns like Uber and Airbnb, we examine the key steps every organization must take to secure digital success.....(click to cont.)
While the $500B global container shipping industry remains the backbone of global trade, it continues to struggle from the effects of the financial crisis nearly a decade ago. The tribulations the industry has faced over the past decade are giving way to an improved outlook in 2018. Companies that have based their supply strategy on historically low freight rates to make outsourced production viable may have to rethink their footprint in the coming years as carriers find themselves.....(click to cont.)