The 2016 Panama Canal expansion added a third set of locks while doubling its shipping capacity. With the physical enlargement came a new transit booking system and a slot auction. Both addressed bottlenecks by shortening wait times at peak seasons. In its first fiscal year of operation, the number of ships rose 3.3% while total tonnage increased 22%. This singlehandedly stemmed from the new maximum size of Panama vessels that can transit. As expected, the expansion resulted in some diversion of traffic, higher demand for passage, and new investment in ports – primarily on the East Coast – to accommodate larger ships. The greatest potential impact for manufacturing companies will be on trucking capacity.
Global Economy, Competitiveness, Economic Environment
At a time where there is too often a commonly held belief that U.S. manufacturing is in decline and is a poor career choice, the Daniel Meckstroth Award for Excellence in Manufacturing Research aims to showcase the value and improve the competitiveness of American manufacturing through original economic research. MAPI is proud to co-present the winners, Kevin L. Kliesen and John A. Tatom, with the inaugural award for their original research titled,"Is American Manufacturing in Decline?”.
Recent turbulence in the stock market is a wake-up call to manufacturers, and to all businesses. The measurable rise in the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, now at the highest level in four years, has arguably been the primary catalyst for the equity market rout. This rise spurred to some extent by credible hints that long-dormant inflation might be on the cusp of increasing, has been a signal that financial conditions will eventually, and perhaps quickly, tighten to more normal levels.
In October, MAPI held its most attended webinar of the year: Transfer Pricing & Customs Valuation. In today’s cross-border business environment, transfer pricing and U.S. Customs valuation are integral, and companies must have a clear understanding of the unique requirements of each to the business.
Global Economy, Competitiveness, Government Policy
It’s a fitting time of year for miracles, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress today fits that description. Granted, the first major tax overhaul in more than three decades is not a panacea. It’s come under an increasing amount of criticism from many factions.
Global Economy, Competitiveness, Government Policy, Economic Environment, Labor
While there is no debating that China must engage in acceptable trade practices, the world must recognize significant shifts in the Chinese landscape. Far from just slowing, China is seeing changes to its growth composition and to its potential growth that might turn the economic policy focus more inward, although, without a doubt, China will remain a critical player on the global economic stage. A broad understanding of such shifts in the nation is needed for an optimal answer to the “China question.”
Global Economy, Competitiveness, Foreign Trade, Government Policy
For a few years now, I’ve been contributing to Judy Dempsey’s “Judy Asks” feature over at Carnegie Europe, where she poses questions on international topics to various experts. Here are links to some of the questions I’ve answered this year—click through to read my responses and those of other experts, including from Johns Hopkins, the Council on Foreign Relations, The Economist, and the Financial Times.
After multiple holdups, a new trade agreement has been reached between the EU and Canada. The Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), for which negotiations began in 2009, was signed on October 30 after the EU bridged differences among some constituencies.
The U.S., meanwhile, has not concluded a trade deal since 2012, despite having two in the works for years. What’s holding them up?