Industrial Insight

China trade cases…

September 25, 2012
Leave a Comment

President Obama: Wrong on Rhetoric, Wrong on Trade Policy

Ryan Olson

September 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Under the Obama Administration, 73 percent of U.S. cases have been filed against China, though that country accounts for only about 14 percent of total U.S. trade. The President should press for free trade throughout the world instead of focusing on narrow policies that appeal to domestic interest groups.

Posted in Uncategorized

more rules…

September 18, 2012
Leave a Comment

Regulatory Tsunami To Hit Business If Obama Wins Second Term


Posted 09/17/2012 06:50 PM ET

$515 Billion Drag Looms

Using official government sources, the National Federation of Independent Business calculates there are more than 4,000 federal rules in the pipeline, and that just the 13 biggest ones would, if imposed in an Obama second term, cost businesses a total of more than $515 billion over four years.

Posted in Uncategorized

coming home…

September 17, 2012
Leave a Comment

Monday 17 September 2012

The End of China’s Easy Growth

A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers entitled “A Homecoming for US Manufacturing” claims it is now cheaper for whole clusters of US industry to produce at home, close to their markets. Firms are “re-shoring” — to use the vogue term — to cut transport and inventory costs and take advantage of cheap shale gas. The weaker dollar has iced the cake.

PwC said the US has clawed back a cost advantage of 2pc in steel output against China, at least for the North American market. Its “heat map” gives the US the edge in chemicals, primary metals, electrical products, machinery, paper, transport equipment, and wood, in that order.

Google is building its Nexus Q Music and video player in the US. General Electric and Ford are switching to plants at home. So is Caterpillar, which is interesting since its chief Chinese rival Sany Heavy Industry is in trouble. It has just asked creditors to waive a $510m financial covenant.

Posted in Uncategorized

financial crisis with no improvement…

September 17, 2012
Leave a Comment

In 1935 Friedrich A. Hayek presented the following diagram of the productive stages of an economy’s production.

A voluntary decrease in consumption and commensurate increase in savings lowers the slope of the hypotenuse, thus the real rate of interest. The combination of lower interest rates and increased savings offers an environment conducive to increased investment in earlier stage production. The investment will increase productivity and pave the way for higher levels of future consumption.

What has occurred in our country for the past decade would be the exact opposite. Resources allocated to fighting a foreign war, purchasing goods from abroad and dumping savings into real estate are increases in current consumption. This increased allocation to later stage goods, causes the triangle to become taller and fatter. The slope of the hypotenuse increases, interest rates rise and there is less investment going into productive resources.

And, I might add, we borrowed the money to effect the above scenario.

Posted in Uncategorized

advanced manufacturing…

September 14, 2012
Leave a Comment

U.S. Manufacturing’s Brave New World

By Thomas A. Hemphill Friday, September 14, 2012

After losing 6 million manufacturing jobs between 2001 and 2009, the American manufacturing sector has reemerged as a beacon in an otherwise lackluster economic recovery. While many Americans believe that U.S. manufacturing is dying, unbeknownst to most of them, U.S. factories today produce about 75 percent of what they consume. The future growth, however, of American manufacturing—for both domestic and export consumption—will be predicated on what is touted as “advanced manufacturing.”

These advanced manufacturing opportunities are available now and will be in the future, if industry leaders and government policymakers are able to capitalize on them. For instance, while total manufacturing employment has declined in recent years, high-skilled manufacturing employment opportunities have increased by upwards of 40 percent since 1980. Yet, according to an October 2011 survey of American manufacturers conducted by Deloitte Consulting, respondents reported that 5 percent of their jobs—or 600,000 jobs—remained unfilled simply because they could not find workers with the right skills for the positions, and that this employee deficiency was having a negative impact on their ability to expand operations or improve company productivity.

Posted in Uncategorized

slipping down…

September 5, 2012
Leave a Comment

US Slips Down the Ranks of Global Competitiveness

Published: Wednesday, 5 Sep 2012 | 4:06 AM ET


Ansuya Harjani

Despite declining in the overall ranking, the forum highlighted that the U.S. remains one of the world’s top innovators – supported by an “excellent” university system – and continues to offer vast opportunities because of the sheer size of its domestic economy.

Switzerland and Singapore retained their positions as the most competitive economies, coming in 1st and 2nd, respectively.

The Global Competitiveness Index 2012–2013

Country 2012-2013 2011-2012
Switzerland 1 1
Singapore 2 2
Finland 3 4
Sweden 4 3
Netherlands 5 7
Germany 6 6
United States 7 5
United Kingdom 8 10
Hong Kong 9 11
Japan 10 9

Source: World Economic Forum

Posted in Uncategorized

About author

I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.