Trade

The Real China: Read it and Weep

A friend sent us this piece by History Professor Victor Davis Hanson, and we think it’s good enough to pass along in its entirety. By: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON October 3, 2019 6:30 AM A man stands in front of riot police officers during a protest in the Sham Shui Po district of Hong Kong, China, October 1, 2019.(Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)But did she wake up just in time or too late? In these times of near civil… Read More


Durable Goods and the US Economy

Last newsletter we wrote about the general state of the economy, which noted overall positive factors, but weakness in durable goods.  Since durable goods manufacturing is the area of our greatest interest, we thought we would probe further. Durable goods orders and the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI seemed like two appropriate measures for something as complex and inscrutable as economic forecasts.  We seek something useful that’s understandable by normal people. Since we’re looking at durable… Read More


Overcoming the Salesman’s Advantage

Professional Purchasing had this intriguing article, and we have several observations.  The position of the author is this:  “It is commonly accepted that, all other things being equal, a purchasing agent/buyer is at a disadvantage in negotiation with a salesman”. The relative size and sophistication of buying and selling sides of a situation can be anywhere on the entire scale, so there are doubtless circumstances where the article’s premise is correct.  We believe this would… Read More


5 Tips for Supplier Negotiations

There was an article in our files (source lost to history) that had these 5 thoughts about supplier negotiations. It’s worth repeating. Research the Actual Costs: “There’s no better position to be in when negotiating a price than to know what it cost the guy on the other side…. “. Proficient Sourcing is a large group of custom manufacturers, and buyers may not have experience in pricing the cost of operating sophisticated equipment, such as… Read More


A Reshoring Update

“According to the Reshoring Initiative..reshoring … .job announcements soared in 2017.  For the first 3 quarters of 2017, announcements were up 250 percent from 2016 YTD, representing a gain of nearly 180,000 manufacturing jobs.”  This was the headline of a recent article; you can find the link below. By in large, the trend to offshore manufacturing occurred because of the great gap in wage costs between the US and especially China.  This despite the principle… Read More


What’s a Good Deal in International Trade?

We claim no expertise in international trade, but found an interesting view on the subject in the July, 2015 Modern Metals worth re-issuing.  The author made several points about recent trade deals, and concludes, “the [Obama] administration’s claims about he pure benefits of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism. With Trump on the trade warpath, and especially concerning trade deficits, we were interested to hear some conservative note that the… Read More


China’s Strategic Challenge

Doing business in any foreign country presents many challenges. These are magnified when language and culture very from what you are used to.   Exporting manufacturing to China has brought great short term benefits and long term concerns. So when we found a brief summary of China’s culture and history in explanation of their strategic challenge to the US, we thought you would find this of value. A link to the complete article is at the… Read More


More Trade Policy Details

Whatever happens with trade policy under this (and future) administrations will profoundly affect us all, both as consumers and manufacturers. For that reason we look for news on trade to pass on, and we welcome your comments in our blog. Last blog post we focused on trade issues confronting steel manufacturers. This time the subject is aluminum. It appears that managing trade rules for basic metals is especially difficult because of the many grades lfor… Read More


Trade Policy: Devilish Details!

The Trump administration has promised positive trade deals!  So just what might we expect?  During the run-up to this election, we all heard about bad trade deals and that improvements were coming.  Once the new administration took office, the US exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We wonder what’s next! The January, 2017, edition of Modern Metals had thought provoking information on the subject of trade.  As one would expect the focus of the articles and editorial was… Read More