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News / Industry News


UPDATE: The Presidential Administration’s Potential Impact to International Trade

What Comes After The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

The President formally withdrew the United States from the TPP on January 23.  Because the United States represents over 60% of the combined GDP of the original 12 countries, without U.S. participation the agreement cannot enter into force.

The TPP was the largest regional trade accord in history and would have set new terms for trade and business investment among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, representing 40 percent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. Six (6) countries have existing Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the United States (i.e., Singapore, Chile, Australia, Peru, Mexico, and Canada) and, five (5) have no FTA (i.e., Japan, Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Malaysia).

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ATA Truck Tonnage Index

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 6.2% in December

Source: American Trucking Associations

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 6.2% in December, following a revised 8.4% jump during November. (November’s index was revised up slightly from our press release on December 20, 2016.) In December, the index equaled 133.8 (2000=100), down from 142.7 in November. The all-time high was 144 in February.

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MIQ Supply Chain Alert

President Trump Withdraws The U.S. From TPP

This morning President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Although the TPP had been negotiated under President Obama, Congress had not ratified it. This trade deal would have included 11 Pacific Rim countries that according to the World Bank make up 40% of global GDP and 20% of global trade.

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Cass Freight Index

Cass Freight Index Report – December 2016

Cass Information Systems

As is often true of a change in trend, it is neither smooth nor linear. The October Cass Freight Shipments Index was up 2.7%, breaking a string of 20 months in negative territory, then November fell back into negative territory, albeit ever so slightly (down 0.5%). Now December—coming in up 3.5%—suggests that the October data was not a false positive but instead the beginning of a more positive trend. We have seen a wide range of results in the different modes, from continued volume growth in parcel and airfreight driven by e-commerce; to a sequential improvement in truck tonnage; to less bad rail and barge volume overall. Data is beginning to suggest that the consumer is finally starting to spend a little and that with the recent surge in the price of crude, the industrial economy’s rate of deceleration has eased. If the winter of the overall freight recession we’ve been in for more than a year and a half in the U.S. is not yet over, it is certainly showing promising signs of thawing.

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Trade Inventories

Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales, November 2016

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sales: The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for November, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,326.7 billion, up 0.1 percent (±0.2 percent)* from October 2016 and was up 2.3 percent (±0.4 percent) from November 2015.

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Global Port Logistics

U.S. -bound retail container volumes see gains despite mixed signals says Port Tracker

Source: Logistics Management

An atypical late in the year holiday season bump was evident, based on data issued this week in the most recent edition of the Port Tracker report issued by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.

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U.S. Economic Snapshot

U.S. Economic Snapshot – December 2016

Source: The Conference Board

“Consumer Confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing Expectations which hit a 13-year high (Dec. 2003, 107.4),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016. Looking ahead to 2017, consumers’ continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized.”

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The Employment Situation – December 2016

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth occurred in health care and social assistance.

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MIQ Supply Chain Alert

The Trump Administration and the Potential Effects on International Trade

A Tax on Imports?

Yes, this is under serious consideration.  President-Elect Trump has complained repeatedly about the unfair advantage enjoyed by nearly all of America’s trading partners, almost all of whom employ consumption-based value-added taxes (VAT) as a revenue source.  The “unfair” advantage results from zero-rating exports and fully taxing imports.  Because the US derives revenues primarily from income taxes, WTO rules make it difficult to implement a similar “border adjustment”

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Manufacturing Logistics

December 2016 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

Source: Institute for Supply Management 

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December, and the overall economy grew for the 91st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

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