Time to take a global perspective

April 3, 2017

Returning from Palm Springs, California, where he attended the Annual IFWLA (International Federation of Warehousing & Logistics Associations) Conference, UKWA CEO Peter Ward remains convinced of the increasingly global nature of logistics and argues that even the most modest of SMEs in the industry are likely to be providing their services as part of a wider international supply chain going forward. It is time, he says, for us all to take a more global perspective.

While businesses in the UK (and the media) are understandably focused on Brexit, on the world stage potentially momentous changes are taking place, which are certain to bring fresh challenges and new opportunities for logistics companies.

Mixing with like-minded industry professionals from China, Japan, India and Taiwan to name a few, plus a very large contingent of the American members of our sister association in the USA, it was refreshing to be removed temporarily from the obsession of Brexit, and look at some of the other issues giving concern, especially in the back yard of President Trump, Peter Ward explains.

Rising tensions between US and China

Delivering a key element of his campaign manifesto, The US President’s immediate withdrawal from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade deal was an early sign of Trump’s negative view of multi-trade agreements. 

His confrontational Death by China rhetoric has been fascinating, as was China’s retaliatory $29 million fine on General Motors for inconsequential antitrust violations.  These growing tensions between the heads of the world’s two largest economies, one economy in the process of overtaking the other, have significant implications in setting the scene for the big show down meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, scheduled for April 6th at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump’s America First rhetoric and promise to build ‘the wall’ continues to cast a shadow over NAFTA, whilst China presses ahead with its One Belt One Road initiative, aimed at pushing China’s trading links into a westerly direction to reach 35 per cent of the world’s population, 30 per cent of global GDP and over 35 per cent of global merchandise trade.  

Through our membership of IFWLA and continued engagement with the Hong Trade Development Council, this is an important enterprise that UKWA is following very closely.