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Kristen Rupert

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Video Blog | Car and (Maybe No) Driver

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Dec 3, 2018 8:30:00 AM

nuTonomy, an Aptiv company, a 2018 AIM Global Trade Award honoree, is foring the future of transportation. Founded out of MIT in 2013 by Karl Iagnemma and Emilio Frazzoli, nuTonomy was the first company to test autonomous vehicles on public roads - in Singapore in 2016 and Boston in 2017.  nuTonomy reached a milestone six months ago when the company made its autonomous vehicles available to the general public in Las Vegas via the Lyft ride-hailing app. Aptiv and Nutonomy together employ 150 people in Boston’s Seaport district. 

 

Topics: AIM Global Trade Symposium, AIM International Business Council, Technology

Video Blog | Newburyport Apparel Company Maintains Global Outlook

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Nov 26, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Bennett & Co., winner of a 2018 AIM Global Trade Award, is one of the leading designers and manufacturers for women’s intimate apparel, sleepwear and lingerie worldwide. Offices located in Newburyport are home to all of Bennett & Co.’s design, research and development efforts. Founder and CEO Jacalyn Bennett owns her manufacturing facility in Guangzhou, China, from which completed products are sent around the world on behalf of Bennett’s brand-name retail clients. Bennett & Co.’s 60,000 products and styles are produced with a minimal environmental footprint.

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, Massachusetts employers

Video Blog | John Hancock Maintains Global View

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Nov 19, 2018 8:00:00 AM

John Hancock, winner of a 2018 AIM Global Trade Award, is both a major Massachusetts employer and an ambassador for the commonwealth globally.

Owned by Canadian multinational insurance company Manulife, John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products to individuals and corporations.  Equally important, as the lead sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock plays a major role in bringing global elite athletes and the world’s attention to Massachusetts each April. 

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, Massachusetts employers

Video Blog | Universal Plastics Brings Global Growth Back Home

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Nov 13, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Universal Plastics of Holyoke, winner of the 2018 Associated Industries of Massachusetts Global Trade Award,  manufactures custom thermoformed plastic parts and manages global supply chains for some of its aerospace and medical customers.  Universal Plastics is also “re-shoring,” or bringing back some production from overseas.  The company has five manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and 300 employees in Massachusetts. Watch their story, below.

 

Topics: International Trade, Massachusetts Manufacturing, Massachusetts employers

Trade Expert: Tariffs De-Globalizing US Economy

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Nov 9, 2018 8:43:12 AM

The Trump Administration is stretching the rules and norms of international trade in a manner that will ultimately de-globalize the United States economy and undermine the nation’s prosperity, a Harvard professor and former presidential trade adviser said yesterday.

LawrenceRobert Lawrence, the Albert Williams Professor of Trade and Investment at Harvard’s Kennedy School, told 150 people at the 2018 AIM Global Trade Symposium that the imposition of tariffs by the United States and retaliatory tariffs by China and other nations will actually harm domestic manufacturing since many of the inputs for US producers come from overseas.

“We’re raising costs for American production. It’s a counterproductive strategy,” said Lawrence, who was a member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office.

Two prominent Massachusetts employers confirmed that the deepening trade war is causing them to shift manufacturing, in some cases from the United States to overseas locations.

Lisa Hill, Vice President of Global Trade Strategies at Ocean Spray in Lakeville, said the company is moving some of its processing operations to recently acquired facilities in Chile and Canada to avoid retaliatory tariffs from China, the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

“We are literally on everybody’s list,” Hill said as part of a panel discussion on trade.

She told the audience that Ocean Spray has dealt with trade wars in the past but “what we are dealing with today is unprecedented.”

A similar story is unfolding at Sensata Technologies of Attleboro, which maintains operations and business centers in 12 countries around the world. Vineet Nargolwala, Senior Vice President for Performance Sensing, said that 20 percent of the high-tech sensors the company makes in China come to the United States and are thus subject to new tariffs.

The company is responding by moving international production to other sites in Southeast Asia while reserving more of its China operations to make products for the Chinese market.

“It’s definitely a new landscape we are operating in,” Nargolwala said.

Lisa Wieland, Port Director for Massport, said the peak import shipping season for Boston accelerated this year as companies tried to get product into the United States ahead of the tariffs. Massport itself, which is in the middle of an $850 million infrastructure modernization project, had to spent significant time to ensure that three massive ship-to-shore cranes made exclusively by a company in China were not included in the tariff schedule.

The comments on trade policy came as AIM and its International Business Council honored four Massachusetts companies for excellence in international trade. The recipients of the 2018 Global Trade Awards were Universal Plastics of Holyoke, John Hancock of Boston, Bennett & Company of Newburyport and nuTonomy/APTIV of Boston.

Lawrence maintained that the Trump Administration used an overly broad definition of national security to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and a similarly broad interpretation of provisions that permit tariffs when foreign governments impose unreasonable burdens on US commerce.

The result, he said, has been that the United States has ceded world trade leadership to China.

“It leaves us with a severely damaged global trading system,” he said.

Topics: AIM International Business Council, International Trade, AIM Global Trade Symposium

Autonomous Driving Systems Developer Earns Global Innovation Award

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Oct 23, 2018 8:30:00 AM

A Boston company developing groundbreaking autonomous driving software and systems has been named the winner of the 2018 AIM Global Innovation Award.

nuTonomynuTonomy, an Aptiv company, will be honored at the 23nd annual AIM Global Trade Symposium on November 8 in Waltham.  Previously announced Global Trade honorees will include Bennett and Company, Universal Plastics, and John Hancock, all companies that have demonstrated excellence in international business.  

“The global marketplace is an innovative one,” said Richard Lord, President and CEO of AIM. “We are pleased that as part of our recognition of Massachusetts companies exhibiting best practices in advancing global business we have the opportunity to highlight the work of nuTonomy, a company that is truly re-imagining one of the most time-tested pieces of technology – the automobile.”

Founded out of MIT in 2013 by Karl Iagnemma and Emilio Frazzoli, nuTonomy was the first company to test autonomous vehicles on public roads - in Singapore in 2016 and Boston in 2017.  In November 2017 the company was acquired by global automotive technology company Aptiv.

nuTonomy reached a milestone six months ago when the company made its autonomous vehicles available to the general public in Las Vegas via the Lyft ride-hailing app.

Aptiv and Nutonomy together employ 150 people in Boston’s Seaport district. 

The AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards Breakfast will take place from 7:30-10:30 am on November 8 at Waltham Woods Conference Center.  The event will feature keynote speaker Robert Z. Lawrence, Professor of International Trade & Investment at the Kennedy School of Government.

A panel discussion on “Global Business: Tariffs, Treaties and Trends” with speakers from the Port of Boston, Ocean Spray, and Brandeis International Business School, will follow.  The AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards is sponsored by Massport, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and The Provident Bank.

Registration for the Global Trade Symposium can be accessed online here

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, Technology

Three Employers Win AIM Global Trade Awards

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Oct 11, 2018 1:30:00 PM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts today announced the winners of its 23rd annual AIM Global Trade Awards, which recognize Massachusetts companies and public agencies of all sizes that have demonstrated excellence in international business. The 2018 honorees include Bennett & Co., Universal Plastics, and John Hancock.

international.flagssmall“From innovation in product development to supporting the profile of our commonwealth across the world, Massachusetts companies are deeply entrenched in the global marketplace,” said Richard Lord, President and CEO of AIM. “We are delighted to honor the achievements of these winners, who exhibit best practices in advancing global business. During a time when trade and international commerce are key topics of conversation, we want to foster an appreciation for the role of global business in our local economy.”

The three Global Trade Award winners will be honored during the AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards Breakfast on Thursday, November 8 from 8-11 am at Waltham Woods Conference Center.  The event will feature keynote speaker Robert Z. Lawrence, Professor of International Trade & Investment at the Kennedy School of Government.  A panel discussion on “Global Business: Tariffs, Treaties and Trends” will follow.  The AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards is sponsored by Massport, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and The Provident Bank.

Ambassador’s Award: Bennett & Co., Newburyport

Founded in 1984 by CEO Jacalyn Bennett, Bennett & Co. is one of the leading designers and manufacturers for women’s intimate apparel, sleepwear and lingerie worldwide. Offices located in Newburyport are home to all of Bennett & Co.’s design, research and development efforts.  Ms. Bennett owns her manufacturing facility in Guangzhou, China, from which completed products are sent around the world on behalf of Bennett’s brand-name retail clients. Bennett & Co.’s 60,000 products and styles are produced with a minimal environmental footprint.  Jacalyn Bennett is a long-time philanthropist in her local community and beyond. 

http://www.bennettcompany.com/index.html

Diplomat’s Award: Universal Plastics, Holyoke, MA

Owned and operated by husband and wife team Jay and Pia Kumar, Universal Plastics has grown rapidly in the six years since the couple bought the company. Founded in 1965, Universal Plastics manufactures custom thermoformed plastic parts.  These include covers and housings for large machinery such as aircraft engines, MRI machines and dental equipment; plastic components for airplane seats; tamper-resistant signs for bus stops, and kayaks.  With 300 employees in Massachusetts, five manufacturing facilities in the U.S., and headquarters in Holyoke, Universal Plastics has created over 100 new jobs in the last 6 years, fueled by export growth.

https://www.universalplastics.com/

President’s Award: John Hancock, Boston, MA

John Hancock is both a major Massachusetts employer and an ambassador for the Commonwealth globally. Owned by Canadian multinational insurance company Manulife, John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products to individuals and corporations.  Equally important, as the lead sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock plays a major role in bringing global elite athletes and the world’s attention to Massachusetts each April.  Nearly ¼ of the Marathon runners—approximately 7000—hail from close to 100 countries outside the U.S.

https://www.johnhancock.com

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council

Tariffs Damage Massachusetts Companies

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Sep 10, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The thousands of member employers of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) are increasingly concerned about the negative effect of current and proposed tariffs on Massachusetts companies.

Itnl.PortParticularly alarming are tariffs on raw materials, components and finished goods coming from China. While we concur with the need to address China’s unfair trade practices, we do not believe that tariffs are the best strategy. Tariffs are already hurting our companies here in Massachusetts and additional damage is anticipated, by business owners and leaders.

AIM hears weekly from companies across industries—retail, machining, consumer goods, manufacturing, plastics, semiconductor— who are suffering from recent tariffs and are concerned about proposed tariffs.

One Massachusetts CEO told us: “Tariffs are by far the most serious issue my company has faced in 40 years of business—much more important than health insurance costs, regulations, and finding workers...”

These companies need tariffs eliminated.

What are the tariffs?

  • The U.S. imposed tariffs this past spring on steel (25 percent tariff) and aluminum (10 percent tariff) imports from Canada, Mexico, the EU and other countries. In response the EU, Mexico, Canada, Turkey, and Russia immediately instituted retaliatory tariffs on US exports to those countries. India will implement retaliatory tariffs this month.  
  • The U.S., separately, imposed two rounds of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products earlier this summer. The U.S. is now considering a third round of tariffs, which may take effect as soon as this week, on an additional $200 billion worth of goods from China. These tariffs range from 10-25 percent.   The China tariffs effectively tax U.S. consumers and manufacturers on many goods that they purchase from China.

The consequence of tariffs on Massachusetts companies are far-reaching:

Higher costs of doing business: Companies are paying more for components, raw materials and finished products. Firms often cannot pass these additional costs to their customers. The result is reduced profitability and reduced opportunity to re-invest in the business.

Supply-chain disruption: Companies spend decades developing and refining their supply chains. China is a valuable source for components and finished products. In many cases, these components and products are simply not available in the US, at any price. Quality and quantity requirements necessitate buying from overseas providers. Finding new suppliers is difficult or impossible.

Impact on jobs in Massachusetts: When companies must pay 15 percent to 200 percent more for materials or products, the financial impact is significant. Executives have told us their options are limited. Choosing among no new hires, decreased benefits/raises, or layoffs does not bode well for the Massachusetts economy or for companies themselves.

More competition from foreign manufacturers: One manufacturer told us that his company is already losing sales to foreign competitors who can offer a similar product at a lower price point because the US product carries a tariff and the one made in Europe or Asia does not.

General economic climate: With higher expenses and less income, Massachusetts companies may cut back on spending and investment, leaving employees with stagnant or lower incomes.

AIM has reached out to the US Trade Representative and the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to  express concern about tariffs and to encourage the U.S. to meet with China to develop a bilateral trade agreement.  AIM is in frequent contact with trade experts in Washington in order to help member companies struggling with the negative impact of tariffs. 

It’s time to re-open the gates of free trade that have made Massachusetts, its technology and its products the envy of the rest of the world. We think that’s the best America First policy.

Click here to receive updates on the tariff issue.

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, Tariff

Video Blog | Startup Provides Internet Access in the Developing World

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Nov 2, 2017 1:37:13 PM

Editor's Note - How do you provide Internet access to people in developing countries where there is no power to charge phones or access the Web? WrightGrid, a startup based in Somerville’s Greentown Labs, has come up with the answer. WrightGrid has developed a solar-powered cell phone charger and wi-fi station designed to provide information access to people in countries such as Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. WrightGrid this week accepted the 2017 AIM Global Innovation Award.

 

Topics: AIM International Business Council, International b, Technology

Four Companies Earn Global Trade Awards

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Oct 16, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts today announced that its 22nd annual AIM Global Trade Awards will go to a developer of productivity software, a maker of abrasives that generates half of its revenue overseas, a UK-based technology consulting company and a startup bringing Internet connectivity to the developing world.

international.flagssmall.jpgThe awards recognize Massachusetts companies and public agencies of all sizes that have demonstrated excellence in international trade. The 2017 honorees, with locations across the region, represent a wide range of Massachusetts industries and include Aspen Technology, Darmann Abrasive Products, Cambridge Consultants and WrightGrid.

The four winners will be honored during the AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards Breakfast on November 1 from 8-11am at Babson College’s Knight Auditorium in Wellesley.  In addition to a panel with executives from New Balance, Greentown Labs, the Canada Consulate, Northeastern University and Kinefac, the event will feature keynote speaker Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist at Massachusetts-based IHS Markit who is ranked as Top Forecaster by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

The Symposium & Awards program is sponsored by MassPort, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Wolf & Co. and The Provident Bank.

“From innovation in product development to technologies that enhance traditional manufacturing, international trade plays a pivotal role in the health of the Massachusetts economy,” said Richard Lord, President and CEO of AIM. “We are delighted to honor the achievements of these local winners, who exhibit best practices in conducting and advancing global business. Massachusetts continues to be a world leader in exporting technology, products and ideas that make a difference.”

This year AIM launched the Global Innovation Award, presented to WrightGrid.  This award recognizes early stage companies making valuable contributions to international trade and focusing on the global market as the business evolves. 

President’s Award:  Aspen Technology
Bedford 

Aspen Technology, founded in 1981 as a result of an MIT research project, creates software that optimizes manufacturing in multiple industries including oil and gas, chemicals, engineering and construction, transportation, pharmaceuticals and more.

More than 2,100 companies across the globe use AspenTech software to increase throughput, reduce unplanned downtime, improve margins, reduce costs, achieve operational excellence and become more energy efficient.  More than 35 years after its founding, AspenTech’s US headquarters in Massachusetts is home to more than 500 employees who continue to push the boundaries of innovation.

 A publicly-owned company with over half of its sales coming from international business, AspenTech has more than 30 offices around the world.  

www.aspentech.com

Ambassador’s Award:  Darmann Abrasive Products
Clinton 

Darmann Abrasive Products, headquartered in Massachusetts, produces specialized abrasive products for customers that need to generate very fine finishes on their materials.  Its fine grit abrasive stones and wheels serve precision manufacturing industries ranging from automotive parts to medical supply.

Darmann’s offices in Poland, Brazil, Mexico and China, staffed by locals, enable it to offer high-level global customer service.  An employee-owned business, Darmann has adapted products for new foreign markets.  The company invested in its manufacturing plant to add capacity to meet global demand.  Exports represent more than 50 percent of the company’s annual sales. 

www.darmann.com

Diplomat’s AwardCambridge Consultants
Boston 

Cambridge Consultants uses innovation and new technologies to help clients worldwide develop first-to-market products or improve existing products.

Working from a laboratory setting, the company’s engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers can take a product from concept to manufacturing.  The Boston office features a 'virtual operating room' where surgeons undertake mock surgery to show how existing tools are inefficient and in need of innovation.

The company serves a diverse range of industries including medical device, industrial and consumer products, digital health and wireless.  Cambridge Consultants is headquartered in the U.K. and has 80 employees in Boston, with plans to add 60 new jobs in Massachusetts by 2018. 

www.cambridgeconsultants.com

Global Innovation Award:  WrightGrid,
Somerville 

WrightGrid, a startup based in Somerville's clean-tech incubator Greentown Labs, is focused on bringing internet connectivity to the developing world.  Its seven-foot-tall, solar-powered WiFi and phone-charging machines are made for people with mobile phones but no reliable electricity or Internet connection. The company’s technology is specifically designed for the Africa market and its products are being deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana.  WrightGrid's stations are entirely manufactured in Massachusetts. Metal Crafters in Methuen develops the frame of the units and Circuit Hub in Deerfield creates the circuit board and electronics.

www.wrightgrid.com

The AIM International Business Council helps Massachusetts employers engage in international trade and expand their global business activities. Through seminars, referrals, and e-newsletters, the AIM International Business Council provides companies with the resources they need.  For more, visit www.aimnet.org/international.

 

Topics: AIM International Business Council, Global Trade Awards, International Trade

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