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Kristen Rupert

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Time to Pass the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Nov 19, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts and its 3,500 members today urged the United States Congress to approve the new USMCA trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

international.flagssmallThe reason is simple - Canada and Mexico purchase more US-made goods than the next 11 trading partner countries combined. USMCA will help to preserve more than 2 million American manufacturing jobs - at least 15,000 of them in Massachusetts - that rely on trade with Canada and Mexico.

Time is short for Congress to act. The US House and Senate need to pass the USMCA before year-end.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Democrats have inched closer to supporting the deal. They have worked to iron out lingering concerns in weeks of talks with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. 

The USMCA was negotiated by the Trump Administration to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). USMCA strengthens and modernizes intellectual property rules, sets new digital economy standards, expands US manufacturers’ access to Canada and Mexico, ensures that US companies can sell their products duty-free into these markets, eliminates red tape at the border, and levels the playing field by raising standards, prohibiting anti-US discrimination, and strengthening enforcement. 

AIM is in contact with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to encourage them to pass the USMCA.  Governor Charlie Baker calls the agreement “strong, fair and flexible.”  Among the many products that are traded between Massachusetts and Canada/Mexico are auto parts, medical devices, lab instruments, semiconductors, paper products and aerospace parts. Most of the manufacturing exports from Massachusetts going to Canada and Mexico are produced by small and medium-size businesses.

AIM urges employers to contact their members of Congress to emphasize how important the USMCA is to manufacturing companies in Massachusetts.   Use this link, shared by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Industry associations, individual companies and elected officials across the US encourage an immediate vote on USMCA.  And while the USMCA is serious business, check out this light-hearted take on why USMCA is so important.

Topics: International Trade, U.S. Congress

Three Companies Earn AIM Global Trade Awards

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Oct 24, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts announced the winners of the 24th annual AIM Global Trade Awards, which recognize Massachusetts companies and public agencies of all sizes that have demonstrated excellence in international business. The 2019 honorees represent both Massachusetts manufacturing and professional service industries and include: Crane Currency, Globalization Partners, and SMC Ltd.

CraneCurrency“From the more traditional manufacturing activities to our talent economy, Massachusetts companies are innovative global leaders; international trade is a pivotal aspect of the Commonwealth’s overall business community,” said John Regan, President and CEO of AIM. “We are delighted to honor the 2019 winners, who from innovative product development to best-in-class manufacturing make a true impact on global business. In a time when international trade is at the forefront of national and international conversation, we are proud to show support for the important role of global business in our economy.”

The three Global Trade Award winners will be honored during the AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards Breakfast on Thursday, November 7 from 7:30-10:30am at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy.  The event will feature keynote speaker Martha Sullivan, President and CEO of Sensata Technologies.  A lively panel discussion highlighting the perspectives of several global business leaders including Harriet Cross, UK Consul General in Boston and Professor Ravi Ramamurti, Director of the Center for Emerging Markets at Northeastern University, will follow the keynote. 

The AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards is sponsored by Massport, The Provident Bank, MassMEP and M&T Bank.

Chairman’s Award: Crane Currency, Dalton & Boston

Founded in Massachusetts in 1801, Crane Currency is still headquartered in Massachusetts today. Crane Currency designs, manufactures, and prints high-quality and highly secure bank notes. The paper for all US currency is manufactured by Crane Currency’s 300 employees in Dalton.  The company has a long history of innovation and is known for its state-of-the-art security technology.  Crane Currency acquired a manufacturing facility in Sweden in 2002 and, most recently, built a state-of-the-art printing and technical center in Malta, where it produces bank notes for the central banks of over 50 countries.  Annemarie Watson is president of Crane Currency.

https://www.cranecurrency.com/

Diplomat’s Award: Globalization Partners, Boston

Globalization Partners, a global professional employer organization founded in Boston in 2011 by CEO Nicole Sahin, has grown rapidly in just eight years and now has regional hub offices in eight international locations: United Kingdom, Germany, United Arab Emirates, India, Shanghai, Singapore, Brazil, and Mexico. Approximately half of the company’s nearly 200 worldwide employees work in the Boston headquarters.  The services and technology platform developed by Globalization Partners enables companies to hire talent in more than 170 countries within days, without the need to set up costly international subsidiaries.  The company provides a cost-efficient solution for US businesses wanting to test new markets. 

https://www.globalization-partners.com/

Ambassador’s Award: SMC, Ltd., Devens, MA

SMC Ltd. is a global contract manufacturer of single use, finished medical devices.  The company was founded in 1988 by Chetan N. Patel, a graduate of UMass Lowell who grew up in India. SMC has over 350 employees in Massachusetts and 2,000 employees worldwide.  More than half of the company’s clients are headquartered internationally and include well-known European pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies.  SMC, with support from MassDevelopment, recently invested in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Devens where the company does design, molding and assembly.  Its high-speed automation processes enabled the company to extend its product line to include drug delivery within devices.  Approximately one-third of product that is manufactured in Massachusetts goes to international markets.

https://www.smcltd.com/

The AIM International Business Council helps Massachusetts companies 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.  Visit www.aimnet.org/international.

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council

Port of Boston Doubles Economic Impact

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Jun 13, 2019 9:41:54 AM

The economic impact of the Port of Boston has almost doubled since 2012 as the facilities serve as a gateway for increased global commerce both to and from Massachusetts, according to a report issued this morning.

The port, which is in the middle of $850 million infrastructure upgrade, generates $8.2 billion in economic activity and supports 66,000 jobs from its four major elements – Conley freight terminal, the Flynn Cruiseport, the Boston Autoport and fish/seafood processing. The economic footprint has grown from $4.6 billon seven years ago.

Conley.TerminalMassport unveiled the economic report by Martin Associates at an event this morning co-sponsored by Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

“A globally strong economy like the one we enjoy in Massachusetts demands a world-class port to facilitate international commerce,” said John R. Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

“Employers support continued investment in the Port of Boston not only because the facility generates billions in economic impact but also because it provides efficient access to overseas markets and entry for product demanded by Massachusetts consumers,”

More than 1,600 companies across the Commonwealth and New England, including many AIM members, rely on the Port to connect to the global economy. Massachusetts companies export $27 billion worth of goods and services annually while imports total $35.5 billion.

As a result, activity across the Port of Boston’s maritime facilities is booming:

  • Four years in a row of record-breaking container volume at Conley Terminal
  • Record-breaking ship calls and passenger volume at Flynn Cruiseport
  • Fully leased seafood processing space on the historic Boston Fish Pier and new developments being constructed on the Massport Marine Terminal
  • More than 80,000 vehicles processed at the Autoport in Charlestown

The Martin Associates study measured the local and regional economic impacts generated by 2018 maritime activity at Massport-owned facilities and private marine terminals and businesses within Boston Harbor. The 66,000 jobs include 9,000 direct positions, 5,400 of which are in the cargo area.

Among the AIM member companies that use the Port are Affordable Interior Systems, EMD Millipore, Gem Group, Horizon Beverage, Staples and United Liquors.

The largest portion of the infrastructure upgrade is a $350 million dredging project to allow larger cargo ships to navigate Boston Harbor. Massport officials tell The Boston Globe that the dredging project is 40 percent complete and that 4.6 million cubic yards have been removed from the harbor floor to deepen the main channel.

AIM has worked closely with Massport to promote international trade and investment.

The AIM International Business Council has engaged users and managers of the Port of Boston as speakers at the annual Internal Business Symposium. AIM has also written letters of support to the US Department of Transportation for the harbor dredging project, for new and enhanced truck routes for cargo in the Seaport area, and for investment to increase Conley Terminal’s container storage facilities. 

“Assets like Massport do not happen by accident, they are a choice, an investment, they are well led and have a high customer focus and critical mission,” Regan said.

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, Massport

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

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, Massachusetts employers, AIM International Business Council

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, Massachusetts employers, AIM International Business Council

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 employers, Massachusetts Manufacturing

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: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, 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, Technology, AIM International Business Council

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

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