Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Florida to Spend $2 Million for International Trade Job Training

Florida to Spend $2 Million for International Trade Job Training 

Workforce Florida, a statewide board of government and business leaders, will put $2 million towards training and career education initiatives to boost employment in the state's ports, and air cargo and international trade sectors.

The University of North Florida and the Jacksonville-based infrastructure consulting engineering firm Reynolds, Smith and Hills are among the recipients of the program's funds.


Futurist predicts unbelievable changes

Try to imagine a world where there are no post offices, banks, cash, credit cards, newspapers, marriage, air travel--even no shoplifting. This is the world that awaits us, according to futurist Bob Louden of Saratoga.   Indeed, indications of its arrival are already here. It's the wireless world, and it's not far away.

For starters, we will be able to talk to anyone in the world, and the words will be translated as they are uttered. By then iPad technology will be all over the world and business will be conducted without having to travel. Since manufacturing will be computerized, eliminating labor, only 10 percent of the population will have to be employed, the most intelligent 10 percent, he calls it.

The rest will be doing the business of humanity, whatever that is in 20 or 30 years. And living on some form of unemployment compensation dispensed by the government from funds that once went to labor costs.
Of course, Louden can't look into the future any more than the rest of us can, but he does have a firm grip on the evolution of computers--what they can do and what they're going to be able to do. He was there on the ground floor with IBM and other ground-breaking companies.

Here's the scenario he envisions: When you enter a grocery store in the near future your profile will be encoded at the entry, and you won't get in if your profile doesn't show the ability to pay. Hence, no shoplifting—and self-check out, of course. Aboard any public transit you will indicate your destination on the map, and the computer at the stop will know what language to use for the instructions.

Everyone will have access to public domain knowledge. E-books will have audio of famous speeches, video inserts, even motion and vibration inserts. Computers will be as big as a ring; iPhones will be used as credit cards are today. TVs will be 3D, even in five years. Electric cars will be charged in garages and on the highway.
Many of these transformations will occur in the next decade, since we'll have universal wireless power in 10 years, Louden predicts. Deciphering the human genome will be automatic and part of each person's profile when you step into the doctor's office.

With women, mainly educated women, marrying later or not at all, birth rate and intelligence will both decline. Educate women and we'll have fewer and fewer children--could be a model for Third World countries. Most people in the Middle Ages didn't know who their father was. The same may soon be true for us, what with longer spans of sexual activity: female puberty comes earlier these days and marriage later.

In 30 years our lives will be unbelievably changed, Louden says. Sounds like an understatement.

UPS Customs Brokerage Can help with Your Customs Filings

UPS Customs Brokerage Can Dot the "i"s and Cross the "t"s on Your Customs Filings 

As a shipper, you know how essential it is to be compliant for your importations and exportations, and how complex and intimidating the process can be for each and every shipment. As the world's largest customs broker, UPS Customs Brokerage prides itself on handling each entry individually, and leverages its knowledge of global regulations and compliance to deliver the best service possible.

UPS has brokerage operations in more than 60 countries, with the capability to clear shipments in more than 120 countries. This scale of operations is particularly beneficial to customers with export needs in addition to import needs, whether it pertains to customs clearance, consulting, trade management, or a combination of these services.

The expertise of UPS Customs Brokerage extends to its active participation as advisor and subject matter expert to US Customs as well as a number of regional and trade authorities around the world, including the European Customs Union and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Asia. This involvement in the global customs arena translates into current, in-depth knowledge that benefits UPS Customs Brokerage customers with every single filing, everywhere.

UPS focuses on compliance on behalf of its customers so that they can ship with confidence and stay focused on growing their business. Call 1-888-253-2748 for more information on how UPS Customs Brokerage can help with your international shipments.

Source: UPS

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Today I am reflecting on 9/11/2001 and those that lost their lives. I am also thinking of those throughout the world that extended to the US, their commiserations.

Item ThumbnailI was in London that fateful day in my offices next to the London Stock Exchange. It was mid-afternoon when the TV monitors interrupted our market feeds with the images of the 1st tower in flames. A plane they say hit it. I was the only American in the office that day but we all stared in disbelief as the tower burned. Then the second plane hit the second tower - and we immediately knew it was not any accident.

Almost simultaneously, sirens in London went off and they began closing down the stock exchange, locked down Canary Wharf, and London police were erecting barricades everywhere. The Londoner's feared that they were to be imminently hit as well.

As I stared at the monitors, fellow workers came up to me expressing their sorrow as well. I was stunned. My daughter Heather was in one of those towers 3 months before undergoing training at Morgan Stanley. And I found out much later that she was actually on the phone with some of her brokers in that tower when the first plane hit.

That evening Londoners began dropping off flowers in front of the US Embassy. So many bouquets were left there that they filled the street and created a traffic jam. A Scotsman showed up and began playing the bagpipes. The next morning, they moved the flowers to a small park across from the US Embassy in from of a statue of Franklin Roosevelt. Crowds formed lines that were several blocks long waiting for an opportunity to lay some flowers in front of that statue. Waiting in line myself, no one was talking, we were just moving slowing to the entrance of the park. They had set up some tents to allow visitors so sign a book of commiseration for those who lost their lives.

I was amazed at the many nationalities and ethnic groups that were in line. I saw Indian Sikhs, some Arabs, Pakistani, German, Irish, Scots, and a few Japanese in line. All had similar expressions and most were carrying flowers, handmade signs, cards, and other items to leave at the statue.

Phone lines to the US were jammed. my return flight was cancelled and I had to stay in the UK for another 10 days before I could get a flight back home. One never feels so isolated as one does when a disaster strikes at home and you can't call loved ones.

That Saturday, the Queen attended a special mass that was held at St. Paul's Cathedral. Again, thousands showed up; I heard mass from the street that morning. Below are some of the pictures I took of the events.

Link to the pictures:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not Everything is "Made in China"

According to FRBSS and calculations by the authors, Galina Hale and Bart Hobijn,
(with data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Census Bureau, and National Accounts Data), goods and services from China accounted for only 2.7% of U.S. personal consumption expenditures in 2010, of which less than half reflected the actual costs of Chinese imports.

The rest went to U.S. businesses and workers transporting, selling, and marketing goods carrying the "Made in China" label.

Although globalization is widely recognized these days, the U.S. economy actually remains relatively closed, says the report.  The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States is produced here. In 2010, imports were about 16% of U.S. GDP. Imports from China amounted to 2.5% of GDP.

Analysis from several sources addressed the following considerations:
  • The fraction of U.S. consumer spending that goes for goods labeled "Made in China" and the fraction that is spent on goods "Made in the USA"
  • The part of the cost of goods "Made in China" is actually due to the cost of these imports and the part of U.S. consumer spending that can be traced to the cost of goods imported from China, taking into account not only goods sold directly to consumers, but also goods used as inputs in intermediate stages of production in the United States.
Although globalization is widely recognized these days, the U.S. economy actually remains relatively closed. The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States is produced here. In 2010, imports were about 16% of U.S. GDP. Imports from China amounted to 2.5% of GDP.

The table shows calculations of the import content of U.S. household consumption of goods and services. A total of 88.5% of U.S. consumer spending is on items made in the United States. This is largely because services, which make up about two-thirds of spending, are mainly produced locally. The market share of foreign goods is highest in durables, which include cars and electronics. Two-thirds of U.S. durables consumption goes for goods labeled "Made in the USA," while the other third goes for goods made abroad.

Chinese goods account for 2.7% of U.S. PCE, about one-quarter of the 11.5% foreign share. Chinese imported goods consist mainly of furniture and household equipment; other durables; and clothing and shoes. In the clothing and shoes category, 35.6% of U.S. consumer purchases in 2010 was of items with the "Made in China" label.

Import Content of US Personal Consumption Expenditures (% of Expenditure share)
Import Content
Share Spent On
Directly Sold to Final Demand
CategoryExpenditure ShareMade in USAMade in ChinaTotalChinese GoodsTotalChinese Goods
   Less food and energy
   Motor vehicles
   Furniture/HH equip.
   Other durables
   Gasoline/other energy goods
   Other nondurables
Source: Author calculations based on Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trade Statistics, Census Bureus and National Accounts Data, August 2011

The authors explain that if a pair of sneakers made in China costs $70 in the United States, not all of that retail price goes to the Chinese manufacturer. In fact, the bulk of the retail price pays for transportation of the sneakers in the United States, rent for the store where they are sold, profits for shareholders of the U.S. retailer, and the cost of marketing the sneakers. These costs include the salaries, wages, and benefits paid to the U.S. workers and managers who staff these operations.

The table shows that, of the 11.5% of U.S. consumer spending that goes for goods and services produced abroad, 7.3% reflects the cost of imports. The remaining 4.2% goes for U.S. transportation, wholesale, and retail activities. Thus, 36% of the price U.S. consumers pay for imported goods actually goes to U.S. companies and workers.

This U.S. fraction is much higher for imports from China, says the report. Whereas goods labeled "Made in China" make up 2.7% of U.S. consumer spending, only 1.2% actually reflects the cost of the imported goods. Thus, on average, of every dollar spent on an item labeled "Made in China," 55 cents go for services produced in the United States. In other words, the U.S. content of "Made in China" is about 55%.
When total import content is considered, 13.9% of U.S. consumer spending can be traced to the cost of imported goods and services. This is substantially higher than the 7.3%, which includes only final imported goods and services and leaves out imported intermediates. Imported oil, which makes up a large part of the production costs of the "gasoline, fuel oil, and other energy goods" and "transportation" categories, is the main contributor to this 6.6 percentage point difference.

China's 2011 inflation rate is close to 5%. If Chinese exporters were to pass through all their domestic inflation to the prices of goods they sell in the United States, the PCE price index (PCEPI) would only increase by 1.9% of this 5%, reflecting the Chinese share of U.S. consumer goods and services. That would equal a 0.1 percentage point increase in the PCEPI. The inflationary effects would be highest in the industries in which the share of Chinese imports is highest-clothing and shoes, and electronics. In fact, recent data show accelerating price increases for these goods compared with other goods.

However, it does not seem that so far Chinese exporters are fully passing through their domestic inflation. In May 2011, prices of Chinese imports only increased 2.8% from May 2010. This is partly because a large share of Chinese production costs consists of imports from other countries.

Xing and Detert (2010) demonstrate this by examining the production costs of an iPhone. In 2009, it cost about $179 in China to produce an iPhone, which sold in the United States for about $500. Thus, $179 of the U.S. retail cost consisted of Chinese imported content. However, only $6.50 was actually due to assembly costs in China. The other $172.50 reflected costs of parts produced in other countries, including $10.75 for parts made in the United States.

Make Up of Personal Consumption Expenditures
Source% of Total
Made in U.S. from US parts
Made in U.S. from parts imported from other countries
Made in U.S. from parts imported from China
Final goods imported from other countries
Final goods imported from China
U.S. content of "Made In" other countries
U.S. content of "Made In China"
Source: Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, and authors' calculations

Of the 2.7% of U.S. consumer purchases going to goods labeled "Made in China," only 1.2% actually represents China-produced content. If we take into account imported intermediate goods, about 13.9% of U.S. consumer spending is attributable to imports, including 1.9% imported from China, concludes the report.

For the complete report and findings, go to :