FedEx Archives - Shopfloor

From the Commerce Department: Expertise and Exports

By | Trade | No Comments

Thank you to the media team at the Department of Commerce for shooting video of Monday’s news conference with Secretary Gary Locke, John Engler of the National Association of Manufacturers, Russ Fleming of FedEx and Suresh Kumar, director general of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. (Commerce has its own YouTube channel, “Commerce News.”)

Monday’s event marked a new partnership among the parties under Commerce’s New Market Exporter Initiative, bringing Commerce’s market research and FedEx’s marketing and logistical expertise to bear for small manufacturers seeking to export more.

NAM President John Engler’s remarks are below:

More video from Secretary Locke, Fleming and Kumar.

The NAM’s program is NMEI, the New Market Export Initiative. More details here.

A Boost for Exports from Smaller Manufacturing Companies

By | Trade | No Comments

The week got off to a good start this morning, exportwise, at the Department of Commerce.  Secretary Gary Locke joined John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Russ Fleming, FedEx’s vice president for international marketing, to announce the NAM’s participation in the New Market Exporter Initiative.

The New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI) is one of Commerce’s many tools for helping small- and medium-sized enterprises take advantage of exporting opportunities these companies may not be aware of, providing the market research and technical advice necessary to expand their reach abroad. As Secretary Locke explained (news release):

From left: FedEx's Russell Fleming, Secretary Gary Locke, John Engler

We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services. What we can improve is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers will do just that – helping to link manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized firms, with new markets abroad.

Engler commented:

More than 90 percent of exporters are small and medium size manufacturers – and they account for about 30 percent of exports, roughly $300 billion.  Today, however, the overwhelming majority of these companies export to just one or two countries.  If we could just double the number of countries they ship to, we could make significant gains in U.S. exports.

Fleming spoke about FedEx’s ability to bring both logistical expertise and marketing strategies to bear for manufacturers.

The NAM has established a webpage with information about participating in the New Market Exporter Initiative. It’s www.nam.org/nmei.


Overcoming Obstacles that Hinder Exports for Smaller Companies

By | Trade | 2 Comments

The U.S. International Trade Commission recently issued a report that documented how critical it is to open markets to U.S. exporters, not just for the large multinational companies with an established global presence, but also to small- and medium-sized enterprises (which includes manufacturers and service-industry businesses). 

We highlighted some of the findings of “Small and Medium- Sized Enterprises: Characteristics and Performance” in this earlier post, emphasizing the substantial exports that small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) already make and the potential for even greater exports.

But there are obstacles to the SMMs, the ITC reports:

Trade Barriers That Disproportionately Affect SME Export Performance

  • Burdensome or discriminatory government regulations in many foreign markets disproportionately affect SMEs. U.S. SMEs may lack the staff, expertise, or financial resources to dedicate to foreign compliance.
  • SMEs are more likely than large firms to identify high tariffs as a substantial impediment to exporting. SMEs account for a high share of exports in apparel and certain processed food industries that face generally higher foreign applied tariffs.
  • Standards and certification are important non-tariff hurdles for SME manufactured goods exporters. In particular, licensing, residency requirements, and commercial presence requirements present challenges for SME services providers that export.
  • Manufacturing SMEs reported greater burdens relative to large firms in most areas, including “customs procedures,” “high tariffs,” and “preference for local goods in foreign market.”
  • For SME manufacturing exporters, the most frequently cited impediment to exporting was “obtaining financing,” “high tariffs,” or “transportation and shipping costs.” In contrast, large manufacturing firms identified either “foreign regulations,” or “preference for local goods or services in a foreign market” as their most frequently cited impediment.

The National Association of Manufacturers and Department of Commerce have long worked in a partnership to overcome those obstacles, with a Commerce commercial officer seconded to the NAM’s offices.

Next Monday, the NAM and Commerce will take that cooperation to higher level with an announcement about the NAM’s involvement with the New Market Exporter Initiative. Secretary Gary Locke and NAM President John Engler will speak, and FedEx will play a prominent role.

The goal? Realize the potential.  Export more U.S.-manufactured goods. And create jobs.

The View from Memphis: Manufacturing Must Embrace Trade

By | Economy, Trade | No Comments

From The Memphis Daily News, covering the remarks Thursday at the Economic Club of Memphis by John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, “NAM Pres Says Trade Will Keep US Competitive“:

Manufacturing supports an estimated 18.6 million jobs in the U.S. – about one in six private sector jobs. Nearly 12 million Americans – 10 percent of the work force – are employed directly in manufacturing.

But too many political campaigns are against trade, Engler noted, and trade is too important to dismiss.

“When you’re campaigning against it, its like your suggesting that the U.S. can’t compete in the global economy.”

Engler cited the NAM’s “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America” as providing a comprehensive approach toward a strong manufacturing sector and economic revival in the United States.

More coverage of the speech.

Manufacturers’ Message in Memphis: More Action on Exports

By | Trade | 2 Comments

John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, addressed the Economic Club of Memphis Thursday, providing a broad overview of competitiveness issues. The Commercial Appeal reported. “Engler applauds emphasis on exports“:

Engler told members of the Economic Club of Memphis on Thursday that his organization hasn’t seen enough push by the administration to remove trade barriers, rein in regulatory overkill and create incentives to expand the manufacturing base.

“We applaud the goal of doubling exports,” he said.

“FedEx has outbound planes as well as inbound planes, and we want to see all those outbound planes full.”

The NAM has state-by-state data on trade, foreign investment and export-related manufacturing at the NAM website, here. For Tennessee:

Manufactured Exports Drive Tennessee’s Economy
• Manufacturing accounts for 93 percent of Tennessee’s exports (2009).
• Since 2003, Tennessee manufacturing exports grew 62 percent—2.4 times faster than the 26 percent rise in Tennessee’s overall economy.

Global Engagement Supports Tennessee Jobs
• Manufactured exports support 20 percent of Tennessee’s manufacturing jobs (U.S. average is 22 percent).
• Since 2003, Tennessee employment related to manufacturing exports grew 26 percent, while other private sector employment in the state fell by 0.3 percent.

Tennessee Manufacturers Are Engaged in Exporting around the World
• Top five U.S. export markets: 57 percent of Tennessee exports (2009).
• NAFTA (40%), China (5%), Japan (5%), UK (4%) and Germany (3%).

Ambassador Kirk’s Reminder: Global Operations Create U.S. Jobs

By | Trade | No Comments

The U.S. Trade Representative’s blog includes this Oct. 14 entry, “Ambassador Kirk Meets with Honeywell International CEO “:

Today Ambassador Kirk met with Honeywell International CEO David Cote. Mr. Cote serves on the President’s Deficit Commission and was named co-chair of the U.S.-India CEO Forum by President Obama in 2009.

Honeywell International is a global company headquartered in New Jersey that supports about 58,000 jobs in the United States and 122,000 total jobs worldwide. The company strives to invent and manufacture new technology that will help increase global safety and security.

It’s a company that thrives on trade to do business. In fact, it’s a leading exporter in over 100 countries worldwide. USTR is dedicated to opening markets and maintaining a level playing field so that companies like Honeywell can export more in support of U.S. American jobs.

And right beneath it, an Oct. 13 post, “USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke tour FedEx global export operations in Memphis, Tennessee“:

This week, Ambassador Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are visiting the front lines of global trade in Memphis, Tennessee. That’s where Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Locke got a behind-the-scenes look at the FedEx global operations hub, one of the busiest transportation and logistics centers in the world. They toured the site at midnight to get a sense of how FedEx operates around the clock, sending over eight million packages daily to more than 220 countries. That enormous volume of trade activity supports 230,000 FedEx jobs in the United States, including 30,000 in the Volunteer State.

That’s right on. U.S. manufacturers and logistics/shipping companies support domestic U.S. jobs through their global operations.

These USTR blog posts serve as a timely rebuke to those who for political purposes misrepresent overseas operations as somehow deleterious to the U.S. economy and job creation.

The Good, the Bad, the Political

By | Infrastructure, Innovation, Taxation | No Comments

Various reactions to the sudden flurry of proposals from the White House on taxes and infrastructure.

Wall Street Journal, “Obama to Push Tax Breaks”:

Jay Timmons, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, described the expensing proposal as “good at face value.”

But he questioned the administration’s logic in proposing to raise some business taxes in order to lower others.

Larry Kudlow, National Review, The Corner, “Obama Gets Write-Offs Right“:

It’s all midterm-election politics, but Obama’s last-minute idea for 100 percent tax write-offs for corporate investment is, in fact, a good idea.

He proposes a two-year window to incentivize businesses to bring forward their investments. From the standpoint of investment, it’s the right way to go. Perhaps Larry Summers now thinks tax cuts are the right way to go, too.

CEOs like Fred Smith of FedEx have argued for full cash expensing for many years, along with a big drop in the corporate tax rate itself. This is what Team Obama should have done in the first place: Slash business tax rates and accelerate investment-depreciation schedules.

Conn Carroll, The Heritage Foundation, “Morning Bell: The Obama Tax and Spend Hikes“:

[Spending] is just one side of President Obama’s economic prescription for the country. Not only is he advocating another $50 billion in spending on top of the $814 billion in economic stimulus spending he has wasted so far, he is also advocating for a $921 billion tax hike set to take effect this January 1, 2011. The administration wants us to believe that this massive tax hike will have no effect on our economic recovery. But that is just not so. Raising taxes on work and investment would mean less work and less investment and can be regarded only as an overtly hostile anti-jobs policy. That is just one of the myths exposed by Heritage analyst JD Fosters’ new paper: Obama Tax Hikes Defended by Myths and Straw Man Arguments.

Byron York, The Examiner, “Obama’s ‘pivot’ to the economy comes far too late“:

On his 595th day in office, less than eight weeks before voters go to the polls, Obama is making that now-infamous pivot. In a flurry this week, he’s proposing spending $50 billion on the nation’s roads and railways. He’s proposing a $100 billion research tax credit for businesses. He’ll have more proposals in the days ahead.

White House officials insist these are serious policy initiatives that are not being put forth just so Obama can say he’s doing something about the economy. But that leads to the question: If these are such great ideas, why wasn’t the president pushing them earlier?

Yes. The long-term authorization of federal highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, and public transportation programs, the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” (SAFETEA-LU), expired on September 30, 2009.

The Research and Development Tax Credit expired Dec. 31, 2009.

Manufacturers Donate to Haiti Earthquake Relief

By | General | No Comments

Manufacturers are prominent contributors amid the tremendous outpouring of funds, supplies, charity and support to aid the victims of the Haiti earthquake. A sample, including companies involved in the manufacturing supply chain, from a Reuters report:

  • Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories said it will donate $1 million in humanitarian aid, including medicines and nutritional products
  • FedEx Corp said it is working with international relief groups including the Red Cross to fly supplies to the island once shipments start moving, while United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N), which participates in a World Food Program that helps coordinate delivery of aid to disaster zones, said it expects to have its volunteers in the program called up soon.
  • UPS also said it planned to provide $1 million in aid, half in cash and half in services, while the Kraft Foods Foundation said it would donate $25,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts.
  • U.S. manufacturer 3M Co, which makes a variety of bandages and other products used in skin and wound care, said it was working with humanitarian relief agencies to ask what medical products it could provide. The company also said it would likely make a monetary contribution.

UPDATE (noon): More via Associated Press, “Foundations, Corporations Pledge Haiti Relief“:

  • Coca-Cola Co.’s charitable arm is donating $1 million to American Red Cross efforts in Haiti, and it donating bottled water and other drinks through its bottler in the Dominican Republic.
  • Other pledges include $100,000 [from] … the charitable arm of auto maker General Motors, $25,000 from the Kraft Foods Foundation and 100,000 pairs of shoes from Soles4Souls Inc., a charity in Nashville, Tenn.

UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): And from Eli Lilly and Company, “Lilly has initially pledged $250,000 in direct cash contributions.  Half of this amount will be for short-term relief, with the balance donated over the next 12 months in support of the longer-term rebuilding efforts.  The company will also match contributions of its U.S. employees, up to a total of $250,000.  In addition, Lilly will work with non-governmental organization partners working in Haiti on appropriate donations of medicines.”  

So the Public Option Would Be Like the Post Office?

By | Health Care | No Comments

And that’s supposed to be reassuring?

President Obama, at his townhall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H.

Now, I recognize, though, you make a legitimate — you raise a legitimate concern. People say, well, how can a private company compete against the government? And my answer is that if the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining — meaning taxpayers aren’t subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do — then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. (Applause.)

I mean, if you think about — if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems. (Laughter.)

Associated Press, August 6, 2009, “Post office might look for new revenue“:

The post office said Wednesday it has lost $4.7 billion so far this year and expects to be $7 billion in the red by the end of the fiscal year because of the recession and the movement of letters and bills to e-mail.

Several hundred offices are being studied for possible closing and the agency has proposed other cost-saving moves including cutting mail delivery to five days a week.

More discussion, some vociferous, at National Review’s The Corner, “Subject: Town Hall mania

UPDATE (9 a.m. Thursday): Josh Trevino makes a point via Twitter: “The whole ‘post office’ argument is premised upon the public’s ignorance of the Constitution. And it works.” A bit oblique, but we take that to mean that the Article I of the Constitution establishes the post offices and post roads, but not the public option in health care. But what if we make health care PART of the U.S. Postal Service?

Card Check: Compromise, Defection and Rhetorical Tricksters

By | Labor Unions | No Comments

Mickey Kaus contextualizes the latest developments on the Employee Free Choice Act. In early March we wondered why the Los Angeles AFL-CIO was “street phoning” Senator Feinstein to lobby on card check. Now we know.

Employee Free Choice On the Move!  Now Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is waffling on “card check.”  Look for Marc Ambinder’s note on how this only better positions the anti-secret-ballot legislation for 2012! 11:17 P.M.


I was worried that anti-card-check lobbyists had made the horrible mistake of killing it quickly, before they’d put their kids through college. But no, there is still talk of a compromise that’s damaging to their business clients.  Sen. Harkin seems to be trying to use the Starbucks Plan as a push-off point in order to give labor an incremental victory. Faughnan speculates Harkin’s trying to save some of the (hated by business) arbitration provisions. As usual. Jennifer Rubin isn’t buying the threat.  … P.S.: What, exactly, did labor spinners gain by their now-discredited braggadocio (“100% confident”)? … 11:55 A.M.

He follows with an interesting, theoretical piece about the Employee Free Choice Act’s binding arbitration provisions being a repudiation of Wagner Act unionization. Why not just have government impose a contract all the time?

In other union dissembling news with a California tilt, there’s this news release from the U.S. Teamsters, “Blue Ribbon Commission Panel Findings Show that FedEx Has Eroded Its Workers’ Living Standards Substantially.”

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ —-A Blue Ribbon Commission panel has found that FedEx has systematically eroded the living standards of its employees to the point where its workers find themselves on the brink of falling out of the middle class.

Without good middle class jobs, the economy cannot recover, according to the report “Blue Ribbon Commission on Keeping FedEx Jobs in the Middle Class,” released today. The commissioners, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-CA., Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and United Methodist Church Bishop Mary Ann Swenson heard testimony from economic experts, FedEx workers, clergy and community members at a hearing in Los Angeles in December 2008.

Wow! A Blue Ribbon Commission, with all that title implies — august thinkers, economic experts, impartial arbiters.

Phhpt. It’s a panel formed by the Teamsters, other union groups, and the social justice crowd in Los Angeles. An accurate headline would have been, “Teamsters Find Teamsters to be Right, Urge Opponents to Adopt Teamsters Recommendation.”

Or in SAT terms: The Blue Ribbon Commission is to commissions as the Employee Free Choice Act is to employee free choice.