‘Trump’s trade war will trigger the biggest wave of automation in history’, says expert

US President Donald Trump’s trade policies will “trigger the biggest wave of automation in history”, according to an economics expert writing on Forbes.com

Trump has spoken out against a variety of international trade agreements to which the US had previously signed up to.

And since he became president, Trump has taken the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and is discussing how to also take it out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta.  Continue reading ‘Trump’s trade war will trigger the biggest wave of automation in history’, says expert

Apple to build three ‘big, big, big’ manufacturing plants in the US, claims Trump

President Donald Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook has committed to building “three big manufacturing plants in the US”, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal website. 

In an interview with the business and investment newspaper, Trump is reported to have said: “I spoke to [Cook], he’s promised me three big plants – big, big, big.

“I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”  Continue reading Apple to build three ‘big, big, big’ manufacturing plants in the US, claims Trump

US manufacturing sector is seeing ‘record investment’, says Pence

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US Vice President Mike Pence on a visit to Tendon Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is experiencing a dramatic turnaround in business, according to figures released by the White House. 

President Donald Trump has consistently said he wants the manufacturing sector to grow and has personally intervened to persuade many large manufacturing companies to consider relocating or expanding their operations in the US.

However, the vast majority of manufacturing companies in the US are small businesses, of less than 100 people.  Continue reading US manufacturing sector is seeing ‘record investment’, says Pence

Foxconn evaluating US locations for $10 billion expansion plans

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A Foxconn production line with workers making iPhones. Picture: Flickr

Foxconn, the main manufacturer for Apple’s smartphones and tablet computers, is looking for locations in the US to invest $10 billion into setting up factories, according to a variety of reports in the media. 

The company has already earmarked $7 billion for a display panel factory after buying the Sharp electronics company, although it’s not certain where it will be located.

The Taiwanese company’s newly found interest in the US comes after President Donald Trump made it clear that he prioritises the reinvigoration of the country’s manufacturing base.  Continue reading Foxconn evaluating US locations for $10 billion expansion plans

Trump considering taking US out of global environmental agreement

World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21)
Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris. Reuters / Stephane Mahe

By Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason, Reuters

President Donald Trump plans to make good on his campaign vow to withdraw the United States from a global pact to fight climate change, a source briefed on the decision said on Wednesday, a move that promises to deepen a rift with US allies.

White House officials cautioned that details were still being hammered out and that, although close, the decision on withdrawing from the 195-nation accord – agreed to in Paris in 2015 – was not finalized.

Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, did not confirm the decision in a post on Twitter, saying only, “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days.”  Continue reading Trump considering taking US out of global environmental agreement

Trump administration will be a catalytic converter for autonomous cars, says Chao

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Newly appointed US Transport Secretary Elaine Chao says the Trump administration will have a catalysing effect on the autonomous car industry. 

Chao made her first public remarks on the subject while speaking at the National Governors Association, as reported by Reuters.

Chao said: “This administration is evaluating this guidance and will consult with you and other stakeholders as we update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance.”

She added that the Trump administration wanted to ensure it “is a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies, not an impediment. In particular, I want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology”.  Continue reading Trump administration will be a catalytic converter for autonomous cars, says Chao

Trump policy on China: Playing hardball

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By Edward Tse, Gao Feng Advisory

Donald Trump’s recent appointment of Peter Navarro to head his newly formed White House National Trade Council has sparked controversy.

Navarro is known for his hawkish views on China and many believe that, by appointing him, the US president-elect is signalling that he will play hardball with China on trade when he takes office.

Navarro has written a number of books and filmed a documentary in which he criticised China for unfair trade practices, especially with the US. He has called China “a cheat”, “brutal” and “amoral”.

Instead of launching a trade war, collaboration is the way to go.  Continue reading Trump policy on China: Playing hardball

US President Donald Trump pressures automakers to increase production in the US

Donald Trump and Mary Barra
Trump pulls out a chair for GM CEO Mary Barra as he hosts a meeting with US auto industry CEOs at the White House, on January 24, 2017. Reuters / Kevin Lamarque

By David Shepardson and Roberta Rampton, Reuters

US President Donald Trump pushed the chief executives of General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler to increase production in the United States and boost American employment.

Trump opened a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the White House by saying he wants to see new auto plants built in the United States.

The new Republican president vowed to cut regulations and taxes to make it more attractive for businesses to operate in the United States. He promised frequently during his election campaign to be a job-creating president and stressed that message in his inaugural speech last Friday.  Continue reading US President Donald Trump pressures automakers to increase production in the US

US President Donald Trump orders reduction of manufacturing and construction bureaucracy

US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Picture: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Picture: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque

Newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump has signed an order aimed at reducing the amount of bureaucracy involved in getting permissions and licences in the manufacturing and construction sectors. 

Trump got elected partly on a platform to rejuvenate manufacturing and industry – or his “make it in America” mantra – and these first few days have seen some big changes proposed.

The order he signed is designed to streamline the administrative process, which Trump said was “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible”.  Continue reading US President Donald Trump orders reduction of manufacturing and construction bureaucracy

General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

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General Motors says it will invest an additional $1 billion into its manufacturing operations in the US, adding to the $2.9 billion of investment it announced last year. 

And in a what may have been an extra comment aimed at President-elect Donald Trump, GM says it has invested a total of $21 billion in its US manufacturing operations since 2009.

Like virtually all other automakers and large manufacturing companies, such as Apple, GM has been the target of some criticism from Trump, who wants to fulfil his campaign promise to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US.  Continue reading General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

President Barack Obama appoints GM CEO Mary Barra to advisory panel on self-driving cars

General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra

US President Barack Obama has appointed General Motors chief executive Mary Barra to a newly created advisory committee on self-driving cars, and critics are already saying she should be the first person to whom the incoming president, Donald Trump, should say: “You’re fired.” 

Consumer advocates called on President-elect Donald Trump to make Barra his first firing and remove her as co-chairman of the newly created Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.

In a letter to Trump, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, John Simpson, the group’s privacy project director, and Joan Claybrook, chair of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, wrote: “As you know, robot cars, trucks, drones and other technology threaten to replace tens of millions of American jobs, pose a danger to the safety of our roads and public spaces, and come with significant privacy and security threats.

“We should not allow the robot makers alone to oversee the safety of vehicles coming out of robot factories, but the Obama Administration’s eleventh hour appointments do just that.”  Continue reading President Barack Obama appoints GM CEO Mary Barra to advisory panel on self-driving cars

Four reasons why Trump will learn a Chinese Lesson on how isolationism never works

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By Edward Tse, Gao Feng Advisory

Donald Trump’s election as the next US president is generating a lot of speculation about US-China relations, especially in investment and trade. People are wondering what the implications will be for both Chinese and US companies.

We can look at this situation in several ways.

First, isolationism can never generate sustainable growth for any country. History has proven this over and over again. Continue reading Four reasons why Trump will learn a Chinese Lesson on how isolationism never works

Apple to expand manufacturing in America

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Apple CEO Tim Cook during a visit to the company’s facility in Austin, Texas, where the Mac Pro is assembled. Picture courtesy MacRumours.com

Tech giant Apple looks to have decided to expand its manufacturing operations in the US. The company filed a notification in the Federal Register apparently to that effect. 

statement on the Federal Register website says that Apple already has authority to manufacture within the Mesa, Arizona region. “The new request would add finished products and foreign status materials and components to the scope of authority,” it says.

TechCrunch notes that the statement included a mention of Apple’s plan to build data centre server cabinets, which is not a consumer product Apple sells and, therefore, TechCrunch presumes, would be “used for building out its own data centers”.  Continue reading Apple to expand manufacturing in America

Manufacturing: Trump tempts Toyota with tax break if it builds cars in US instead of Mexico

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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto with Toyota North America CEO James Lentz last year during the start of building the facility in Guanajuato

lockAfter apparently pressuring Ford to change its plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Mexico, President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly putting pressure on Toyota to follow suit. 

Ford had intended to build a plant in Mexico, but is now applying the brakes on those plans, according to the Economist.

A couple of days ago, Ford said it would cancel its $1.6 billion project in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and instead invest $700 million in its plant in Michigan, in the US.  Continue reading Manufacturing: Trump tempts Toyota with tax break if it builds cars in US instead of Mexico

President-elect Donald Trump meets with tech leaders for informal chinwag before inauguration

trump meets tech leaders
US President-elect Donald Trump sits with PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk during a meeting with technology leaders at Trump Tower in New York, US, December 14, 2016. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

By Gina Cherelus and Dustin Volz, Reuters

President-elect Donald Trump and some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives met at his Manhattan tower in the past week, at a summit convened to smooth over frictions after both sides made no secret of their disdain for each other during the election campaign.

The meeting focused chiefly on economic issues, including job creation, lowering taxes and trade dynamics with China, while largely skirting the many disagreements the tech industry has with Trump on matters ranging from immigration to digital privacy, according to a Trump transition team statement.

Trump proposed reconvening with the tech leaders as often as every quarter, the statement said.  Continue reading President-elect Donald Trump meets with tech leaders for informal chinwag before inauguration