Page 14 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
P. 14

continued from page 12
         ment effects, that part  is largely be-
         hind us,” says Autor.
           Now, the challenge is Chinese compe-
         tition on more technologically complex
         products, like automobiles, airplanes
         or microprocessors. The manufacturing
         of more labor-intensive, less technolog-
         ically complex products like apparel is
         migrating to lower-wage countries like
         Bangladesh and Ethiopia.
           But a shift in where certain products
         are made is different from a net in-
         crease in the level of global connectiv-
         ity. The level of economic integration is
         remaining level, even as the details of
         exactly what is made in which country
         are changing.
           “I don’t think there’s any turning
         back the clock,”  adds Autor, referring
         to a return to a world where less tech-
         nologically  complex and more  labor-  Stacked steel metal-roll, ready for shipment in port. Photo © Hellen Sergeyeva /
         intensive products are again made in   block  a  long-predicted reward  of  glo-  Today 45 percent do, meaning an
         the United States. “I think we should   balization: a new world of customers.   additional 2.3 billion humans are now
         be girding ourselves for the real chal-  The rise in global economic integration,   able to afford the luxuries that the
         lenge, which is struggles over intellec-  for all the disruption it has meant for   global economy  provides: abundant
         tual property and frontier industries.”   certain  workers  in  the United States   food, motorized transportation, mobile
           The Trump administration’s efforts to   and Western Europe, has also been a   phones and the like.
         pressure China, if they succeed, would   story of hundreds of millions of people   Mr. Kharas argues that it’s wrong
         do some of that. But those actions have   becoming more connected to the world-  to view these billions of people only as
         been paired with tariffs on steel and alu-  wide  economy,  and achieving  higher   competition for good jobs.
         minum that appear more aimed at pro-  standards of living in the process.  Perhaps it is wrong as well to ignore
         tecting American manufacturing of the   Homi Kharas, a senior fellow at the   those in small businesses,  some with
         metals. The administration’s approach   Brookings Institution, studies the rise   fairly fragile bottom lines. That could
         could backfire if it unleashes a series of   of the global middle class — which in   include  all those  industries  and busi-
         escalating tit-for-tat tariffs on all sorts   his calculations includes  people with   nesses  associated  with  wire  rope,  fit-
         of goods, undermining global commerce   income of at least $10 per person per   tings, and rigging shops.  This news
         without fixing the underlying problems   day in  2005 dollars.  For a family of   could have implications for specialty
         in information-intensive industries.  four,  adjusted  to 2018 dollars,  that   firms such as Sailing Services.
           If the latest trade skirmishes do blow   works out to around $19,000 a year.  “We have been stocking up on the
         up into a trade war, those new barriers   In 1990, only 23 percent of the world’s   wire rope in the wake of talks and pro-
         to international  commerce  might also   population fit that category.   posals of a tariff – these materials in-
                                                                               cludes top quality products from KOS
         Industrial port crane unloads freight cargo ship.                     in South Korea,” says Brooks Paul
         Photo © Mykyta Starychenko /
                                                                               Jones with Sailing Services,  Miami,
                                                                               Florida. Sailing Services has an exten-
                                                                               sive line of items for those involved in
                                                                               all aspects of sailing.
                                                                                 Adds, Jones on this issue: “But nobody
                                                                               knows anything except that our suppli-
                                                                               er is raising prices in the near future.
                                                                               I’m not sure is this is a sales technique
                                                                               being employed or something else.
                                                                                 “And frankly,  when it comes to the
                                                                               news out of Washington, DC, few peo-
                                                                               ple seem to genuinely know what to ex-
                                                                               pect from one day to the next. Trying to
                                                                               gauge things is something of a moving
                                                                               target. The  bottom line  is  – and per-
                                                                               haps an article should be done on this
                                                                               topic – that voting is something very
                                                                               important. Being a well-informed voter
                                                                               is even more crucial these days.”
                                                                                 St. Pierre USA’s Richard St. Pierre,
                                                                               in Worcester, Massachusetts, is well
                                                                                                continued on page 16

         14     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   April 2018
   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19