The agonizingly slow grind towards the start of NAFTA negotiations formed the focus of much of our readers’ interest this month – the most-read article was a deep dive into Mexico-U.S. agricultural trade relations. China’s position on new trade deals, whether at the NPC, the Pacific Alliance or vs. South Korea all garnered interest too. In logistics the focus was on the DoJ’s raid of a box-liner meeting and Maersk’s progress in buying Hamburg Sud. Elsewhere we took a look at aerospace exports and Adidas’s sourcing structure.
#1 Mexico Bares Agricultural Teeth Before NAFTA Talks (Mar 17) The most read research in March, like the most read report in February, focussed on Mexico rather than America’s position on NAFTA. We looked at comments from Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary that the country would start to look for alternatives to the U.S., identified just what they might be and what it would mean for U.S. farmers.
#2 39% of U.S. Trade is Up for Review as Trump Nears Executive Order (Mar 21) Our preview of the trade-deal reviewing EO identified NAFTA, KORUS (with South Korea) and the FTAs with Israel and Colombia as being the most likely to need renegotiation.
#3 China Doesn’t Want a U.S. Trade War – It Has Too Much Else To Do (Mar 15) Premier Li of China ended the NPC with a call to avoid a trade war with the U.S., our analysis shows China probably needs to be more worried about Europe in terms of scale and growth.
#4 Merkel-Trump Meeting Could Make Dark Clouds Disappear (Mar 9) Probably the most important state meeting of the month was the Trump-Merkel summit, which had been preceded by critical commentary from the U.S. side. Our deep-dive into trade-flows showed the two countries have much in common.
#5 Did Wilbur Ross Punt NAFTA 2.0 Into 2018? (Mar 8) The formal start of NAFTA negotiations was eagerly awaited throughout the month, though comments from Secretary Ross suggested they may not be completed until 2018. We flagged the risk that slow trilateral talks run the risk of the President losing patience and acting unilaterally.
#6 Did Trump’s Speech Support BAT? It May Slow New Trade Deals (Mar 1) The President’s speech to Congress raised the prospect that tax reform and trade reform could get tangled up, but with an expanding deficit for January looming patience may have worn thin.
#7 NAFasTA Deal Making? (Mar 13) If Secretary Ross’s comments earlier in the month suggested slow progress on NAFTA, his statement that a TPA trigger could occur within two weeks speeded them up. Timing matters: U.S.-Mexico deficits tend to peak seasonally around June, possibly arriving just as formal talks would start.
#8 Will the Box Club Be Clubbed by the Department of Justice? (Mar 22) Our reading of a surprise investigation by the DoJ into container-liners is that it is driven by concerns held about alliances that the FMC does not share.
#9 Expeditors Loses U.S. NVOCC Share to Danmar, DSV as Competition Hots Up (Mar 13) Each month we analyze the performance of the NVOCCs, with an apparent increase in competition for volumes among the top players leaving Expeditors the loser – or perhaps the winner.
#10 Is Mexico’s Surprise Surplus a Portent of Export Reversal to Come? (Mar 27) February’s trade surplus was the result of higher energy prices, which are uncontrollable, and falling component imports, which suggests manufacturing activity may be falling.
#11 Boeing Wants ExIm But Trade Deal Exposure Matters More (Mar 2) Redundancies at America’s number 1 exporter aren’t for want of shipments, which have been increasing. It does, however, face retaliation threats as the administration seeks new trade deals.
#12 No TTIP v2 – Trump and Merkel Have Other Deals to Handle (Mar 20) An awkward meeting resulted in no fireworks, but equally didn’t move EU-U.S. trade relations forward either. Our analysis of bilateral trade shows it is a border-adjustable tax rather than a renewal of TTIP that may be the next battleground. That and the small matters of Brexit and NAFTA.
#13 Adidas Sourcing Teardown Reveals Shoes From 27 Countries, T-Shirts from 30 (Mar 2) Adidas’s supply chain may be more important to its future success than sales growth, our review of over 500 country-product lines shows.
#14 Will Discipline Hold as Hyundai MM Gets the Money It’s Been Promised? (Mar 6) We’ve been tracking container-liner capacity discipline for several months, and highlighted the risk of Korean government financing resulting in that discipline slipping.
#15 Less WTO, More Wrestling with South Korea Previewed in Trump Trade Tract (Mar 1) We took a deep-dive into U.S.-South Korea trade relations to see where a renegotiation of KORUS might go (spoiler: it’s not just mobile phones).
#16 Maersk Yet to Announce HamSu Financials, Regulatory Hurdles Remain High (Mar 15) Maersk’s acquisition took a couple of procedural steps forward during March, but still faces significant hurdles, especially in Latin America.
#17 NAFTAmnesty? Trump Draft May Avoid New Deficits Rather Than Cure Old Ones (Mar 30) We used an analysis of over 1,000 export lines from Mexico to the U.S. in January to put proposed NAFTA “snapback” terms in context.
#18 Lighthizer Wants to Promote Ags Exports, May Be Forced to Play Defense (Mar 15) Our investigation of the top 60 U.S. agricultural exports to its top 20 partners highlighted the need for the U.S. to think more about defence than offence for agriculture in trade talks.
#19 Will Mnuchin Use the G20 As a Currency Manipulation Campaign Kick-off? (Mar 14) The G20 finance meeting isn’t normally about global trade – we believed it would become so. In the end it resulted in the G20 removing its stated commitment to resisting protectionism in all forms.
#20 Trump Rush Effect Wanes in February as U.S. Shipments Slow (Mar 7) Each month we use shipment data to get a near 4-week head start on official trade statistics. We spotted falling imports for February.
#21 Could Maersk’s Concessions for Hamburg Sud Include Brazil? (Mar 22) We analyzed Maersk and Hamburg Sud’s route market shares to determine where the European Commission commitments they have made may lie.
#22 5 Year High For U.S. Deficit Adds Impetus But Can’t Accelerate New Trade Deals (Mar 7) The U.S. trade deficit for January was a big one because of goods. Given the Trump administration’s focus on deficits we took a look at progress on services too.
#23 The Big Get Bigger as U.S. Carrier Share Consolidates Further in February (Mar 9) We added an analysis of 600 carrier-country pairs to our monthly deep-dive into the U.S.-inbound shipping market to reveal the importance of alliances.
#24 China May Not Grab TPP in Chile, But It Does Need to Address NAFTA 2.0 (Mar 14) A preview of the Pacific Alliance meeting in Chile looked at China’s positioning vs. the attendees’ in terms of trade deal membership potential.
#25 South Korean Trade Dispute with China Likely to Remain Low Key (Mar 7) As South Korea threatened China with a WTO reference we analyzed the top 200 exports in each direction and found that the close integration of electronics supply chains makes a full trade war unlikely.
These articles were first published on Panjiva Research, and highlighted in the Panjiva Global Trade Daily. To learn more email email@example.com.