Category: News


Trumpdate: Tradewar News

Now that the new tariffs have gone into effect, how will the economy respond? That is the $34 billion dollar question.  Some believe that the tariffs will provide the US with higher quality manufacturing jobs, while others anticipate increased costs for American industry.

The new international trade policy is expected to shake up global supply chains and cause a reevaluation of cash flow for American manufacturers, and industry leaders are keeping their eyes on the market for developing trends.  For now, some supply chain turbulence is to be expected as changes take effect.

There have been some reports of Chinese ports holding goods for longer than expected.  Delays in customs clearing have occured while officials wait for word on how exactly to impose the added tariffs.

International response has varied.  Some nations have given vocal critiques of the new trade policies and others have responded with specifically formulated tariffs of their own.

For example, one of the targeted responses from China has been a new, lowered import commitment to US soybeans, down 66,000 tons from last year. With the United States exporting over 50% of their soybean yield to China, the reduced quota is expected to change the agricultural landscape.

President Trump committed to moving forward on the tariffs the day before they went into effect on July 6th, maintaining that the taxed goods, valued at $34 billion, have the potential to be followed by an additional $16 billion of taxable goods in the future. There are rumblings that as much as $450 billion of taxable imports are up for consideration.

As the tariffs go into effect and new market forces take shape, logistics and supply chain managers watch with anticipation for what will happen next.  International market forces are always in flux, so expect that these changes are only the beginning.


Marching Toward a Smarter City

Join us as we stay up date on the Smart Columbus and Hyperloop One projects which will have a tremendous positive impact on the city.  If you have followed our newsletters in the past, then you know that this is an exciting time for Columbus.  These developments are happening at a time when the city is experiencing 1.5-2% growth in employment annually and offering over 20,000 new jobs.  This seems to be just the beginning of the growth spurt.  Alongside aggressive new plans for the city, city leaders are predicting that in the next 20 years an additional one million people will populate Columbus. It is critical during these times to not just make moves forward but make the right moves forward.

The city’s chief innovation officer and co-leader of Smart Columbus, Michael Stevens said it himself when talking about the residents and businesses who will benefit from the Smart City solution: “We have to understand: What are their needs?… We’re developing solutions that are solving a problem, and not a solution in search of a problem.” It was for this reason that Smart Columbus took a bit of a pause from their rapid planning and development cycle in 2017 to reallocate the granted funding.

During the pause period, feedback was gathered on some of the plan proposals from the people who were expected to directly benefit from them the most.  From there, Smart City planners determined what people liked about the project, and what they didn’t.  Parts of the plan that were undervalued, such as a proposal to create an app that would assist delivery drivers in getting access to reserved loading zone spots, were scrapped, enabling resources to be more efficiently directed elsewhere.

Now that the feds have given the OK to the altered Smart City plans, the committee has hit the ground running.  In the first 20 months, the program spent just under half of the budget from the U.S. Department of Transportation grant for making the city’s transportation system more efficient, safer, greener, and better at connecting people with jobs.  Planners have purchased the 1st batch of electric vehicles and added strategic charging stations for them around the city.  Optimizing transportation has been central to the project, as Mayor Andrew Ginther was quoted as saying, “Mobility is the great equalizer of the 21st century.”  Smart Columbus just recently chose a Columbus IT consulting firm to design and build the central integrated data hub that all other infrastructure of the project will build on.

Linden has received special attention from the project planners, with public meetings and extensive surveys with residents and local businesses being deployed to uncover how best to use resources to improve major metrics in the area. Surveys determined a significant factor to be improved prenatal care in the area as Linden has the highest rate of infant mortality in all of Columbus. The improved infrastructure is expected to help make necessary medical care more accessible to pregnant mothers.

At the forefront of the Linden prenatal care project is the Moms2B program, based out of Ohio State University. The co-founder of Moms2B Dr. Particia Gabbe spoke upon the importance of Smart Columbus targeting the infant mortality issue, “If transportation were solved – not just for getting to the prenatal appointments, which are critically important – but also for getting food, for getting laundry done, for getting things done that help have a healthy baby, a healthy home… all those things have a huge impact on our disparities.”

Overall the Smart Columbus design process aims to serve as a model for other cities to follow in future, a blueprint for planners in other regions to execute similar initiatives competently.  In late February, The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) announced that the next step will be to study “rapid-speed” transportation options. The goal is to complete a two-pronged research project exploring a high-speed rail and the feasibility of a Hyperloop by the end of 2018.   The high-speed rail research will encompass a Tier I Environmental Impact Study (EIS), part of which has already begun for the Chicago-Columbus segment of the project.

Including the City of Columbus, MORPC, partners in Indiana, Marysville, and Lima, there has been just under $1 million committed so far. There is an expected $1.5 million of additional funding coming from private partners. The Hyperloop has been embraced by Smart Columbus as well as Executive Director William Murdock who stated, “Being in one of the fastest growing regions in the Midwest and with the potential to add up to one million people by 2050, we are taking the next steps in exploring the best transportation options for both passengers and freight that will better connect Columbus to Chicago and Pittsburgh.”  Stay tuned to our upcoming newsletters as we keep you updated on these storylines and more.


The Foreboding Theory of Secular Stagnation

For years after the Great Recession, economists scrutinized the market for signs of recovery.  What they saw were slowly rebounding numbers that indicated a less than stellar turnaround from the lows of 2008-2009.  For those of us involved in supply chain management and international trade, this was a point of concern.  Some economists used the term “secular stagnation” to explain why growth had been so sluggish, why the economy hadn’t rapidly reestablished its growth trajectory.  The theory holds that minimal market growth is the eventual equilibrium in a fully developed economy.  Its proponents believe that, in the long run, the endgame of a mature market is stagnation.  The question then becomes, does this theory provide a helpful framework for understanding the market?

Coined by Harvard economics professor Alvin Hansen, “secular stagnation” theorizes that the horizon towards which mature markets progress eventually becomes a boundary.  It holds that the upward trajectory of macroeconomic potential eventually hits a ceiling, where growth gives way to a long plateau.  The idea was first put forth in 1938, during the tail end of the Great Depression, and has reemerged to describe the economic downturn of 2008-2009 and subsequently lagging markets.  Believers in secular stagnation hold that markets will reach a state of maximum aggregate demand with minimal prospects for future growth.  They maintain that a set point exists where aggregate demand stalls out in relation to supply, resulting in a perpetually stagnant economy.

It is not coincidental that the term “secular stagnation” arose during the tail end of the Great Depression.  In 1938, after many withering years of financial loss and instability, many felt that the world economy was destined to remain low forever.  And now again, in the post Great Recession economy, some have wondered if signs of slow recovery in world markets means that the economy is ultimately destined to stay that way in the long run.

Keep in mind that the disparity in market behavior between the Great Depression and the Great Recession is dramatic, however.  The Great Recession bookends a drop in worldwide GDP between 2008 and 2009 of less than 1%, while during the Great Depression between 1929 and 1932, worldwide GDP dropped around 15% percent.  From the Q2 2009 low of $14.355 trillion in real GDP, the United States is up 20% to $17.271 trillion in Q4 2017, and per capita GDP increased from $47,000 to $52,000 from 2009 to 2016.

As far as supply chain concerns overseas, some economists say that China was one of the least affected markets during the Great Recession.  As early as Q4 2009, Chinas GDP growth rate rebounded to pre-crisis levels at 11.4% per year, and in Q1 2010 the GDP growth rate was above its long-run average at 12.2% per year.  In 2009, Chinas real GDP was $5.11 trillion, 7 years later, it was $11.2 trillion.  For businesses fearing a long-term contraction of international trade, those numbers are reassuring.  Whether or not secular stagnation is the true fate of mature markets, only time will tell.  But for now it appears that the economy has found the frontier once more.


Trumpdate – Beginnings with China

In our ‘1st Quarter 2017 Newsletter’, we had our first “Trumpdate” article. At the time, all anybody really knew was that this Presidency was not going to be like any other. The direction that the Administration was going in was still developing. Now the image is getting a little clearer. In the past couple of months, trade talks have increased, especially around the in the subject of China. In early November of 2017, President Trump visited China and began the next phase of discussions with President Xi Jinping.

President Trump’s approach to China during his early stages had been shaped by his deeply felt opinion that unfair trade practices have harmed American workers. After July’s Comprehensive Economic Dialogue; both the U.S. and China expressed their interest in narrowing the trade deficit. Many have predicted that based on the staff that President Trump brought on his most recent trip, the deals will likely center around China buying American energy, farm products, aircraft, and machinery.

On this topic there are two major developing opinions within American business communities:

  • First, people are concerned that President Trump’s focus on the deficit could distract from larger problems such as market access and global competition. As we all know, China is the most populated country in the world. Those populations are potential customers for U.S. manufacturers that do a lot of exporting to China. Inaccessible markets would be a problem. China has always been strict with their industry policy, and could use those policies against the United States such as limiting investments or exports.
  • Secondly, people have developed the thought that China will see President Trump’s proposal as an opportunity to open different industry sectors to foreign direct investment. This scenario will benefit all parties. The U.S. manufacturers will gain more business with China, and China’s economic growth will be boosted from all the foreign direct investment.

The result is still beyond anybody’s prediction. From his November visit, President Trump was able to sign billion worth of deals. The two countries sealed a total of 19 agreements covering bioscience, aviation, and smart manufacturing. It was also announced that Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com would buy billion of U.S. goods, predominantly beef and pork-based products. The U.S. was able to gain more exports from China and reduce the trade deficit. In return, China has proposed broader economic interaction between the two countries, including:

  1. Buying more manufactured products and energy from the United States
  2. Lifting export restrictions on hi-tech products so that more Chinese products can be imported to the U.S. to help reduce the trade deficit
  3. Having more opportunity to cooperate with the U.S. in research and development fields such as space and aviation
  4. Implementing the U.S. participating with the “Belt and Road Initiative” as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  5. Requesting the U.S. to tone down the Section 301 probe into alleged Chinese IP Violation

Stay tuned for our next Trumpdate coming to you at the end of March 2018.


Technology and Transportation – the Links Between East and West

Nearly a year ago, in January 2017, the roll-out of the Columbus Smart City plan was announced.  As highlighted in one of our previous newsletters, it is a comprehensive plan proposed in October of 2016 includes new technologies, connected infrastructure, electric vehicles, integrated data platforms, and more. You may be asking “what’s next?”. Developments and plans for Smart City can be found on the Smart Columbus homepage (https://www.columbus.gov/smartcolumbus/). But that is not going to be the most recent project developing in Columbus. Now, it is the Hyperloop!

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has proposed a plan to build a high-speed transportation system between Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh. It was announced in September of 2017 that the Midwest route is one of ten international finalists chosen, and one of four in the U.S.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, invented the Hyperloop. It is a high-speed transportation system incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motor and air compressors. This new transportation technology will be a game changer for many industries.

The first industry is the aviation industry. If the Hyperloop is established, a 7-hour flight would take half the time. The airline companies that will be affected are those whose revenue comes from the domestic market. Next is the freight industry. Giant companies like Amazon will be very interested in high-speed freight services. Amazon fulfillment centers will be strategically placed along the Hyperloop routes. Lastly, the job market. The new Hyperloop transportation system will remake Columbus. Thea Walsh, Director of Transportation Systems and Funding for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission stated that, “For people who don’t have access to the big cities like even Columbus may have a way to get in here to access the job market.” The job market will be more competitive because the location barrier will be lower. For example, if you have a job in Columbus, you could live in your hometown of Chicago. Can you think of any places where that is currently the case?

There are many socio-economic factors that would benefit from the Hyperloop relating to the Columbus Smart City. Just look at some of the impacts the Bullet Train had on regional economies in China. Studies by the World Bank found that over the span of 10 years, 15 cities benefited in 209,609.5 million yuan in GDP. The transportation industry alone gained nearly 2,000 million yuan during the time.

To read more check out the link below:

https://www.morpc.org/Assets/MORPC/files/forms/01.Midwest%20Connect%20Corridor%20-%20Hyperloop%20One.pdf


Feeling left out?

We have been publishing a quarterly newsletter for nearly two years to an exclusive list of email subscribers. With nearly 400 subscribers, we thought it was time to go public. We are proud to announce thatIssue #7: Industry 4.0’ will be hosted for the first time ever on our website. Industry 4.0 will feature a newly designed layout geared to be direct and user friendly. Check out past editions: http://www.889globalsolutions.com/889-global-solutions-newsletter/

Here at 889, we envision this newsletter to be a source of information for all companies that are involved in manufacturing and procurement. We will be covering trending topics and developing industry news. We will have provided content from peers and partners within the industry that we identify as thought leaders. If you or somebody you know would like to get involved in the next quarterly edition, please contact our team at contact@889globalsolutions.com.

Please note that 889 Global Solutions has the discretion to exclude content that does not align with the topic or the 889 mission.

We look to publish the newest edition Wednesday, December 20th during your lunch break. Hope you enjoy!


Speedy Evolution of the Healthcare Industry

Technological advancement is accelerating every day. Among the fastest evolving technologies in 2017 is Artificial Intelligence. According to Accenture, Artificial Intelligence is a collection of multiple technologies that enable machines to sense, comprehend, act, and learn, either on their own or to augment human activities (Accenture). There is a wide variety Artificial Intelligence applications; among them its application in the Healthcare Industry.

The Artificial Intelligence is already helping healthcare providers in data management. The data management process start with collecting, storing, normalizing, and tracing data traditionally managed by a human system. Google, a leader in AI, launched its Google Deepmind Health Project in 2016 (Matthew, 2016). This project is used to mine data of medical records in order to provide more accurate and faster access to health data (Mesko, 2016). The project is in its initial state, so it remains pretty difficult to tell whether or not this new project will make big impact to the industry.

Artificial Intelligence can also be applied in designing treatment plans. IBM is attempting to improve treatment plan design. It launched this special program for oncologists and is able to provide clinicians evidence-based treatment options (Mesko, 2016). It helps the doctors to identify the key information in a patient’s medical record, provide relevant articles, and explore treatment options to reduce unwanted variation of care and give time back to their patients (Mesko, 2016). By combining all attributes, Watson can recommend holistic treatment plans for a patient.

Naturally, Artificial Intelligence is helpful in assisting repetitive tasks. As true in healthcare as any other industries, IBM launched a new project in this area called Medical Sieve (Mesko, 2016). Medical Sieve is an ambitious long term exploratory project to build a next generation cognitive assistant with advanced multimodal analytics, clinical knowledge, and reasoning capabilities that is qualified to assist in clinical decision-making in radiology and cardiology (Mesko, 2016). The cognitive assistant can help radiologist and cardiologist analyze image to spot and detect problems faster and more reliably.

Artificial Intelligence will also revolutionize the way doctors and patients interact. Today, when you are sick, you need to pick up your phone, call you general practitioner and make an appointment. In the future, online medical consultation and medical service will be possible through AI implementation. One of the companies that has offered this kind of service is Babylon, a new British startup (Mesko, 2016). Babylon launched its application that offers medical consultation online based on a patient’s medical records and general medical knowledge (Mesko, 2016). The app will also remind patients to take their medicine regularly and follow up to find out how they are feeling.

Artificial Intelligence will have a huge impact on genetics and genomics as well. Deep genomics, a system that predicts the molecular effects of genetic variation, leads to new discovery for disease diagnostics and therapies (Deep Genomics). Its purpose is identifying patterns in huge data sets of genetic information and medical records, looking for mutations and linkage to disease (Mesko, 2016).  In other words, this AI will help to invent a new generation of computational technologies that will inform doctors what will happen within a cell when DNA is altered by genetic variation, whether natural or therapeutic (Mesko, 2016).

In terms of decision making, artificial intelligence is rapidly advancing. Digital health apps and wearable smart devices are more popular than ever. The proliferation of this trend has the potential to empower individuals to manage their health before intervention is needed (Burke, 2017). Technologies help people make sense of their conditions, sort through their treatment options, and make wise decision about their care. Overall, increasing a patient’s knowledge about their care and improving their satisfaction.

Healthcare has already evolved drastically throughout the 21st century. Traditionally, successful treatment has relied on connections between healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical or medical device companies and other auxiliary players, while still requiring the patient to manage their own care. Overtime, focus has shifted to the patient while establishing a coordinated, cohesive effort among all healthcare industry professionals to deliver more effective and efficient care. With the introduction and evolution of Artificial Intelligence, the ability to provide the patient with the most effective treatment has taken a quantum leap forward.

Works Cited

Accenture. (n.d.). ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, PUT TO WORK. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Accenture: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-artificial-intelligence-software
Burke, Z. (2017, February 13). Healthcare industry, or consumer health industry? Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Healthcare IT News: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/healthcare-industry-or-consumer-health-industry
Deep Genomics. (n.d.). Changing The Course Of Genomic Medicine. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Deep Genomics: https://www.deepgenomics.com/
Matthew, J. (2016, February 26). Google Launches DeepMind Health, Bringing AI to Healthcare. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Futurism: https://futurism.com/google-officially-announces-launch-deepmind-health/
Mesko, B. (2016, August 17). Artificial Intelligence Will Redesign Healthcare. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from The Medical Futurist: http://medicalfuturist.com/artificial-intelligence-will-redesign-healthcare/


The New Megacity Xiongan

On April 3rd, all the real estate companies were forced to shut down in Xiongxian, a county in Xiongan Area, where the police chased real estate speculators soon after the region was established. You might wonder what escalated the situation and led to police violence, so let me give a brief introduction to Xiongan Area first.

On April 1st 2017, the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and the State Council decided to establish a national new area in Xiongan, encompassing three counties of Xiongxian, Roncheng and Anxin. The foundation of the area is another crucial strategic choice proposed by the party after the establishment of the Shengzhen Economic Zone and Shanghai Pudong New Area. The Xiongan New Area has ample natural resources, including natural gas, oil, subterranean heat, and mineral resources, and has an excellent ecosystem with various species of plants and animals.

Initially, the Chinese government desired to offer a solution for the problems faced by Beijing with the Xiongan project. The plan will adjust Beijing’s spatial structure to relieve the pressure of population, and provide a new mode to improve high populated areas. In addition, it will transform the industry structure to make the businesses environmental friendly. Moreover, the plan will facilitate the relocation of non-capital functions from Beijing to its surrounding vicinity, bringing a population of 20 million people to the labor force in underdeveloped regions.

However, the government’s stated vision is now more ambitious than the original goals. They seek to emphasize the innovation and advanced technology in business clusters in order to reactivate growth in the regions of Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta after the economic recession. In addition to economy and infrastructure, the plan also focuses on the continuity of culture in the Xiongan New Area. The government will fund a project to collect regional folklore and preserve local tradition.

Naturally, many real estate agencies perceive this as an opportunity to invest in housing, and they overcrowded the area soon after the establishment of the area. The government quickly issued a ban on real estate purchases to prevent the rising prices in housing, and ensure low-income citizens can afford to live in the area, which results in the scene in the beginning of this article. The CCP plans for the new area to achieve sustainable development and improve the residents’ living standards while prevents unethical profiting on the housing market and further aggravation of the economy. Despite conflicting interests between government and investors, the new area is already attracting new talent to contribute to its growth. After government’s initiative to develop the new area, more PhDs come to the area to seek career advancements.

The plan for the Xiongan Area bears witness to conflicting interest between Chinese businesses and the government. It is yet to be seen whether the Xiongan New Area is capable of ensuring China’s holistic developments by maintaining citizens’ welfare while creating ample businesses opportunities for enterprises.


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