• 29 Nov 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    On Sunday, November 25th, at a special meeting of the European Council in Brussels, the European Union approved the BREXIT deal proposed by British PM Theresa May.  The leaders of the 27 countries remaining in the bloc endorsed both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration.  The Withdrawal Agreement is a compromise that keeps Britain outside the EU with no say in its operation, but still subject to the rules and obligations of membership until at least 2020.  The Political Declaration sets the course for the U.K.'s relationship with the E.U. once Brexit is complete.

    Problematic for the process is that the deal must be approved by the U.K. Parliament, where no party has a majority and the sentiment of individual MPs range from “burn all bridges” to reconciliation, to reconsideration.  PM May plans to hold a vote ahead of Parliament’s Christmas break on December 20th.  She is banking on the acceptance of an imperfect deal instead of a No-Deal-Bexit and its associated financial turmoil, gridlock at UK ports, and shortages of essential goods.

  • 07 Nov 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    In October, President Trump tweeted that he was willing to tie the recently signed United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the issue of illegal immigration to the U.S. through Mexico:  “Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border.”  Some American observers have predicted a Democratic House might push for the deal to be revised to strengthen provisions related to labor rights. But there’s no mechanism to make changes, large or small, and all three governments are hesitant to reenter complex negotiations to further tweak the agreement (which took 13 months to finalize).

    Canada continues to expect USMCA to be signed, as previously planned, on November 30th. That’s the earliest date under U.S. law that President Trump can sign the agreement and the final day Mexico’s outgoing president, Enrique Pena Nieto, can sign the deal. The agreement must then be passed to both the American Congress and Canada's Parliament early in 2019 to be ratified.

  • 19 Oct 2018 by Global Chamber

    Here are a few updates from our last newsletter. 

    Please click the link below to each.

    Tariff Update: WTO Projects Decline in the Global Economy

    Blockchain in Corporate Training

    Airbus Delivers A Long Range Jetliner to Singapore Airlines

    Individual Portfolio Challenges and the NASDAQ

    Global Chamber® is the world's FIRST and ONLY chamber of commerce with hundreds of locations that is focused on helping executives grow across borders.  Global Chamber has metro representation, from Albemarle to Zanzibar, while collaborating with diverse support organizations across the globe.

    We provide tangible cross metro and cross border services for exporters, importers and investors that make your growth journey a little easier. Save time and money. And get connected locally, nationally and globally.

    Mark Lohsen

    Executive Director, Global Chamber Charlotte


  • 05 Oct 2018 by Global Chamber

    The Industrial Internet of Things will transform business, particularly in the manufacturing, energy, agriculture, and transportation market sectors.  IIoT will also transform how people with work with systems and machines across all sectors.

    With significantly improved operational efficiencies, interconnected technical systems, and more engaged interaction with customers, business will shift their focus from products to outcome based services delivered through “partnership eco-systems.”  To gain competitive advantage, a World Economic Forum study suggests

    • Technology providers should inventory and share “best security practices”, including the development test beds to integrate solutions from different organizations.
    • Technology adopters need to reorient business strategies to address advances in the Industrial Internet and identify partners focused on interoperability and skilled at integrating legacy systems/equipment/applications.
    • Governments (local, state, and federal) should focus on increasing investment in digital infrastructures, improving cross-border regulations, and educating/retraining workers for emerging high-tech industries.

    Global Chamber Is spearheading Charlotte metro initiatives to capture the lead in these areas by hosting webinars on these topics and developing local communities of shared interest.  Check out our upcoming globinar on healthcare  HERE and stay in touch for more.

  • 20 Sep 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    In the midst of its renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the United States has abandoned a key point.  U. S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is pulling a proposed restriction preventing Mexican and Canadian firms from bidding on U.S. government infrastructure projects.

    Both Canada and Mexico have claimed credit for the change in the “Buy American” position, which is further increasing the friction between the countries after Mexico reached its own NAFTA deal with the Trump administration last month.

    Canada and the United States are continuing their renegotiation of the three-country trade pact, but major sticking points such as dairy and dispute resolution remain. And Canada is benefiting from Mexico’s significant concessions in its deal with the U.S. on automobile rules of origin and providing for large wage increases for Mexican auto workers – which will help stem the flow of US and Canadian automobile production into Mexico because of its cheap labor.

    Canadian officials have privately expressed frustration with Mexico's decision to strike its own deal with the U.S. last month.  Mexico has also pointed out that Canada first jumped out of the joint negotiations with an auto proposal that was given directly to the U.S. without consulting Mexico.

  • 06 Sep 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    New data on the U.S. trade deficit showed it widened in July at its fastest rate since 2015. The monthly deficits with China and the European Union both hit new records. The overall goods and services deficit for the U.S. is up almost 7 percent, compared to the same period last year.

    Soybean farmers were widely seen as one first victims of a trade war with China, and a surge in the exports of soybeans to get ahead of the new tariffs helped boost U.S. GDP growth in the second quarter.  Those market effects are likely to be temporary, leading many economists to posit that U.S. GDP growth may have peaked at 4.2 percent with trade likely to be a drag on growth in the months to come.

    Around the world:

    • manufacturing surveys are beginning to show a dip in export orders
    • air and ocean freight data are pointing to a slowdown
    • auto production around the world has dipped

    The Trump administration is expected to proceed with a new wave of tariffs on $200 billion of China goods and threatens to put national-security tariffs on imported cars and parts.

  • 21 Aug 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    A report of a survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics, published on Monday, August 18th indicated that:

    • 91 percent of respondents said current and proposed tariffs are having “unfavorable consequential impacts” on the U.S. economy.
    • 81 percent said the federal deficit’s share of gross domestic product should be reduced
    • the share of those saying the administration’s current fiscal policy is “too stimulative” rose to 71 percent from 52 percent recorded in a similar survey conducted in February,

    While respondents continued to see deregulation and tax cuts boosting growth in the short term, they also saw the net effects diminishing over time, as government debt rises.

    Other findings included:

    • 60 percent said economic policy should do more to mitigate climate change
    • 66 percent saw negative effects if the U.S. withdraws from NAFTA
    • 74 percent said economic policy should do more to alleviate income inequality

    The survey collected the responses of 251 members of the NABE from July 19 to Aug. 2.

  • 08 Aug 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    Three companies operating in the Carolinas have recently announced current and potential layoffs directly attributable to the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum and additional rounds of tariffs on particular goods:

    • Element TV has laid off 126 workers assembling TVs in Fairfield County, South Carolina from imported components.  Eight employees remain in caretaker roles.
    • BMW, operating their largest assembly plant in the world in Spartanburg, SC, has announced that they will probably begin laying off some number of their 10,000 employees in the fall.  Some planned production of new models has already been shifted to Asian plants.
    • Volvo, opening a plant near Charleston, SC, has indicated that they may fall short in their employment goals (currently 4,000 by 2021).

    Nucor Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, NC has announced the construction of a new galvanizing line at the company's sheet mill in Arkansas to support their growth into a wider set of end-market applications.  Planning is said to be underway for adding galvanizing lines to other mills.

    Given the reach of the steel and aluminum tariffs in American manufacturing, the Trump administration set up a process managed by the Department of Commerce (DoC) whereby manufacturers could seek exemptions for the tariffs for specific components (such as pipes, wire, screws).  Over 20,000 exemptions have already been filed, but DoC included provisions where steel and aluminum producers could object to specific claims.  Nucor, along with United States Steel and AK Steel Holding Company, have made 2,700 such objections.  All have been approved and the exemption rejected.  DoC has granted 20 aluminum exclusions over an objection.



  • 29 Jun 2018 by Mark Lohsen

    China, through its centrally directed economy, has a grand strategy to redirect its economy and its political ambitions to assume a global leadership position.  America’s retreat from the global stage is enabling this strategy and ceding whole industrial sectors it had once dominated.


    By the time of the publication of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2015, China had recognized its growth was slowing and its economy was maturing.  China could no longer remain the low cost producer in all sectors and, using Japan and South Korea as models, foresaw the need to move into higher value technologies.  It also had an energy problem.  Not only did they need to increase the output and efficiency of their power production and distribution systems, they needed to move away from coal as their primary source of power.  The 13th Five Year Plan firmly established low carbon technologies as a multi-dimensional solution to increasing energy production and reducing their carbon emissions. 


    China immediately moved to establish its role as an innovator in renewable energy technologies and coupled this with their existing manufacturing and exporting dominance to rapidly evolve.  Seeing this as leading their next phase of prosperity, China invested $103 B in 2017 and installed half of the world’s new wind power.


    Using renewable energy technologies as a centerpiece of their export plans, President Xi Jinping’s administration adopted “ecological civilization” as a complimentary program and established policies to restore decimated forests and reverse desertification.  This bundle of technology and expertise is then taken to the world in order to solidify China as a leader in critical global issues.

  • 25 Jul 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte


    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with President Trump today to discuss trade and tariffs. The major announcement following the conclusion of the meeting is both parties will open negotiations to, as Trump put it, "work toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies.”  This 0-0-0 approach, however, does not include automobiles, which is a significant concern for Germany. They also agreed to hold off on any further tariffs, unless either side terminates the negotiations.


    As an incentive to start negotiations, Juncker indicated the EU would begin importing more liquefied natural gas and soybeans from the U.S.  


    The leaders said the U.S. and EU would work together on other issues, including reforms to the World Trade Organization to cut down on unfair trade practices. 

  • 11 Jul 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    On Tuesday, July 10th, the Trump Administration released a 195 page list of Chinese exports worth $200 B that may soon be facing a 10% tariff.  This move is in response to the $34 B in tariffs imposed by China as an "equal measure response" to American tariffs imposed on July 6th.  A more immediate, second round of tariffs, equaling $16 B, is being threatened by President Trump, with additional considerations of fourth round of $300 B.  That would bring the total to $550 B and exceeds the total value of Chinese goods imported last year ($506 B).

    To come up with $200 B of targeted imports, the list includes common items such as soy sauce and rice, as well as items that haven't been imported for decades (e.g., trout).







  • 07 Jun 2018 by Mark Lohsen

    Mexico, on Tuesday, June 5th, imposed a series of tariffs on American exports, in retaliation for the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs.  The targeted products include pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon as well as different types of cheese.

    The tariffs range between 15% and 25% can be expected to cut deeply into US exports to its southern neighbor.  While Mexico exports more goods and services to the US than it buys, it is also the second largest market for US exports, buying $277 billion worth of US goods and services last year, according to the Commerce Department.

    Mexico is the largest market for US pork exports, according to the National Pork Producers Council.  It says that 25% of US pork exports last year went to Mexico.  North Carolina was the second largest producer of pork in 2017.

    The Mexico announcement follows the European Union announcement of a similar series of retaliatory tariffs of 25% on roughly 200 American products, including orange juice, US denim, bourbon, motorcycles, peanut butter, motor boats and cigarettes.

  • 15 Jun 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    China's government announced on Friday, June 15th, that it will immediately impose penalties of "equal strength" on U.S. products.

    The Commerce Ministry said it also was scrapping deals to buy more American farm goods and other exports as part of the May efforts to defuse disputes over its trade surplus and its aggressive technology policy.  Much of this targeted impact intended to affect President Trump's rural supporters.

    The Ministry announcement stated "The Chinese side doesn't want to fight a trade war, but facing the shortsightedness of the U.S. side, China has to fight back strongly.”  It continued with: "We will immediately introduce tax measures of equal scale and equal strength, and all economic and trade achievements reached by the two sides will be invalidated."

    Beijing had also announced plans to cut import duties on autos and some consumer goods.  As part of this initiative, they had announced plans to ease limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and some other industries.

  • 19 Jun 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte

    At the core of the current tariff dispute is China’s theft of intellectual property.  American companies that want to do business in China are typically forced into joint ventures with Chinese state owned companies.  In building up their business, Chinese partners are given access to proprietary information.  data. They then use that data for their own benefit, often in other state run business with similar products.  This is a significant and complex problem.  Tariffs will not solve this problem and will cause immediate harm to US businesses, especially agriculture. 

    China is America’s second-largest agricultural export market.  American producers rely heavily on exports to China to sustain their operations.  The targets of China’s tariffs also extend to key US manufacturing sectors, including cars, light trucks and light aircraft, and so directly affect large producers such as the Big 3 car manufacturers and Boeing.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has stated there is a possibility that the U.S. might return to negotiations with China by means of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT).  The U.S. has BITs with 42 other countries, and negotiations with China had started with the Obama administration. Resuming BIT negotiations is an effective, but longer term, solution.  The US could, among other things, demand strong language requiring China to abide by the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement within a BIT in lieu of recently discussed considerations to re-enter the Trans Pacific Partnership.

  • 05 Jun 2018 by Global Chamber

    Trade Update on China

    China enjoyed a record $375 B trade surplus with the United States last year.  Bilateral US China trade negotiations had been progressing with preliminary concessions to reduce the imbalance. 

    On Sunday, June 3rd, though, China threatened to scape deals aimed at settling the dispute with Washington if President Trump’s tariff hike on $50 B of Chinese technology goods goes ahead.

    China had issued a pledge on May 19th to buy more American farm goods, natural gas, and other energy supplies.  But President Xi Jinping’s government sees China’s growing strength in technology as a path to restoring the country’s political and cultural greatness (RCPCG hats anyone?) after more than two centuries of foreign interference in China’s affairs.

    Left unaddressed in the talks are key American concerns, including increased access to Chinese markets and improved protection of intellectual property, particularly patents and trademarks.


    Mexico Initiates WTO Challenge

    On June 4th, Mexico initiated a challenge to the US tariffs on steel and aluminum at the World Trade Organization.  They contend that President Trump’s actions are illegal under international trade rules.

    President Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 USC 1862), specifically to address “threats to national security.”  Mexico argues that these provisions violate the WTO’s agreement on safeguard procedures and violate the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994.

    Mexico has also vowed reciprocal retaliation against a range of US products.  Canada, also affected by these tariffs, has pointed out that the U.S. actually exports more steel to Canada than Canada sends to the U.S. and Canadian responses will decrease American jobs.

  • 01 May 2018 by Global Chamber Charlotte


    Late last night, President Trump decided to hold off on imposing most of the administration’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, at least until June 1.

    Tariffs were scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, April 30th.  Major trading partners to be affected by these tariffs included Canada, the largest U.S. supplier of steel and aluminum, as well as Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the EU.  China may well have been the intended target, but our imports of their steel and aluminum have been diminishing for years.

    The administration has reached an agreement (in principle) with Australia, Argentina and Brazil, but talks continue with Canada and Mexico as part of the NAFTA negotiations.  Discussions are also continuing with EU countries.

    President Trump used his authority to protect “domestic industries critical to national security” as the rationale to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.  In recent weeks, Trump has moved to using tariffs — or the threat thereof — as a bargaining chip in broader trade negotiations.  A U.S. delegation is on its way to Beijing for trade talks later this week.


  • 27 Apr 2018 by Mark Lohsen

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s one-day visit to Washington on Friday, April 27th, includes meetings at the White House and a joint press conference, but is principally focused on business.  There will be no state visit trappings that were afforded French President  Macron earlier this week.

    Chancellor Merkel will be pushing for a permanent exemption for European producers from the tariffs President Trump announced last month.  (The current European exemption from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs expires on Tuesday, May 1.)  A bilateral U.S.-German free-trade pact, as proposed by President Trump and rebuffed by Chancellor Merkel, can be expected to be a meeting topic. 

    Also to be discussed is the announcement by a Russian-led consortium of the development of a gas pipeline to Germany along the Baltic seafloor.  It is projected to be completed next year.  The U.S. is concerned it will draw Germany closer to Russia.

    Chancellor Merkel, however, will come away from the visit with one piece of good news:  Richard Grenell received confirmation on Thursday to become the U.S. ambassador to Germany after months of delay.


  • 27 Apr 2018 by Mark Lohsen

    Four Saints Brewing Company, Asheboro, NC, has begun brewing Founding Fathers Hemp Ale through a carbon-neutral process.  Four Saints has partnered with Greensboro’s Urban Offsets to offset the carbon produced over the entire brewing process, from sourcing to tapping kegs, with reductions produced by renewable energy and other projects in North Carolina.  

    This is the first carbon-neutral brewing process of its kind in North Carolina and one of the first in the country.  The beer will be released at Raleigh’s Brewgaloo, April 28.

  • 27 Apr 2018 by Mark Lohsen

    China’s President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy program, the “Belt and Road” initiative was established as an ambitious economic development program to interconnect 65 percent of the world’s population across more than 60 countries.  The initiative, deigned to become a modern “Silk Road,” reinforces China's links to Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa through networks of roads, ports, railways, power plants and other infrastructure projects.

    But a recent report by the US-based research group C4ADS offers alternative perspectives of China's stated purpose of promoting economic development.  Through the analysis of 15 port projects in nine countries funded by China, the report shows that the projects aren't purely driven by "win-win" economic development.  "Rather, the investments appear to generate political influence, stealthily expand China's military presence and create an advantageous strategic environment in the region," it said.

    A network of Chinese sourced maritime logistics hubs throughout the Indo-Pacific, has the potential to change the region's strategic landscape and advance military goals, particularly in locations adjacent to international shipping “choke points.”  The report also notes that debt levels for various projects, especially vanity projects, can prevent countries from pivoting away from Chinese influence in the future.


  • 27 Apr 2018 by Mark Lohsen

    Mexico's Senate on Tuesday, April 23rd, voted to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).  Mexico becomes the first of 11 countries that previously constituted the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to approve the pact. 

    Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam signed the deal, which together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy at a total of $10 trillion in gross domestic product.  Five additional counties will need to ratify the agreement for it to take effect.

    Mexico remains in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and the United States.


  • See more blogs...