These days the news is full of stories about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its Pacific counterpart, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Even after reading well-written articles like this one on Politico, though, it can still all be a bit confusing.
With TTIP and TPP, should I now be worried about my international supply chain?
If you already know about TPP and TTIP, and have already worked out the changes to your supply chain you might have to make, then no.
But if you are right now hearing about TPP and TTIP for the first time, then yes.
Whether you source products international supply chain directly or indirectly, it’s vital to know what’s happening with new trade agreements. I touched on this briefly a few months ago with a post about FTAs, but want to expand on the topic a bit more. .
Doors are opening and closing all over the world, and so finding the best deals requires looking everywhere. But most international supply chain companies focus on one region only. For example, our strength is doing business in South Korea. If you’re using an international SCM focused on China but a new trade agreement in Vietnam creates opportunities for you there, you need to know about it. Most SCM companies say they cover the globe without any gaps, but it’s rarely true.
Also, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where a price has been reduced thanks to a new trade agreement but your supplier isn’t passing those savings on to you. The old saying “Knowledge is power” is true, but in business it’s more accurate to say, “Knowledge is money.”
There are a lot of moving parts in global trade deals, and so following them can be a bit intimidating, but at the very least you should be following the deals that are going to directly affect your product lists. Modern technology has made doing this pretty painless, too.
And modern technology has made doing this pretty painless, too. For example, I use Google Alerts to help me find and track the trade agreements that are going to affect my company and the companies I’m working with. Hopefully, your international supply chain management company will be providing you with support, too, but they can’t be expected to be on top of every customer’s product lists.
In the end, knowledge of new global trade deals is often the difference between taking the next step and getting stepped on.
WHO IS COREY NELSON?
I’m CEO and owner of 4C Global Logistics. My team sources, finances, and delivers the products that fit your international supply chain management needs. To show our commitment to your company’s success, we take ownership of the products while they are being shipped, removing the problems and stress of commission-based deals. We pride ourselves on our transparent and responsive process. Questions or problems related to global logistics (third party logistics, 3pl) or SCM? Let us help.
Photo Credit: Maia B