judd's blog

Mexico Wants North America To Broker Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Deal As Bloc

Mexico has delusions of grandeur, wanting to join the fray of the evolving U.S.-EU free trade negotiations. The nation's leaders have indicated a desire to merge the world's two largest free-trade zones into one gigantic one instead of brokering smaller bilateral pacts. Just what the United States needs. An opportunity to lose more jobs.

Japan Has Surpassed U.S. On Trade Front For Years

With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially throwing his nation's hat into the Trans-Pacific Partnership ring this week, it would probably be informative to review the state of trade between Japan and the United States. The overwhelming conclusion? Japanese companies benefit significantly more than American ones. Just imagine how a TPP free trade deal will exacerbate the current imbalance.

Now-Thriving U.S. Handbag Maker Worries Skilled Worker Supply Will Dry Up

Over the past five years, Minnesota-based business owner Jen Guarino's life has completely turned around, thanks in part to a stronger manufacturing climate around Made in USA products and the support of an angel investor who helped her propel her company out of the red and into the black. Now, she's got a new problem born of her success -- how to replace her aging workforce.

TPP To Help Japan At Peril Of U.S. Workers

Japan, the land of the rising sun, has something to cheer about with its inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is negotiating an ambitious free trade pact for the region. The same cannot be said for the good ole USA, land of rising deficits. Why President Barack Obama is pursuing such a deal defies logic.

Bangladeshi Garment Factory Fire Has Wal-Mart Rethinking Sourcing Policy

A tragic fire at a Bangladesh garment factory prompts the world's largest retailer -- Wal-Mart Stores -- to rethink its sourcing strategy and institute a zero-tolerance policy for dangerous working conditions at its suppliers' facilities. Could that prompt the company to up its use of U.S.-based clothing manufacturers? We've got to hope so.

What Mexican Middle Class? NAFTA Surely Didn't Create One

Back in the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade pact, in its supporters' eyes, held great promise, especially for Mexicans who would be lifted out of poverty and into prosperity as their nation became more industrialized, causing wages to rise and reducing flight to the United States. Twenty years later, over half live in impoverished conditions, and illegal immigration continues on. So much for the new Mexican middle class.

Just Say No: Michigan Lawmakers Up In Arms Over Allowing Japan In TPP

A block of congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and chamber register their dissent for Japan's pending entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks over so-called "significant, long-standing and persistent economic barriers," according to a recent letter to the White House.

Weekly Hours Worked In U.S. Manufacturing Hit Near-Historic Levels

U.S. manufacturing workers are putting more weekly hours into their jobs than they have since World War II, based on U.S. Labor Department statistics. Sure, not as many of them have jobs as they did back then but a bit of good news for American manufacturing.

Longtime U.S. Cymbal Maker Shows How To Drum Up Success, Worker Loyalty

The nation's oldest family business shows how to make it in America the right way. After nearly four centuries in existence, cymbal maker Zildjian invests heavily in its employees, who return the favor by producing a high-quality product that its customers swear by. An American success story to say the least.

Made In China No Longer: Maryland Candlemaker Comes Home

Marylander Mei Xu used to make candles out of the basement of her Glen Burnie home. Now, nearly two decades later, her thriving nearly $90-million-a-year business has shifted jobs from China back to the good ole USA after rising labor rates made overseas manufacturing too expensive.