Corruption in the TPP

If you have been following the Trans-Pacific Partnership you will know that it was signed on February 4, 2016 and is now pending ratification before taking effect. After years of negotiation, what happens now? One of the major concerns moving forward is corruption; how to avoid corruption, and how to respond if it takes place. The article “Anti-corruption Measures In The TPP Agreement” (http://www.livingstonintl.com/global-perspectives/anti-corruption-measures-in-the-tpp-agreement/ contains a great summary of the measures both past and present that will assist in this endeavor.

“Confidence in the rule of law is critical for trade and investment to flourish. Corruption, in particular, is an insidious impairment to effective commercial activity and cannot be tolerated as a cost of doing business.” To help combat this potential enemy, the TPP will employ both past and present policies. Among the past policies to be utilized are the:

  • 1977 U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • 1999 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials
  • 2003 United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption

To support these previously instilled practices, the entire 26th chapter of the TPP, titled “Transparency and Anti-Corruption” is dedicated to this same movement. This chapter specifically addresses topics such as:

  • Requiring the publication of laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings
  • Guaranteeing due process
  • Promoting rules against conflicts of interest

It is the hope that the TPP will provide benefits to all countries involved, but its success is dependent on maintain honesty and consistency among all parties involved. As stated in the article, “… the framework for anti-corruption is already in place within the TPP. When ratified and enacted, it will be up to the Parties to eliminate corruption as a trade barrier.”

Anti-Corruption Within the TPP

 

If you have been following the Trans-Pacific Partnership you will know that it was signed on February 4, 2016 and is now pending ratification before taking effect. After years of negotiation, what happens now? One of the major concerns moving forward is corruption; how to avoid corruption, and how to respond if it takes place. The article “Anti-corruption Measures In The TPP Agreement” (http://www.livingstonintl.com/global-perspectives/anti-corruption-measures-in-the-tpp-agreement/ contains a great summary of the measures both past and present that will assist in this endeavor.

“Confidence in the rule of law is critical for trade and investment to flourish. Corruption, in particular, is an insidious impairment to effective commercial activity and cannot be tolerated as a cost of doing business.” To help combat this potential enemy, the TPP will employ both past and present policies. Among the past policies to be utilized are the:

  • 1977 U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • 1999 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials
  • 2003 United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption

To support these previously instilled practices, the entire 26th chapter of the TPP, titled “Transparency and Anti-Corruption” is dedicated to this same movement. This chapter specifically addresses topics such as:

  • Requiring the publication of laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings
  • Guaranteeing due process
  • Promoting rules against conflicts of interest

It is the hope that the TPP will provide benefits to all countries involved, but its success is dependent on maintain honesty and consistency among all parties involved. As stated in the article, “… the framework for anti-corruption is already in place within the TPP. When ratified and enacted, it will be up to the Parties to eliminate corruption as a trade barrier.”

Peru and the TPP

With the global market as prominent as it is, any major global trading agreement is something to research and understand. The TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership, is one of the bigger agreements made in recent history, and one of the major players in this agreement is Peru. What part does Peru play and what are some of the benefits they will get from being a member of this agreement? The article “The TPP will give Peru direct access to markets such as Australia and New Zealand” (http://www.amcham.org.pe/publicaciones/articulos.php?art=3) touches on these questions and dives into their respective answers. Three of the main takeaways with respect to Peru are shown below:

  1. “Peru will see its exports increase by $3.2 billion by 2025, once the TPP is finalized.
  2. Peru will now have access to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Vietnam and their corresponding markets.
  3. “Many of the benefits will be seen in non-traditional sectors, such as agricultural exports”

With the TPP being such a talking point, especially now during the Presidential debates, it will be interesting to monitor the progress of this agreement, and how Peru actually benefits from being part of this free trade agreement. Will the benefits be the same as this article predicts? Only time will tell.

Is 3D Printing the Future?

All over the media we are reading about how 3D printing is going to change the manufacturing industry completely. Is this fact a guarantee? The article “The Limits of 3D Printing” (https://hbr.org/2015/06/the-limits-of-3d-printing) give a converse view to this new technology. Per the article, “…the economics of 3D printing now and for the foreseeable future make it an unfeasible way to produce the vast majority of parts manufactured today”. Because of this assumption, the author proposes that we “…look to new areas where it can exploit its unique capabilities to complement traditional manufacturing processes”. Building off of this statement, the article also addresses the theory that with 3D printing, global supply chains will become a thing of the past by stating that “this vision does not stack up to economic reality”. One of the widely accepted benefits of 3D printing is that product customization is much easier. Despite this fact, the article states that “… 99% of all manufactured parts are standard and do not require customization”. Due to this fact, “… when customization isn’t important, 3D printing is not competitive”. How much of these ideas are fact? Is 3D printing the future, or just a complement we will utilize for customization? For now, only time will tell.

3D Printing for the Non-Industrial Consumer?

The article “3D printing and the Future of Manufacturing” (http://www.industryweek.com/emerging-technologies/3d-printing-and-future-manufacturing-infographic) is an infographic that breaches the norm of 3D printing discussions. Instead of talking about how 3D printing could influence the industrial manufacturing industry, this article focuses another potential user; the non-industrial consumer. As stated in the article “Today, almost anyone can become a manufacturer or contribute to the manufacturing process.” “If applied correctly, that point might be the biggest business opportunity presented by the technology to date.” The article displays ten major characteristics of 3D printing, three of which will be discussed today.

  1. The range of materials is exploding: 3D printing is no longer limited to plastics or the recently added metals, but can now be incorporated with ceramics, concrete, food, and other biological substances, among others. This opens the 3D printing market to virtually every business today.
  2. New major players: As stated above, almost anyone can become a manufacturer or contribute to the manufacturing process. The possibilities are endless.
  3. The consumer possibilities are also endless: 3D printing enables customization at no additional costs, giving a sustainable solution to the “thirst” of personalization.

These three main points, along with many other aspects and benefits of 3D printing, create the perfect storm for 3D printing to flourish. As the technology grows and improves, the impact of 3D printing will only continue to grow.

3D Printing; The New Future

The article “Why 3D Printing Could be a Manufacturing and Logistics Game Changer” (http://www.manufacturing.net/blog/2013/10/why-3d-printing-could-be-manufacturing-and-logistics-game-changer) reviews the capabilities revolutionary characteristics of 3D printing. The article highlights five main benefits of 3D printing:

  1. Three-dimensional printing increases production speed while reducing costs: For any company it’s beneficial to either increase production speed or reduce costs, but to be able to do both would change the industry completely.
  2. Consumer demand will have more influence over production: The possibilities of customization with 3D printing could “re-establish how manufacturers respond to customer demand. Manufacturing could become more consumer-based and responsive to the current market and its needs”.
  3. Instead of outsourcing, we could return to “near-sourcing” and U.S. production: With lower costs, outsourcing labor could become unnecessary. In contrast, manufacturing facilities “would be located closer to the consumer, allowing for a more flexible and responsive manufacturing process, as well as greater quality control”.
  4. The need for global transportation is significantly decreased: As discussed in #3, with manufacturing sites located locally, global transportation would become unnecessary, which again would help reduce costs even more.
  5. Logistics companies could offer more comprehensive, start-to-finish services: “With 3D printing technology in-house, logistics companies could take on more of a fourth-party logistics (4PL) approach instead of a third-party logistics (3PL) approach.

Before 3D printing can have a drastic effect on the manufacturing industry, it will need to be scaled up for mass and mainstream use. But as summarized above, the possible benefits of 3D printing are staggering.

GE’s Big 3D Printing Investment

The article “GE Bets Big on 3D Printing with $39M Additive Manufacturing Hub” (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2016/04/08/ge-bets-big-on-3d-printing-with-39m-additive-manufacturing-hub/ reviews GE’s “new era of manufacturing” and the focus they are putting into additive manufacturing. Per the article, GE has opened a $39M hub for additive manufacturing near Pittsburgh. This new endeavor was undertaken with the initiative to “drive innovation and implementation of additive manufacturing across the company”.  GE hopes to use this new additive manufacturing hub for application across all of GE’s business lines. Per the article, GE states that the facility “reflects the company’s belief that the intersection of technology and manufacturing – hardware and software – will change the way products are developed and serviced.

Why the focus on 3D printing? “3D printing increases efficiency and reduces waste, making it a valuable tool in efforts to make manufacturing more sustainable.” GE has already begun its intentions to adopt 3D printing capabilities by announcing a project in November with the Department of Energy that will use 3D printed turbines in a process that could make desalinated seawater 20 percent less costly to produce. With GE being a major player in the manufacturing industry, it will be interesting to see their utilization of 3D printing and how it will affect the industry as a whole.