47-48/2016 Make logistics great again?
It’s striking how similar the underlying causes of two recent votes were – votes that met with great international resonance and came up with rather surprising results. Both the yes for the Brexit on 23 June as well as the election of the US president on 8 November would appear to have been prompted by a general feeling of insecurity concerning the future economic development of the UK or the USA. And if you think “economy”, then you’re also thinking transport and logistics, the core vectors of international trade. But fools rush in: Donald Trump is only moving into the White House on 20 January 2017 (apparently he isn’t really all that keen, but that’s another story) and only in the course of next year will we get to know what Britain’s departure from the EU actually includes. So it’s far too early to tell whether the voters the voters motivations were on the button.
So let’s just leave Trump to get his own house in order for a start. There remains plenty to be done in the USA itself before his not particularly original campaign slogan – make America great again – becomes reality. In his first speech after being elected, Trump announced plans “to reconstruct our roads, bridges, tunnels and airports.” Fortifying the nation’s transport infrastructure – which Trump (rather high on victory), said would be “the best in the world” – “will create jobs for millions of people”. The various industry associations, such as the American Trucking Association (ATA), have heard Trump’s words, and will observe closely what action follows them. “As the industry that moves nearly 70% of our nation’s freight and is a key economic driver, we look forward to working with president-elect Trump on a host of issues, including long-term sustainable infrastructure funding, tax reform and fair and free trade,“ the ATA said.
In terms of free trade the USA might be on a completely different course in future. The agreement that created Nafta more than a quarter of a century ago might be in question, particularly concerning the USA’s neighbour Mexico, as might the trans-Pacific partnership. The great power China – which is the USA’s great economic rival too – has other spheres of influence too, such as Africa, one of our foci in this issue (see page 29 onwards).
Our Special supplement in this issue is dedicated to Italy. The south European country has not gone under – I was lucky enough to get a personal impression thereof recently – even though it has been governed by a politician with a similar profile to Trump’s four times since 1994...
Head of aviation