Risks and opportunities of USMCA (NAFTA 2.0) to be highlighted at symposium

After more than a year of negotiation, the United States, Mexico and Canada reached a trade deal on September 30, 2018. So – what will the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – USMCA – (NAFTA 2.0) mean for U.S. companies already doing business on the ground with Mexico and Canada?

Butzel Long law firm and the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development will try to answer that question during a free symposium on Thursday, October 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Velocity Collaboration Center – Macomb/ OU Incubator (6633 Eighteen Mile Road, Sterling Heights). The co-sponsored event will feature speakers discussing the risks of, opportunities around and responses to the new trade deal.

“Since the beginning of 2018, we’ve seen an unprecedented flood of new tariffs either threatened or enacted – tariffs on solar panels and washing machines, steel and aluminum tariffs, tariffs on Chinese imports, tariffs on automobiles and automotive components,” said Jim Townsend, attorney and chair of Butzel’s Macomb County Development Team. “We will address how local companies can seize opportunities and minimize threats to their businesses along with key strategies to protect from shifting trade rules.”

Featured presenters include John Paul Rea, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. Additionally, Butzel Long attorneys who have expertise in international trade law will offer key updates, including:

  • Les Glick, a co-chair of Butzel Long’s International Trade and Customs Specialty Team. He has extensive experience in the areas of international trade and customs law.
  • Catherine Karol, who concentrates her Butzel Long practice in transactional negotiations, litigation, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Raul Rangel, a corporate attorney licensed to practice law in New York and in Mexico. Mr. Rangel works closely with other Butzel attorneys to represent organizations doing business in Mexico and the United States in a broad range of industries.
  • Mitch Zajac, who concentrates his Butzel Long practice in the areas of automotive, intellectual property, regulatory and emissions compliance and sports and entertainment law.

If you’re interested in diving into this complex and timely topic, you can RSVP by contacting Nairi Bagdasarian at bagdasarian@butzel.com or 313-225-7012. Please note that reservations are required and seating is limited.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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Companies interested in choosing Macomb at Select USA

Macomb County recently participated in the Select USA Investment Summit, an event that brings in roughly 1,000 international companies looking to do business in the United States. The conference also attracts economic development officials from across the country who are competing to win the sought after new jobs and investment, which totals $30.7 billion since Select USA first occurred. Overall, our team had a positive experience at the event. And from our conversations with global business leaders, we can tell that Macomb County’s reputation as a great place to do business is growing worldwide.

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Our county economic development team participated in Select USA alongside the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and a contingent of roughly 30 economic developers from various regions across Michigan. Over the course of three days, our group met with companies and business groups from four different continents, including Europe, Asia, North America and South America.  These organizations were interested in Macomb County because of our capabilities in manufacturing, our strong infrastructure of suppliers and our highly-skilled workforce. Being a logistics hub with a major international airport was also a draw for those looking to locate here. And notably, our county’s reputation as the Arsenal of Innovation and it being home to the Michigan Defense Center was a big draw for the team.  We were able to show these companies that our well-equipped economic development toolbox is not only ready to help them get in the door, but to also support them throughout their stages of growth. They also learned that Macomb County is very supportive of business and a great place to live.

As background, pursuing international investment is one part of Macomb County’s comprehensive economic development strategy. The success of this tactic is evident in our increasingly diverse demographics. For instance, nearly one out of every 10 county residents is foreign born and there are more than 80 firms operating here that are headquartered outside of the USA. These international companies are creating great products and paying excellent wages. They include Kuka, Sodecia, Grupo Antolin, Brose and Faurecia, among others. Additionally, Macomb County has facilities for major domestic companies like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, General Dynamics, Fiat Chrysler and Oshkosh Defense. All told, the investments made by both domestic and foreign companies have boosted Macomb County’s economy.  Since the end of the recession in 2009, the county has added 80,493 jobs, increasing from 346,216 jobs to today’s total of 426,709 jobs. This astounding growth is a direct result of an effective economic development strategy, and of course, a great business environment.

To see more of Macomb County’s major investments, click here.

Nick Posavetz is an economic development specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development and is focused on growing, retaining and attracting businesses to Macomb County. To learn what resources are available for your business, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

Lincoln High School unveils enhanced CAD/CAM program

Our department was privileged to join with county officials, district personal, former students and business leaders at the Lincoln High School Center for Career and Technology in Warren. The gathering was to celebrate new machinery which will enable students to prepare for high-demand careers in manufacturing.

Press Event 087A DMG MORI 5-axis CNC machine, valued at $250,000, was given to Van Dyke Public Schools on a two-year, no cost lease from DMG MORI. Based in Japan with locations across the globe, DMG MORI is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of CNC machines.  The gift will enable students to hone their computer aided drafting (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) skills through the school’s career technical education program.

Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of DMG MORI, flew in from Japan to be part of the celebration.  It was obvious from his remarks that he and his company are happy to support educational programs that produced trained and ready individuals to run their machines.

Rick Hecker, President and CEO of Eifel Mold & Engineering of Fraser, chairs the school’s business advisory committee for CAD/CAM. He is credited with securing the donation. When he shared the good news with committee members, others stepped forward to make sure that the equipment would be installed and serviced at no cost to the district:

  • Metro Air Compressor of Roseville offered the necessary air compressor and installed it.
  • Powertran Transformers of Ferndale offered a transformer
  • Autodesk, a software developer from California, will provide 75 Powermill licenses for use by students and instructors
  • Spectron Electric of Fraser finalized installation with materials provided by Grant Industries, also of Fraser

Press Event 073During the event, the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) presented a check for $10,000 from the American Mold Manufacturing Advancement Fund (AMMA Fund) to cover additional expenses.

The best part of the evening was near the end of formal presentation when Lincoln graduates of the program were invited to make remarks. Many of them are currently employed in the industry and were proud to share their success story with the crowd of more than 50 people.

Each of them credited their instructors, Mr. Fred Cook and Mr. Mike Zainea for inspiring them to be the best they can be.

Macomb County Planning & Economic Development recognized at MIBB Ambassador Awards

I had the privilege of attending the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) Ambassador Awards this week at the Westin Southfield. This awards dinner honors those who have made significant contributions toward building bridges between Michigan and Israel. At this event, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development was honored as an economic development partner.

20161104_153808.jpgOur department has had a longstanding relationship with MIBB. We have partnered on international trade missions to Israel as well as delegation visits with foreign companies and other dignitaries.

Our ties to Israel and MIBB are strengthened through the emergence of information technology and cybersecurity growth in Israel. Also, with the county’s position as a major leader in defense and homeland security, our communities are connecting on a number of economic development opportunities associated with the defense industry.

MIBB has provide our department with an engaging partner who has opened up the international market to our economic development opportunities in Macomb County. I want to thank MIBB for their continued partnership, and I look forward to many new opportunities to grow our respective economies.

rea-john-paulJohn Paul Rea, AICP, is the director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Chinese delegation tours Macomb County

 

Jack 1On Monday, Nov. 30, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development had the pleasure of showcasing Macomb County’s assets to a visiting Chinese delegation from Hai’an County in the Jiangsu Province.

I specialize in working with businesses from Asia that are interested in investing in Macomb County as well as with local businesses trying to get their products into Asia. Through our department’s partnership with the Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA), I was able to arrange a tour for Mr. Zhang Yinglai, the party secretary of the CPC Qutang Town Committee in Hai’an; Mr. Guo Hengjun, the chairman of Hai’an Qutang Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. Mao Shihong, the director of the Hai’an Qutang Business Development Department.

The first stop of the tour was at the Michigan Technical Education Center at Macomb Community College. The delegation was able to see students training for skilled manufacturing jobs, ensuring Macomb County will continue to have a very skilled workforce.

Our next stop was the Macomb-OU INCubator at the Velocity Center. They learned about how small businesses can rent space at a very reasonable rate until they grow enough to move out and into their own facility. The incubator provides all the services small businesses need, including assistance with business plans and financing. The delegation had time to talk to one of the businesses there to see if there was a way to work together in the future.

Jack 2The last stop was at COMTEC, which really impressed the Hai’an delegation. They were very interested in how all of the services were housed under one roof because they are in the process of building a facility in Hai’an to bring multiple departments together, just like how Macomb County did.

The day ended with a very nice dinner reception where I had the opportunity to speak to more than 65 business professionals, DCBA sponsors and guests about the business-friendly environment Macomb County offers. Oakland County Deputy Executive Matthew Gibb and Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority CEO Tom Watkins were also in attendance and addressed the delegation before Mr. Zhang gave a keynote presentation detailing the Hai’an investment environment.

Our department reaches out to foreign businesses to bring investment to Macomb County. We can also help local manufactures sell their products in Asia. There are many global opportunities available in Macomb County.

Jack Johns is a senior economic development specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.