Tom Gorman, CEO of Brambles Limited, spoke recently at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation on the importance of global supply chains and trade facilitation and the critical link to the competitiveness of business. The speech, which was part of the Foundation’s CEO Leadership Series, was introduced by the Chamber’s Carol Hallett and covered the opportunities Brambles sees for trade agreements such as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) to contribute to a robust global economy. Brambles is the world’s leading provider of pallet, crate and container pooling solutions through the CHEP and IFCO brands.
In his talk, Gorman stressed the importance of an efficient and cost-effective supply chain. “As I meet with government and business leaders and with our supply chain partners worldwide, I hear the same message: We need to enhance our supply chain to get our goods to market more efficiently, effectively and sustainably if we are to remain competitive and relevant to our consumers,” he said. “In emerging markets, we need more modern supply chain infrastructure to raise the prosperity of our citizens and to bring them the opportunity for a better life. A better supply chain means competitive advantage: in terms of a company getting its goods to market more effectively than its competitor.”
Gorman provided several statistics that show the role of logistics in driving modern economies. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, logistics costs represented 17.9% of US gross domestic product (GDP) in 1980. Today, they are just 7.7%. By comparison, estimated logistics costs represent 15% to 16% of China’s GDP and 11% to 13% of India’s GDP.
Gorman discussed the important efforts being considered that will facilitate trade and remove barriers. He gave the TPP negotiations covering much of the Pacific region, the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement and the TTIP negotiations between the European Union and the United States as examples.
He said: “I would recommend those who are opposed to these agreements take a look at the benefit the North American Free Trade Agreement has driven during its 20-year life. NAFTA removed a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers resulting in increased cross-border trade, economic growth and good jobs.”
The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment. The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.