Obama sees trade deals ready to move forward

President Obama discussed globalization and free trade at a joint press conference prior to the start of the opening ceremonies at Hannover Fair as well as the potential challenges and drawbacks for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

04/24/2016


Courtesy: Hannover

At a joint press conference prior to the opening ceremonies for Hannover Messe 2016, President Obama said the opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Germany and in the U.S. overlooks the larger value of global trade.

"What you're seeing around the world is that people unsettled by globalization," Obama said. "While trade has brought enormous benefits, people visibly see a plant moving and jobs lost, and a narrative develops that this is weakening the economy. That is what drives a lot of suspicion.

"But if you look at the benefits in the U.S. or Germany, free trade indisputably has made our economies strong," her added. "It ensures our businesses remain the most competitive in the world. We know 95% of the world's market is outside our borders."

On April 23, there was a vigorous but peaceful protest in central Hannover in opposition to the TTIP. An estimated 30,000 protestors took advantage of the president's visit to voice opposition to the trade agreement, which is supported by Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel. It also has the support of Republicans in Congress, one of the few areas of agreement between Obama and the GOP. As it is in Germany, labor unions oppose TTIP.

Obama also said the political issues in the U.S. should not be a deterrent to getting congressional approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), where a tentative deal has been reached. "I am confident we are still going to get this done. I don't anticipate we will be able to complete ratification (for TTIP) by the end of the year, but I believe we will be able to complete negotiations. Then people will be able to see what will be presented. After the primary season is over, I think the Congress will be in a position to start moving forward. We've had a majority of members (of Congress) in the past willing to move forward."

Obama also said that the Trans-Pacific Partnership had aggressive protections in place to raise labor and environmental standards that do not currently exist in some of the countries that were part of the negotiated deal.

President Obama's appearance at Hannover Messe for April 24's opening ceremonies was preceded by unprecedented security measures to attend the invitation-only event.

Security for the event at the 3,000-seat Hannover Centrum began even hours before the 6 p.m. local time event. Invited guests, VIPs and the press first were screened at the Hannover Messe fairgrounds and then bused by police escort to the Centrum, where further screening took place. The fair was attended in prior years by Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese president Wen Jiabao, and last year by Indian prime minister Narenda Modi, security was tight, but transportation to the Centrum was left to choice and press was admitted with the show badge and a passport.Even before the protests, security was tight surrounding Obama's visit to Hannover Messe, the first by a U.S. president. Admission to the opening ceremony was limited to pre-screen members of the press, and final invitations were not sent until the week before the fair opened.

Security is equally tight for the planned walk-around Monday, April 25, where Obama and Merkel will visit three of the halls at Hannover Messe, including the U.S. Investment Pavilion, where more than 40 states will be represented with economic development leaders hoping to bring foreign investment back with them from this week-long trip to Germany.

Obama got a smile out of Merkel when he noted that the chancellor had a pretty good sense of humor during their private meetings. He also noted that the expectations of his work load slowing down in the final months of his presidency."I seem to be pretty busy," Obama said.

Noting that Germany has no term limits, Obama was asked whether he wishes the U.S. government did not have an eight-year term limit on the presidency. "I do not envy Angela Merkel," Obama said. "It is an extraordinary privilege to have this job. I feel that I can help somebody, somewhere, both inside the United State and around the world.

"But I have come to appreciate the wisdom of our Congress (in setting term limits)," he said. "I think it's healthy for a big diverse country like ours to have some turnover. To use a sports analogy, I've run my portion of the race; now it's time to pass the baton. Having said that, I'm glad Angela is still sticking around. She is to be admired for her remarkable endurance." 

Bob Vavra is content manager, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com.

ONLINE extra

See additional coverage about Hannover Messe 2016 linked below.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me