Like most Canadian manufacturers we have been pouring over the limited details of the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the comprehensive trade agreement between 11 countries with Canada being one. It’s the largest trade deal in history connecting the US to Japan and 9 other countries in between. We are also in the middle of a federal election campaign in Canada and so the spin doctors are out on all sides either hailing the agreement as a boon for Canadians or for those candidates who would reside on the opposite side of the aisle, the reaction ranges from cautious optimism to doomsday scenarios.
For us at Ketchum, we are a bit different than many industries. Most industries are focused on what the agreement, when and if it’s ratified means to their business directly. Perhaps it opens up a new market previously not viable due to some punishing import tariff. Or maybe they had a competitive edge in certain countries which may now be open to more competition. But as mentioned at Ketchum, it may be a bit different. Yes we have all of those same interests but because we are an extremely diverse manufacturer, we operate in many very niche sectors. Some of those sectors, like our customers in the beef industry are celebrating this deal, which could benefit our business. While others in the dairy industry are extremely concerned, and potentially, that can harm our operation. Our customers in the mining industry, where we sell metal tags to stake everything from claims to marking the next dig site, seem optimistic. While the auto parts industry, where we sell tags for brakes are anything but. The forestry industry too, seems quite pleased that finally there may be an end to punishing protectionist rules, and the East coast lobster fishery as well, sees a bright side to the agreement...and yes we also sell tags for trees and lobsters.
So, as the world gets smaller and trade markets expand, its safe to say nobody knows how this deal, if it ever comes to fruition, will impact everyone involved. I’m pleased for those industries who know they will benefit, and worry for those industries that now may need to evolve to maintain what they have. Mostly however, I am thankful that we at Ketchum Manufacturing continue to be so diversified. Our company isn’t immune to economy changes and recessions, downturns and boon times, policy shifts or law changes. We have experienced struggles in one sector we serve, while others are booming. Our eggs aren’t all in one basket so to speak, which protects us from many things including a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Speaking of eggs in baskets, that reminds me, the Poultry industry isn’t pleased with the deal either...and yes we sell to them too.
To see Ketchum’s selection of product catalogs visit our website at www.ketchum.ca