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Thanks Sara for a great article. It is incredible that the government is still reluctant to advance in negotiations for NAFTA, specially as exports to Mexico are currently above $12 billion per year and more than 50,000 jobs in both the US agricultural and auto manufacturing sectors are at stake, according to Forbes.

To your question on which stakeholders should Trump prioritize on, it seems that the latest talks among the White House, Canada and Mexico are not signaling an optimistic scenario for the agricultural trade anytime soon, and major consensus has been in minor and more technical sector of the pact like digital trade [1]. Other major business groups in the U.S. that warn the president about the potential disaster of his proposals are not being heard.

I agree with TS that, for this particular case, it seems like consumers will absorb higher prices and lower product choices. With a disruption in trade especially with states that are near the borders with NAFTA members and currently hold solid commercial relationships with their neighbor countries, local economies will suffer as well.

If nothing is achieved soon that favors all three member countries, I would question the power of negotiation of the US to define terms of trade in the future.

[1] Parish, Nathaniel. “Have NAFTA Talks Reached A Breaking Point?”. November 30th, 2017. Accessed on November 30th, 2017.

Super interesting topic! Like RM, I was immensely surprised about the amount of waste generated by corrupted products at delivery. Given the longer distances to supply pharmaceutical products in emerging markets, I wonder if the main means of transportation currently used is air freight, adding more costs and raising the final retail price for the consumer. Developing appropriate packaging to maintain desired temperatures for a longer time could allow DHL to leverage on intermodal transportation (including sea freight) to reduce costs. Although it could represent a longer delivery time to the end consumer, innovating in packaging in addition to the Thermonet Sensors could increase the reliability of the service and have decrease waste. In terms of innovation in packaging, some companies have developed their own solutions. For example, World Courier, leader in specialty logistics and part of AmerisourceBergen, released last November a new packaging solution called “Cocoon”. This innovative solution is built with honeycomb vacuum-insulated panels, weighting on average 15 to 30 lb less than other similar packaging products, and supports a big range of temperature requirements, perfect for long-distance deliveries with stability for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals [1]. Extended periods to deliver the final products without compromising the quality of the pharmaceutical products would give a more flexible maneuverability of the batches, allowing DHL to consolidate more orders from different customers and optimize routes accordingly.

[1] “World Courier Unveils Lighter, More Robust Thermal Packaging Solution”.; Accessed on November 30th, 2017.

Great topic Stefan! I still wonder how is Rolls-Royce going to maintain its competitive advantage as competitors adapt the incredibly growing 3D printing trends in the aerospace market. As of April 2017, General Electric was planning on mass-producing 25,000 LEAP engine nozzles with 3D printing (1). At the same time, according to Professor Moataz Attallah, director of Advanced Material and Processing Lab at the University of Birmingham in the UK, that switching to 3D printing brings in additional challenges such as higher costs when compared to established manufacturing technology like casting and forging, and additional labor needed in post-processing is also needed, reducing the level of autonomy.

However, given the size of these players in the aerospace industry I believe that they are able to take all the steps further to secure an efficient implementation of such technology, even solidifying their relationships with suppliers of raw materials like powder metals.

[1] Kerns, Jeff. “Aerospace Opportunities Demand Quick Resolution to 3D-Printing Issues”. Apr 20th, 2017;; Accessed on November 30th, 2017

[1] Roberts, Dan. “Airbus boss says Brexit risks losing UK aviation’s ‘crown jewels’ to China”. Accessed on November 30th, 2017

Interestingly, Airbus is considering China as its next production destination and has already sent a warning to the UK business. According to a report by Katherine Bennett, the company’s senior corporate representative in the UK, released on Nov 21st, the main threats resulting from Brexit that deter long-term investments are new customs bureaucracy and reduced employee mobility, that add to approximately £1.5bn a year to the industry’s costs. While no current plans to move are in place, it seems like China is already knocking doors as the scenario of non-tariff barriers appears to be critical for the business.

Even though Airbus has been engaging in conversations with the UK government, the latter seems to appear reluctant to take action. “The Department of Existing the EU has so far refused to publish 58 sectoral analysis reports produced by civil servants into the issues raised by Brexit for different parts of the economy” [1]. Tensions have been developing and apparently they only have about a week to fully disclose the documents to the public or a judicial review proceedings would take place in high court [1].

We’ll see how this all plays out next week!

Great topic, especially because if aviation were a country, it would be the world’s seventh largest carbon emitter, ranking above South Korea and below Germany [1].

Certainly, LATAM must keep contributing to its reduction in carbon emissions as the underlying effects of not doing so would impact the industry’s performance. According to the National Geographic, climate change and shifting weather conditions can affect the aviation industry. For example, rising temperatures affect the durability of the asphalt in airport runways and increasing flooding can affect airport operations, especially in coastal and floodplain areas in which heavy rainfall can affect runways. This could potentially lead to flight cancellations. Surprisingly, 2014 proved to have the highest number of cancelled flights in 25 years due to storms. In addition, the impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was massive for the airline industry. Damage in navigation systems and infrastructure got to $29 million, translating in an enormous cost for airlines of around $190 million in earnings.

While the effect on fuel efficiencies may not be immediate, airlines must certainly keep working on producing less carbon emissions as the impact in their operations due to shifting climate trends may be disastrous if taken for granted.

[1]. Urban Expeditions series. “5 Advances That Will Change Air Travel”.; Accessed on November 30th, 2017.

Beyond governments working together with the key oil players in their own territories, it is also interesting to see how countries have developed cross-border initiatives to tackle the topic of climate change.

According to a report by the Dialogue’s Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries program published last May, government institutions in the United States has engaged in multiple initiatives to cooperate with countries in North and South America, strengthening regulatory standards. For example, a working group on Climate Change and Energy, established by the Department of Energy of the US, Canada and Mexico, is working on designing solutions for “reliable and resilient low-carbon energy grids, modeling and deployment of clean energy technologies, energy ef ciency, carbon capture, use and storage, climate change adaptation and resilience and emissions from the oil and gas sector” [1]. In addition, de US Department of Energy is working along with the Department of Energy in Brazil on establishing “consultation mechanisms for hydrogen cell technology, carbon credits, biofuels and electricity transmission” [1] called Consultative Group on Energy/Binational Energy Working Group (BEWG). This consultation is also in charge of developing “cooperation to include energy security and climate change, renewable energy, energy ef ciency, oil, gas & coal, nuclear energy, research cooperation, and research development in both countries” [1]. Would this be solely to enhance commercial opportunities for the US?

It would be interesting to see how corporations respond to these initiatives and how open they are willing to spend to cover to be more carbon-friendly, especially in periods of low energy prices are already hitting the industry.

[1]. Viscidi, Lisa; O’Connor, Rebecca. “US-Latin America Energy Investment Proposal for Policy Engagement”.; Accessed on November 30th, 2017.