Afternoon Coffee: Ford Drops Plans for New Mexican Plant, Colin Powell to Keynote ISM2017

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Automaker Ford reversed a decision Tuesday to build a new plant in Mexico, saying it would instead invest in current facilities to increase production in Michigan and Mexico. Ford said market conditions that depressed small-car sales motivated the decision, though negative tweets from President-elect Donald Trump about car manufacturers also may have been a factor, the New York Times wrote.

Former Heads of State to Keynote ISM2017

General Colin L. Powell Colin Powell will join former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron as keynote speaker at ISM’s annual conference this year. ISM2017, held May 21–24 at the at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, will offer more than 75 interactive sessions showcase executives from firms including Google, Toyota, Pfizer, Direct Energy and Zimmer Biomet.

"As Secretary of State, General Powell used the power of diplomacy to build trust and forge alliances, while also having the grit and experience forged by his military career in delivering results when it matters most," said Tom Derry, ISM CEO. "Powell's insight will be critical to ISM members and other purchasing and supply chain professionals as they focus on the challenges of working in a tough, ever-changing global economy."

Semiconductor Protections

An ongoing study by the Obama administration may lead to restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S. semiconductor sector, the Wall Street Journal reports. The findings aim to bolster national security, which a foreign country could threaten by building backdoor entry into technologies such as communications and military weapon systems.

China Eases State Salt Monopoly

And finally, private companies in the salt industry are getting an opportunity not seen for over 2,000 years. New regulations went into effect at the beginning of 2017 that ease the Chinese government’s control of the salt market. Existing wholesalers will be allowed to operate outside their previously designated areas, run marketing campaigns and introduce "modern ways of distribution," the Associated Press reported.  

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