Bernston Porter & Co. PLLC., has published their third edition of the BP Pulse, including their 2019 manufacturing distribution survey. David Holbert, Executive Director of the NorthwestTAAC was quoted in the International Landscape section:
“Import competition can arrive suddenly and many companies don’t see it coming,” warns David Holbert of the Northwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (NWTAAC). “The span of industries and products that are affected is surprising – import impact is not confined to predictable sectors. When faced with a sudden challenge, for example a 50% price disadvantage, the companies that tend to succeed recognize that something must change in their business. They can’t win by just trying harder. Often this change entails moving toward customization, more responsive service, verifiable quality, or rapid delivery – all areas in which domestic companies have natural advantages.
Such changes are often introduced or facilitated by outside expertise in myriad areas. To demonstrate – between 2005 and 2017 NWTAAC tracked 200 companies averaging $15M in sales. They all had had declines in sales and employment – often steep. They all fought back in the manner described above. Aggregate results for those companies showing an 8.9% per annum sales increase for the several years following the introduction of a plan for change focused on outside expertise. This is a strong endorsement of the idea that with better knowledge, targeting, and tools, domestic companies can overcome the significant challenges of import competition.”