Shale gas and oil production, changing production costs in China and rising incomes in emerging markets will grow the demand for U.S.-made products, according to Bronson Hsieh, second vice group chairman of the Evergreen Group, operators of the global carrier Evergreen Line.
As keynote speaker at the Trans-Pacific Maritime (TPM) Asia conference October 17th, Hsieh noted: "Shale oil and shale gas bring significant changes to U.S. economic development. Shale oil increases the U.S.'s domestic supply and reduces oil imports. Shale gas enhances the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing by providing low-cost feedstock to petrochemical companies and inexpensive energy for other gas-intensive industries."
He added that U.S. government and states' incentive packages will continue to attract domestic and foreign investments and that modernization of port facilities and negotiation of free trade agreements will accelerate trade growth and cargo flows.
Citing the analysis of Boston Consulting Group, he said "Given the changes of production costs in China, the advantages of U.S. manufacturing will start to emerge." He believes that with rising incomes, emerging markets are expected to increase demands for high-quality American products, enhancing the growth potential of U.S. exports.
"If these trends continue as forecast, they will strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and boost exports," he predicted. He added that cargo growth will also benefit container carriers by reducing equipment repositioning costs and adding more growth momentum to port throughputs.
In the long term, he concluded, export growth and declining oil imports will reduce the U.S. trade deficit, strengthen the value of the dollar and encourage imports.