Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.
RECORD DEFICIT IN U.S. MANUFACTURING TRADE REPORTED: The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced last week that the goods and services deficit was $40.8 billion in September, down $7.2 billion from a revised $48 billion in August. September exports were $187.9 billion, $3.0 billion more than August exports. September imports were $228.7 billion, $4.2 billion less than August imports.
The bigger story is in the year-to-date numbers with China related to manufacturing. Several sources cited the goods and services deficit increasing $14.9 billion, or 3.9%, from the same period in 2014 to a record $74.7 billion for the calendar year. Exports decreased $66.3 billion or 3.8%. Imports decreased $51.3 billion or 2.4%.
GOV. HUTCHINSON FAR EAST TRADE MISSION BEGINS SUNDAY: Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a business-friendly crowd of corporate executives, lawmakers and economic developers on Thursday that he has a list of companies in Japan and China that he plans to visit on his upcoming Far East trade mission in hopes those countries will consider future capital ventures and investments in Arkansas.
Hutchinson and Arkansas Economic Development Commission Director Mike Preston will leave Sunday to travel to Japan and China on the business recruitment trip that will last through Nov. 24, two days before Thanksgiving. The Arkansas delegation will spend three days in Japan and the remaining five days in China, the governor said.
Hutchinson told reporters that he planned to invite the Chinese agricultural minister to Arkansas to see firsthand the state’s biosecurity efforts, such as those used by Tyson Foods in hopes of reducing future embargoes of Arkansas agricultural products.
WEYERHAEUSER, PLUM CREEK MERGE TO FORM $23 BILLION COMPANY, NO WORD ON ARKANSAS IMPACT: Weyerhaeuser Company and Plum Creek, both companies with vast operations and long histories in Arkansas, announced on Sunday (Nov. 8) a deal to create the largest timber, land and forest products conglomerate with more than 13 million acres of timberland across the U.S.
At closing, the combined company is expected to have an equity value of $23 billion and annual earnings estimated at $2.2 billion, officials with both Seattle-based companies said. Combined, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek own nearly 1.3 million acres of Arkansas forestland.