July 5, 2017 | by Steve Lawrence

Keys to Growth: Trade and Technology

Economic Summit keynote will explore how the industrial metals supply chain emerges from a sluggish economy

“There is talk among some economists that we have already seen all the great innovations we are going to see,” says BMO Capital Markets' Michael Gregory. “But I am a big believer that there are massive technology developments and trade opportunities ahead that will drive a reinvigorated North American economy.”

Gregory’s is just one of the uniquely insightful voices you will hear at this year’s MSCI Economic Summit, September 18 and 19 at the Renaissance Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill. Others with insight and perspective you will not get anywhere else include a panel of distinguished industry executives, and the most up to date and authoritative examinations of the most important end-use markets you need to be looking at.

Gregory, an acute analyst of the North American and global economies for more than 30 years, is now Deputy Chief Economist and Head of U.S. Economics for BMO Capital Markets, a division of BMO Harris Bank, the global financial powerhouse. He says that the industrial metals supply chain along with North America’s three economies are on the edge of resurgence. If, that is, we don’t screw up our trade agreements and relationships. And if we take full advantage of the technologies, from robotics and advanced materials, to artificial intelligence and digital analysis, that can transform our businesses.

“We have got to become a very carbon neutral economy,” Gregory explains. “Climate change is real and that means transformational changes in materials and how we do things. We can embrace these new technologies or we can turn our backs and let the Chinese do that.”

“Look at the auto sector,” Gregory said. “We are making as many cars as we did before the recession and with fewer people. Yes, there has been a lot of pain in some sectors. But we now have the largest, strongest manufacturing sector. Though we do need automation and strong global supply chains to keep the field level.

“Hopefully cooler heads are prevailing in the administration and it will come to understand the importance of these hemispheric and global supply chains,” he said. “Yes, Mexico has become an auto manufacturing power, but this flows both ways and we benefit tremendously in so many ways from Mexico. The flow of illegal immigrants has slowed tremendously, for instance, because of new job opportunities there. This year, they say, for the first time there have been more Mexicans going back home than coming into this country.

“China is the bad guy, not Mexico or Canada. Sure, NAFTA needs to be tweaked. It’s old and predates the Internet,” Gregory said. “But I am hoping that the administration is coming to understand how important trade is for manufacturing.”

You will not want to miss Michael Gregory’s unique take on the modern manufacturing economy, or any of the other provocative speakers at this year’s Economic Summit.

Learn more about the upcoming Economic Summit and register.