Industrial Services,Consumer Services
Household & Personal Products
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) - The French government insisted on Sunday that Washington should expect united retaliation from Europe to further tariff increases after Germany signaled it was prepared to negotiate. With Germany's powerful car industry facing the threat of higher U.S. duties, Chancellor Angela Merkel said last Thursday she would back a lowering of European Union levies on imports of U.S. cars. "If tomorrow there is an increase in tariffs, like in the car industry, our reaction should be united and strong to show that Europe is a united and sovereign power," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. "The question is no longer whether or not there will be a trade war, the war has already started," he added, speaking at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France. U.S. President Donald Trump hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum at the start of June, ending exemptions that had been in place since March. He further escalated tensions last month with threats to impose a 20 percent import tariff on all EU-assembled vehicles, which could upend the industry's current business model for selling cars in the United States. "Let it be known that if we are attacked we will react collectively and we will react firmly," Le Maire said. The United States currently imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported passenger cars from the EU and a 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks. The EU imposes a 10 percent tariff on imported U.S. cars. Under World Trade Organization rules, the EU cannot lower import tariffs for only U.S.-made cars. It would have to reduce them for all WTO members. While French carmakers would be little affected by U.S. tariffs because they have little exposure to the American market, they would face stiff competition from Asian producers if EU tariffs were cut, a prospect that worries the French government.
Julien Manceaux, Senior Economist at ING, notes that figures published by INSEE show that French business confidence remained stable in both the manufacturing and service sector in June. “In the industry, business confidence has been stable in the second quarter as a whole (109.5), slightly below 4Q17 and 1Q18. However, manufacturing companies are losing confidence in the general outlook (this component is down from its January peak and back at last year’s level).” “All in all, the picture remains fairly positive for activity in the manufacturing sector, although less than in the beginning of the year.” “All in all, the June confidence survey is showing that we can only count on a limited rebound of GDP in the third quarter. The extend of the slowdown (and of the strikes’ impact) in the second quarter of 2018 will therefore be key to determine this year’s growth.”
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 2, 2018 - Today UPS® (NYSE: UPS) officially opened a new 30,000-square-meter, advanced technology package sorting and delivery hub outside Paris in Corbeil-Essonnes/Évry. The French Minister of Transportation, Elisabeth Borne, the mayors of both Corbeil-Essonnes and Évry, and other dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. The new Paris Hub facility, which employs nearly 1000 people, facilitates cross-border trade and enhances package delivery service in the Île-de-France area. “This $100 million advanced technology facility spans four soccer fields. And it’s the single biggest investment UPS has ever made in France,” said Nando Cesarone, president of UPS International. “With modernization and growth initiatives like this new Paris Hub, UPS is helping businesses in Europe – small and large – connect with customers faster and with greater efficiency. Placed at a strategic point in Europe, the building is as modern as it is efficient. UPS’s enhancements to its European network combined with leading technology help us plug France into the global trade arena. We are especially grateful for the business-minded support from the government partners who share our growth-oriented view of France’s role in international trade.” The building is equipped with advanced technology, automated sorting equipment and has the potential to sort up to 37,000 packages per hour, which is more than twice the capacity of the two facilities in Chilly-Mazarin and Savigny that it replaces. “UPS has been serving French businesses for more than thirty years. This new Paris Hub facility improves efficiency and service for our customers. Last quarter, we grew our export volume in France by over 10% thanks to an increasingly cross-border business,” said Rob Burrows, country manager, UPS France. “With advanced, automated sorting technology, Paris Hub is part of our national network of nearly sixty facilities that connects French businesses to their customers across UPS’s enhanced European network - and around the world.” The new $100 million facility is a part of the company’s multi-year, $2 billion European investment plan, which aims to modernize and expand the UPS network across the continent. Since 2015, UPS has invested in new hubs in Lyon and Montpellier, a new facility in Dijon and a combined package center/UPS France headquarters in Paris. Better connecting France to UPS’s enhanced European network offers customers in Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Indian Sub-continent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA) regions attractive access to European markets. 'Transcontinental trade and trade across borders are predicted to grow faster than global gross domestic production for the foreseeable future. Europe is a key market for high growth economy such as Middle East. With more than 600 French companies working in the United Arab Emirates, including most major CAC 40 groups, efficient connections between France and the Middle East are more important than ever. Supporting such trade potential requires high end infrastructure driven by technology and a smart global logistics network,” said Rami Suleiman, president of UPS ISMEA district. “With €3.6 billion in French exports to the Emirates, the UAE has become France’s second-largest export destination in the Gulf. UPS’s advanced technology Paris Hub will help French companies grow their businesses in Middle East,' added Suleiman. As part of its transformation strategy, UPS is prioritizing resources and directing investment for the greatest strategic benefit and long-term shareholder return. Early in 2017, the company announced plans for extensive upgrades to its smart global logistics network, enhancing capacity and efficiency through the use of state-of-the-art processes, information technology and automation. UPS has been offering services in France since 1985 and established its own operations in 1988. The company currently has 56 operating facilities in France, has a fleet of more than 800 delivery vehicles, and serves six airports – Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Paris-Roissy, Rennes and Toulouse.
The French Port of Le Havre supervisory board has confirmed a multi-year EUR500 million (US$582.91 million) investment programme devoted to development, according to Shipping Gazette. The decision was voted unanimously in Le Havre on June 29 in a plenary session chaired by Emmanuele Perron. The decision is based on the information resulting from the consultation of the governance bodies to which the port authorities had referred and the review of the consultation on improving river access to Port 2000 conducted last year. The development board of the Major Seaport of Le Havre (GPMH) and its investment committee studied the programme presented by the port and gave it their full support. "We are delighted that this programme, which is both feasible and financeable, has met with genuine consensus from the entire port community. It allows to re-launch the investments necessary for the further development of the number one French port for foreign trade," development board chair Jean-Louis Le Yondre said. The three Haropa ports have launched a forward planning analysis of the investments to be made over the next ten years. For each port, the question is how to reconcile the needs of commercial development with the issues involved in the maintenance and rehabilitation of the port assets with respect to the Seine corridor. The Haropa initiative is structured around two priorities: development investments representing EUR500 million and investments in the maintenance and modernisation of existing assets, ie, EUR110 million over five years. The priority is to complete Port 2000, including berths 11 and 12 and the flap gate. The construction of berths 11 and 12 will feed the Seine corridor by the growth in maritime traffic and river access to Port 2000 (via the flap gate), which will help to evacuate containers by waterway and will complete the current river solutions with their natural market outlets of Rouen and Paris. The construction of berths 11 and 12 satisfies all the conditions for work to immediately start. "The process of selecting candidates for the allocation of the two berths has been launched," said Port of Le Havre director Herve Martel. The foundation stone for the project could be laid as early as July 2019, "which offers a guarantee of technical and administrative maturity liable to win the support of Europe for co-financing, for which we could apply alongside the flap gate project," said Mr Martel. The flap gate project has also been maintained in the priority programme, to serve a multimodal and low-carbon transport system advocated by many of the stakeholders in the port area. The completion of Port 2000 will be the subject of a request to the European Commission for a subsidy. The level of the possible subsidy is in the order of 20 per cent of the cost of the work. The supervisory board has also decided to continue studies on the extension to the ro-ro terminal, road/rail safety and security enhancement, further development of the logistics parks and redevelopment of the northern terminals. The project for the ro-ro terminal will be carried out without delay, given the current pressure on available space. The project may need to be phased, with the construction of back-up areas first and then quays. The crossroads between the industrial road and the A29 motorway, considered a bottleneck for the industrial zone, will be redeveloped. The port authority has already carried out studies in the hope of obtaining ministerial approval before the end of 2018. Secondly, the 'La Breque' crossroads will also be redeveloped in order to improve the fluidity of throughput on the industrial port zone (ZIP) via bridge VIIa and accessibility to the west of the ZIP and projects under development in this sector.