Good afternoon and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief. As the news of today’s unexpected election results filters in there are clearly implications for manufacturing. Perhaps most importantly the Brexit equation seems to be changing with the early indications at least suggesting that a ‘softer’ line, with a greater focus on access to the Single Market a priority for the MTA, might be necessary to secure passage through the new House of Commons. This is of course a developing issue and with no new Government in place at the time of writing that political prediction runs the risk of being as wrong as most others have been over the last few months.
The MTA was represented at the General Assembly of ORGALIME (the European mechanical engineering lobby group) yesterday where the discussions centred around Brexit and Industrial Strategy. There were some eyebrow raising insights from European partners about the challenges of completing a good Brexit deal in a two year time frame and outlines of what different European countries are doing in their industrial strategies. MTA Board Member Mark Ridgway gave a view from Britain which particularly focussed on the regional dimension to the strategy that is evolving here.
Last month saw the annual conference of the European Cutting Tool Association, ECTA. The MTA was represented and there is a summary of proceedings and a link to download the presentations in the story below.
Still in Europe, CECIMO this week signed a declaration calling on the Commission to improve the next EU Research & Innovation Framework Programme (FP9) which is expected to be launched in early 2018. Its worth noting that this is one of the initiatives that the UK is seeking to maintiain a role in post-Brexit.
With all the political uncertainty, getting timely data on the on the business environement is more important than ever, so a quick reminder that the MTA Business Survey for May is still open for your replies until early next week. You can access the on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-may17
The Institute of Export and International Trade, of which the MTA is a member, will be developing an apprenticeship standard in international trade. If you’d like to get involved in making sure that it reflects the needs of internationally trading businesses in our sector there are more details in the story below.
One topic apprentices might cover is anti-dumping legislation and new measures were published last week by the European Commission imposing a duty rate of 33% on imports of tungsten carbide from China, fuller details below.
We’ve news of two MTA members running technical seminars in the near future. ABB are running a session called Switch to Robots, which will explain ongoing reductions in the cost and complexity of robotic automation on the 20th of June; AW Precision Limited are hosting a technical seminar on the 27th of September to discuss advances in press tool technology.
Also looking forward we’ve got a note of the submission dates for inclusion in the various EMO preview and review editions of Machinery and Machinery Classified.
The only economic news this week is some revision to European GDP data; generally upwards across the continent but with the UK seeing its numbers revised down.
Finally this week saw three new members join the MTA, so please welcome CloudNC, Freddy Products and Protool.
Have a good weekend.