Te counter-intuitive weather of late December 2015 seems very much like an exclamation point to all the economic uncertainty and geopolitical discord we have encountered this year, doesn’t it?
In Williamsville, New York, near Buffalo and ninety miles from Toronto, where I once went running on Christmas morning with the thermometer registering eight degrees, shorts were not an uncommon sight the third week in December. That scene was repeated December 23rd on the ice rink in New York City’s Bryant Park. Meanwhile, heavy snows blanketed parts of Texas and New Mexico.
Does all of this mean that what we thought we knew about how things are “supposed to be” regarding weather are not so? Te short and accurate answer is “no.” Weather, like many things we experience in life, is actually the result of a complex ballet of forces and factors which we can observe and measure, but do not always fully understand. Factors like the Pacifc North American Pattern (PNA) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO), along with its dreaded sometime companion, the polar vortex.
The key to understanding these forces and factors and their effects is close observation, and “connecting the dots.” Once weather analysts connect the dots, they can provide early warning.
This is exactly what we do with and for our members. We work hard to “connect the dots,” to monitor and make sense of the relevant political, legislative, and economic forces that shape the “weather” affecting our businesses and our well-being.
Like the distant weather patterns that afect what we experience when we walk outside, distant and seemingly unrelated events can and frequently do affect trade in steel. Market disruptions, conflicts, strife, border issues and volatile geopolitical developments transcend geographic boundaries, ripple across continents and oceans, and afect what happens in our ports, in our plants, and on our balance sheets.
We accomplish our goal of connecting the dots for our members in a number of ways. For example: We provide a “seat at the table” during significant trade-related policy discussions, negotiations, and other initiatives affecting steel trade. We build, sustain, and enhance partnerships with key public and private sector allies.