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Associate Editor

Mike's Blog

By Michael Cornnell

About Michael

Michael Cornnell is Associate Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.


Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
The Only Marketing You Need
Oct 8, 2015

Astound me! That’s right, knock my socks off! Make me notice that you’re different. Make me talk about you—positively. Make...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
Being Bob Hope: Becoming an Iconic Brand Superstar
Oct 7, 2015

Those of you who know me personally know that I am a film buff, and classic comedy historian and collector....

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
7 Pieces of Advice Before Upgrading
Oct 6, 2015

Most everyone wants the latest and greatest upgrade to technology, especially when it’s a free update, like Windows 10 or...

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
'Can't' Is a Four-letter Word
Oct 5, 2015

Most of us learned the four-letter words we shouldn’t say when we were in school. We heard the words in...

Ask the Accountant

Harriet Gatter
Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax for Out-of-state Sales?
Oct 2, 2015

Question: Do I have to collect sales tax for out-of-state sales? It depends, and it's complicated. State governments would like...

Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
What Can We Learn from The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?
Oct 1, 2015

Since I recently wrote a commentary titled 'Are You Too Old To Rock,' I thought I would share another thought from the...

Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
The Mayor of Funkytown
Sep 23, 2015

Each Power Box has its own personality. Power Box 1 is really into dubstep music. He raves hard all weekend long. On...

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Ask the Accountant
Jul 24, 2015

Question: I am starting out as an ad specialty distributor. Is it better to set up my books on a...

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Gotta Love These Supplier Best Practices
Sep 1, 2015

I’ve been in the promotional products industry for more than 25 years, both selling products and programs, and coaching and...

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Swing All the Way Through
Apr 20, 2015

From time to time, I’ve written about a situation involving one of my kids, and after observing something recently, it’s...

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
The Exact Cause Was Never Determined
Apr 3, 2015

If you read what normally is in this space, you've seen a lot about the protocol it takes to manufacture...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...

Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...


Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...

Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....

The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...

Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...

Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...

My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...

Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...

The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...

Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...

Tonight's Debate: What Talking Points Affect Your Business?


The third presidential debate is scheduled for tonight, 9:30 EDT. While the focus of the debate is foreign policy, with the economy being what it is (and also one of Romney's chief attack points), I would expect the debate to turn back to economics and jobs whenever possible. One of the topics, the "Rise of China and Tomorrow's World," has the potential to swing towards the business-side of things, especially on China's artificially deflated currency and the effect it is or is not having on the American economy. For those of you who might need a refresher, here's a quick breakdown of the issue:

Why China's low currency does (or does not) affect your business:
Some foreign countries try to keep the value of their currency low compared to the dollar in order to make their exports cheaper (If the U.S. dollar is worth more, U.S. companies can buy more exports, which in turn generates more wealth and employment for the foreign country.) The "downside," or I guess counter to the benefit of cheaper exports, is that unbalanced world currencies make it difficult for countries with higher-valued cash (such as the U.S.) to compete with their own exports in the world economy. This is where the rhetoric of China "stealing" American jobs comes in, since by artificially keeping its currency low, China undercuts American manufacturing and exports, theoretically contributing to U.S. unemployment in those areas.

So why does this matter to you? Well, China keeping a low currency value would keep the price of your imports low and stable. A higher value could cause any number of things, from nothing (if value rises but remains low compared to the country's manufacturing peers) to a big shift in where most promotional products are manufactured. Manufacturing shifts to other countries, such as India or Honduras, could happen, as could a rebirth of American manufacturing. Your imported product prices might go up, or they might not. American manufacturing could pick up, or it may not. It would depend on how fast currency values equalized, and across what countries. Were American manufacturing and/or exporting to significantly pick up, it would mean lower unemployment, theoretically helpful to your business across-the-board.

It's worth noting that some sources, such as the Financial Times and the Washington Post, claim that China's currency manipulation has dropped off and is beginning to correct itself, making it a practical non-issue for the U.S. Others, like the New York Times, state that while China's currency situation under Obama has improved, said improvement has recently halted as China's economy slows down.

Where the candidates stand: Romney appears the more aggressive of the two candidates on China's currency manipulation. As quoted in the New York Times:

"On Day 1, I will label China a currency manipulator, which will allow me as president to be able to put in place, if necessary, tariffs where I believe that they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers," he said.

Tariffs could counteract the advantage China's has been gaining from its low currency, but are also not necessarily a perfect solution. China could create counter-tariffs on American exports to China. According to the Financial Times, American exports to China account for about $108 billion in American goods and services, 800,000 jobs and have grown by 541 percent over the last 10 years. Tariffs on China would also not prevent other countries from artificially deflating their currency and simply shifting the low-cost manufacturing problem to a different location.

The New York Times reports that under Obama, the value of China's renminbi has grown at least 8.5 percent, to a value of 15.9 cents compared to the U.S. dollar. Obama does have some tariffs on China-made goods, such as solar panels, though overall he does not seem to favor protective tariffs, inside opting to adjust exchange rates based on inflation at the consumer level between the two countries.

Beyond the issues of currency and tariffs, I don't see a lot of opportunities for the debate to head toward business (beyond the classic political move of "answer a question with something totally unrelated to just shift the conversation toward that anyway"). I suppose oil prices and defense spending could always come up, which are both issues that can impact the promotional industry (oil being needed for shipping and plastics, defense companies like Lockheed Martin being I assume meaningful purchasers of promotional products), but I don't really know enough about those topics to comment intelligently, so I'm just not going to say anything. (I don't expect either of those topics to come up in any depth, so the point is probably moot anyway.)

Happy debate-watching everyone, thanks for reading, and see you all next week!

Like my blog? Why not follow PM on Twitter or Facebook (or just me on RSS or LinkedIn) so you never miss a post? Thanks!

MONDAY MIKE FACT: I like to clean while listening to the debates. I think it's because it keeps my stress down while I listen to 1 ½ hours of arguing.


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