The Trump effect on UK business
The UK is once again in flux due to the world-shaking news that Donald Trump will soon take up the mantle of President of the United States.
While the nation is still recovering from the decision to leave the EU, and has been launched into uncertainty regarding what happens next, it has been hit hard once again by the news of America's vote. Christian Stadler is a Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, and offered the following expert comment:
"Trump's victory brings a similar uncertainty as Brexit did. We simply don’t know which of his campaign promises will translate into policy.
"For UK business it is a particularly big threat as trade with Europe is likely to decline as a result of Brexit, so companies have to offset business losses, but the US will also be a more difficult place to trade with.
"Trump has spoken out against free trade, so expect a dramatic rise in import duty in some industries, such as steel.
"The negotiations on TTIP are likely to end. As the UK will no longer be in the EU this will not have a direct effect, but suggests that it will be difficult for the UK to negotiate a deal with the US.
"We can expect substantial investment in US infrastructure, but this is not likely to benefit UK companies as contracts are likely to go to US companies.
"So what should UK companies do? There are two options: first, reduce US business and look for alternatives - this could mean a deliberate decision to shrink. Or set up subsidiaries in the US, so if a company operates in the US it won’t be affected by the new trade barriers.
"Another effect for UK businesses is that it could be more difficult to get work permits in the US for UK business people."
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.