In an interesting convergence, the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal has taken effect within days of celebrating Independence Day here in the United States of America. The new deal replaces the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was implemented on January 1, 1994. While the net effect of NAFTA has been the subject of spirited debate, there are two unfortunate realities. First, the US trade deficit with these countries increased from $17 billion to over $177 billion per year, and over 800,000 US jobs were displaced during NAFTA’s 26-year existence. Likewise, and worse for Americans, since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, 3.4 million US jobs have been displaced, and the annual US trade deficit with them peaked in 2018 at over $400 billion. To add insult to injury, trade with China has strengthened a totalitarian regime that oppresses the Chinese people and views the United States as an obstacle to their global ambitions.
During this historical period of time where the world is experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses everywhere are responding with necessary measures and precautions. Stopping the spread cannot be done through maintaining the normal day-to-day functions.
Information technology can promote the development and productivity of a business. That is why IT is a core competency at Liberty Electronics and plays a key role in satisfying our customers. Rather than using off-the-shelf software, which is often a “jack of all trades and master of none,” Liberty employs a different approach.
In the past, using commercial software applications has forced Liberty to make sacrifices and compromises due to the different limitations of these products, which ultimately was inefficient to the company. Instead, Liberty strategically customizes robust applications in order to achieve our customer-driven requirements as an electronic manufacturing services contract manufacturer. As customer and industry requirements evolve, our software also evolves through updates by our IT department. Our self-sufficient approach to IT ultimately reduces cost and lead-times, speeds up simple actions through automation, and improves customer service. Here are a couple of examples:
One way a company can support its community is by offering educational and employment opportunities to the members of the community, especially students. This is particularly true for companies, like Liberty Electronics, in the STEM field. By engaging with the community, the company can educate students about the field and equip them with opportunities for the future. Larger companies, such as Lockheed Martin, do this regularly. Liberty, though located in a smaller community, still offers valuable resources to the area through career, STEM, and mentorship programs to reach students and potential employees.
The autumn of 2001 found Liberty Electronics’ employees full of confidence in the future. Years of developing strong customer relationships and providing high quality products had solidified Liberty’s reputation within the manufacturing community. The company had built on this foundation by attaining the International Standard Certification ISO9001 three years previously, shifting from a narrow focus on military quality assurance to an international quality system that allowed its work to branch out into the global market. And employees looked forward to moving into their new facility in just a few months’ time, a space that would allow them to fulfill contracts for General Electric, Siemens, and their first international order for an Israeli tactical air-launched decoy designed to fool enemy radar systems.
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Great accomplishments often have small beginnings, an idea with which Liberty Electronics is more than familiar. Once a business concept found only on paper for a university research project, by the early 1990s Liberty was a fully formed corporation coming into its own. The company had deliberately focused on defense programs since its 1986 founding, meeting a specific need during the late Cold War and the Gulf War to provide high quality wiring harnesses and cable assemblies to the defense industry. That, however, was all about to change.
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