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Overhaul Your Understanding: Global Trade Predictions for 2021

Welcome back to our expert interview series, Overhaul Your Understanding. You can listen to our interview with Pete Mento, global trade, customs, and economics consultant, or read the interview below.

Welcome back to Overhaul Your Understanding, an expert interview series. I’m Amy Shortman, Director of Product Marketing at Overhaul. Today I’ll be speaking with Pete Mento, a global trade, customs, and economics consultant with over 20-years of experience and an impressive list of personal achievements. He’s a former professional stand-up comedian as well, and like nobody else I have ever met before.

In addition, Pete uses his knowledge and understanding, often predicting future events with shocking accuracy. I have had the pleasure of hearing Pete speak at the HDA’s PCSC events and his insight into the world of trade, economics, and business is unparalleled. What I’d like to do to start with Pete, in your own words, could you please let our audience know a little bit more about you, your background and what you’re currently doing?

Yeah, so I am the cumulative result of decades of failure. I started my career as a Merchant Marine officer. I was awful at it. I was terrible, terrible, terrible at driving ships. I then tried desperately to become a professional stand-up comedian. I was actually pretty good at it, but I was tired of living in motel 6s and sleeping in a sleeping bag so I wouldn’t catch bedbugs and living off of curly fries and draft beer, and having to beat up club managers to get paid.

So the long and short of this is…I ended up getting into graduate school. I went to Harvard in Massachusetts, and I needed a job. So I got a night job working for a freight forwarder. And somehow again, through failure, I ended up becoming a customs house broker. And I like to tell people that basically, although I’m an economist, I really am just a middle-aged balding, graying, tired, old, fat man with access to the internet who happens to be a failed stand-up comedian that people like to hear talk. There are much smarter people than I am, who probably say things that are more useful, they just probably don’t pepper in jokes as well as I do.

I have had a number of jobs working for major freight forwarding companies and customs house brokers, as well as very large consulting firms, but again, failing upward. Recently through the pandemic and the such, I decided to go rogue, I’m on my own and I’m consulting on my own, which is all at the same time, thrilling and gives me crippling anxiety, but it is definitely financially rewarding.

I’ve been thinking obviously about you and other friends and colleagues within the industry over the past few weeks with the U.S. elections. On the night itself, I know that people over here decided to stay up for the result, which usually come that night. So they had a sleepless night for no reason whatsoever.

I would love to know your thoughts and insights into your journey through the recent election and some immediate sort of aftermath thoughts of how the result is going to change the U.S. and the wider global economy and trade, and also from a supply chain point of view, the industry.

So I was one of the people who was saying that there would be, with any ambiguity whatsoever in the U.S. election, you were going to have what came out of it, an opportunity for the cloudiness, the specter of disagreement and a lack of accord in this country. And that’s precisely what’s happening. Regardless of what happens with recounts, regardless of what happens regarding America’s inability to accept one outcome or the other, all it really takes is a little bit of doubt. It takes a little bit of doubt by zealots on either side of a ballot, to really catastrophically put our economy in question.

And then that’s hard for people to believe, but I’ll give you some indications, where you are now in the United Kingdom, you’re in a lockdown. And as Americans, we don’t realize just how brutal the lockdowns are in the United Kingdom, much worse than they are here. We are being told, left and right, that another lockdown is coming. Our president isn’t supposed to change hands until the 20th of January. Officially the electoral college doesn’t count the actual electoral votes till January the sixth. There’s a long time between those two things and our president still hasn’t conceded. Between now and the middle of January, we’ll have cold and flu season, who knows just how bad this could get. And America still remains the largest economy.

What does all that have to do with your question? Simply put, the longer that we fail to take concrete steps towards stopping what has become a runaway pandemic and the fear and ambiguity that, that brings this economy, the longer it’s going to have a long-term standing effect on the other economies around the world.

There’s a reason why China has managed to overcome its past COVID situation, and get far beyond it and faster than anyone else had. They took decisive action in the beginning. And we can argue about whether or not that decisive action was “fair,” but their economy for all intents and purposes is back on track. The US has done everything it can to resist that. And being an American and being the son of ranchers and a Texan I can tell you, there’s nothing we hate more than being told what to do. And there’s an entire part of this country who’s going to hate it.

If you wanted a great prediction for me on this particular…I know we’ll get to predictions later, but the next requirement of a lockdown in this country is going to be met with severe resistance by the U.S. population. They will be entire pockets of this country that will simply refuse to comply, and it will be politicized. So I’m waiting for that to happen.

But the election in and of itself, as long as Republican leaders continue to legitimize Vice President Biden’s claim on his ascendancy to the presidency, the least likely it is that we will continue to see President Trump do what he can do to try to maintain his hold on that presidency. He still has ways to do it, there are ways to make electors go to a direction other than the one that they were originally supposed to go because of voters in the U.S. There’s also ways that he can continue to get Americans to believe that the vote was simply not legitimate.

I think this election ultimately is going to result in a Biden presidency and then it gets even messier than it is now, if you can believe that you’re going to have two senators that have already said they want to serve in his cabinet, well, great. Those two senators come from Republican-led states, which means Republican senators will probably take their place, which will shift even more of the Senate. You’re going to have more gridlock. You’re going to have less of an opportunity for change.

So although everyone’s dancing in the street with their masks off, kissing strangers in Times Square, good for them, you’re going to end up eventually having more gridlock. You’re going to have more quagmire and less likely that Congress is going to get anything done, which is going to mean more executive orders from a president who will be acting more like a monarch than someone who has led by the country, citing legislation from the Congress. I’m not sure that the next four years are going to see a whole lot of anything getting done other than executive decrees.

With this change between now and January, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the vaccine rollout is something that all governments globally are looking at putting plans together as to how they’re going to manage that from a distribution point of view, from a legislation point of view, and working with the competent authorities to get approval for these vaccines. What do you feel are the differences in the potentially new administration versus the old one in terms of that process?

There’s a lot of them. So the first big one is I believe that we’ve politicized the vaccine as well, depending on who you talk to. There are people who simply weren’t going to take it if it came in the Trump administration. Wow. That’s a loaded question. I’ll keep it to supply chain. All right. So I’ve been very vocal in that I believe that the distribution of these particular vaccines is going to have a negative knock-on effect to the cold supply chain globally around the world.

If there was one commodity in logistics that is hard to find, it is refrigerated supply chain, whether it’s ocean containers, space on trucks, warehousing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, maintaining that, finding it, buying it is going to be hard. And those vaccines are going to have the first priority to get it, and our new government is going to demand that it has that priority.

Okay, great. Well, what about fresh fruit and vegetables? What about other medical equipment devices and vaccines? What about things that are involved in aerospace that have to be kept at lower temperatures? What about the price increases that go along with that? And in semiconductors? No, one’s really thinking about what that’s going to mean. Add to the facts… You got me on a roll now, this is why you should never ask me questions like this.

Add to the fact that we’re in the middle of a crunch in space because we’re not allowing passenger aircraft in from Asia. We’re not allowing passenger aircraft from places all around the world, which means there’s no space on aircraft to begin with. And you’ve got Chinese New Year coming, we’re in the middle of the Christmas season. You don’t have space and everyone’s already buying up all the charters they can find. I think this is going to have an awful effect on the cost and the price of things going forward.

Also, I’m going to give President-elect Biden, let’s just say that, a lot of do here and that he has said openly over and over again, in every conversation about this pandemic, the supply chain and logistics is the next step that we need to take towards fighting where we are now and then managing to buy more PPE so that we’re prepared for the next one. And I think that’s correct.

Expect some sort of congressional bill, either from Congress or the Senate, that’s going to mandate stockpiling of it. And the stockpiling of that being a priority of this administration, the purchasing of it, and the stockpiling of it. And then, of course, the pursuant investigations of corruption on why particular companies either were allowed to produce it or move it or store it because there’s too much money to be made, in my opinion, that somebody won’t have some kind of trickery engaged in this actual processing. There’s some controversy for you.

This time of year, anyway, is very tough for the supply chain industry. We do have events like Black Friday. We’ve got Christmas coming up as peak season. On top of that, there are the normal influenza viruses that are going around. So you have a large group of staff that are off work, but this layered upon the pandemic sounds like a total perfect storm.

Do you feel that the industry, first of all, is ready in terms of what you’ve just said? Obviously, if you’re focused on pharmaceutical logistics or time- and temperature-sensitive distributions, you would be very focused on making sure that you have your procedures and your warehousing, but there is a knock-on effect with other products globally. Do you feel the industry’s ready? Do you feel that they’re actually taking this to the levels that they need to, to address that knock-on effect within the industry? And then what advice would you have for supply chain and logistics and transportation companies to counteract any issues that they might come into contact with?

No one’s ever ready for anything in this business. This is a profession of being reactionary. We’re firefighters, right? We’re Marines, we’re Special Forces. This is an entire profession of people who love to get engaged when crap is on fire or exploding. This is not a group of people who like to plan for problems. And I would submit to you that if you do meet those people, they’re ignored. People that come to you and say, “We could have a pandemic someday, that could be a problem with terrorism, the supply chain. You’re going to have an issue with the 301 tariffs from China, you should probably have a plan B.” Everyone just looks at you and says, “Really again, the sky is falling again? Why don’t you go back to your office in the basement, drink some more coffee, and we’ll call you once it’s wrong so that you can gloat?” But no, no, no one is prepared.

And what’s going to happen again, is that this is going to end up just throwing the dung heap into the fan as it were and splattering everywhere. And we’re going to have to find some way to manage it on the backside of that. It’s just the way it is. And there will be absolutely no remorse, and probably very little sympathy for anyone, because you should’ve seen this coming. It was the same way with the pandemic, it was the same way with the Chinese 301. It was the same way with the U.S.-European issues with the tariffs. It doesn’t take a whole lot of insight or degree in economics to look at the state of the world and see what’s coming next. I’m not Nostradamus, okay? There’s going to be a problem here and people aren’t prepared for it.

So on supply chain security, if we just kind of focus in on that, you were mentioning that potential civil unrest is going to increase, and that we’re going to obviously have this kind of squeeze on resources. There’s already a trucking crisis with drivers in some parts of the world. The U.S. is one of them. What do you think is going to be the giving point, something that’s going to break if people aren’t proactive within the next 12 months?

There is no mathematical outcome that I can give you that has a lowering of crime in the Western world over the course of the next 36 to 48 months. You can quote me on that and the next time we talk, we can look at it again.

There is a wholesale embracing amongst the Western world right now of either dealing with the pandemic as it’s happening in Europe, an attitude that, well, this is just how the economics are going to be, people are going to have to lose their jobs. And we’ll see what we can do.

Anytime you have a lowering of economic mobility, anytime that you don’t have opportunities for people, especially lower-income people, to have some sort of mobility, economically, crime rises. It’s just how it is. And then in the U.S. of course, there is a strong mandate that’s being felt in D.C. that something has to be done about policing, something has to be done about how we deal with criminals, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. We are seeing a rise in violent crime in this country. I don’t understand how we can expect anything, but an outcome of higher instances of crime.

So in our supply chain right now, you have something very much worth stealing in the guise of vaccines. So you have something, I assume, half the country is probably going to want, and that you have something to the rest of the world will probably want stolen so they can try to make it in some basement, and then sell with the same brand name on it, wherever they can’t get it. It’s just too much of a temptation and it’s going to happen. There are too many commutations and not enough security personnel. If you are not finding ways to use the force multiplier of technology, to use the force multiplier of intelligence, and working with other people and sharing and collaborating, you’re going to get caught up in it. It’s only a question of when, between organized crime and people who are just being opportunistic, there’s something out there that’s going to catch it

In the EMEA region, TAPA announced that there were in the first six months of lockdown, which we were pretty much in lockdown from March, April through to July, August…£85 million worth of goods were stolen in that area. And it was interesting because I remember thinking at the time, with nobody being on the roads, with nobody apart from supply chain, whether that would be something where the criminals would feel very exposed, the fact that they were out there and the only ones that would be kind of going up and down the motorways or highways looking for trucks. Or whether it would be just the rates would fall away. So I was interested when these statistics came out and was the organized crime groups did see it as an opportunist time to target a lot of these goods.

As a British-English person myself, I would love you to give us a kind of a brief 101 on Brexit for the U.S. audience and anybody else globally on kind of how it came about, what it is, in short, from a trade point of view. And then moving forward where we are now in this kind of a no man’s land, not really knowing whether there is a deal and what the possible economic outputs will be for that. And the impact it’s going to have on the UK/U.S. trade.

Brexit as a trade block, I would say it’s probably the most important trade block in the world, more important than NAFTA, more important than the APAC region. And it was fascinating in that it allowed not only the free movement of goods, but also with people. And in a period of time, three years ago, people in Great Britain were given an opportunity to vote for a mandate to take themselves out of the European Union. And there were a number of different reasons, but most of it had to do with other immigration concerns or concerns about the way that either their voice or their money was being spent in that other part of Europe.

In a shocking outcome to most people who were watching it, not me, in a very thin margin, extremely thin margin, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Over the course of the past three years, it’s been about three years, right? Maybe a little longer than that. There’s been all kinds of work to either reconcile, to try to find some way to make this work, or to come up with a way to leave the European Union, but still keep the best of that relationship.

And sort of these as to where we are now, in the middle of probably Great Britain, having the best leverage it could possibly have with the European Union, it gets smacked with a pandemic. And not only that but, your prime minister gets the disease and he’s laid out and everyone’s focus was on everything, but Brexit, and up until that point, it’s all, anybody in my business was talking about, was looking at the camera and shaking it and saying, “Do you have a plan? Do you have a plan?” It would create millions of more customs entries on both sides of these transactions. It would cause all kinds of disruption to trucking, disruptions to logistics and transportation, currency issues of banking, where people are going to have their headquarters. And not to mention immigration.

Now, a lot of this has been sorted out, where people can and can’t live and how they’ll immigrate. But the thing that hasn’t been sorted out is the trade issue. Both parties really want to fix this, both the European Union and the United Kingdom want to come to some sort of agreement on it. And from what I understand, they’re extremely close, but there are a number of high-end issues such as the fisheries question about just how far into Kingdom waters they can actually come. And also questions about of course sharing costs of how the trade costs would go across these two, renegotiation rights, et cetera.

There’s too much at stake for them not to come up with something. So could we have a hard Brexit? Absolutely. Could this thing just fall into the dumpster and catch fire? You betcha. Is it possible that before, I think you only have a few more weeks get something so the Parliament can vote on it before the holiday recess, right? Listen to me talking like I’m English, please.

And then of course the European Union, they have to vote on it as well. So there’s a limited amount of time. So it’s possible that this is what makes it so nerve-wracking. It’s entirely possible that you could have any of these three things happen, right? You could have a decision made that allows you to continue to work together in the backstop in Ireland and all the rest to be, work all this out. And there’s no problem.

It’s also entirely possible that this thing catches fire and goes to hell. But it’s also possible that in the first couple of months of 2021, you come to a resolution with the European Union and you work it out. That just because you have a hard Brexit, I don’t think that ends the conversation. I think maybe you’ve hit a wall, the alarm goes off. And now, unfortunately, you’re not in a situation in the United Kingdom where you have as much leverage to argue, because now the user’s going to say, “Okay, well, you made your bed now lay in it. And here’s what we want in order to make that happen.” And I think that there could be some contested arguments that go along with it. But what I will say to anybody, particularly American companies, if you have not looked at how Brexit will affect your tariff situation in the European Union, in the UK, if you’re mostly moving related party transactions, how it will affect your transfer pricing, how it’s going to affect your supply chain, delivering goods to your customers at any part of the United Kingdom or the EU.

And lastly, how it’s going to affect VAT, your value-added tax situation. You need to really get on that now, because depending on where you’re located and how you’re distributing your goods, a hard Brexit could really put you in the hurt locker. So you’d need to have a plan B maybe even a plan C in case this thing does go completely off the rails.

So we need them to be proactive in that. Don’t we Pete?

And are they ever? No, but that’s why I charged by the hour to be a janitor for trade.

You mentioned the result being very close — it was 51.9% to leave, 48.1% to remain. So it very evident that every single vote does count in these, whichever way people decided to vote. It was an incredibly close call. In terms of businesses and the preparations to see you spent the last three years trying to prepare for a moving target and these different eventualities that are out there. So that’s been very difficult from a medical and a pharmaceutical logistics point of view, stockpiling goods to make sure that in the event that we do have issues with getting stuff across from Europe, that we have those medicines for patients over here. And now the issue is looking at the ports, the major seaports that we have, Dover being one of them, and understanding there’s going to be an element of congestion there with goods and vehicles coming over.

So they’ve actually, the UK government, accommodated huge areas where they’re going to literally have lorry or truck parks to store these vehicles because there will be that part. They’re looking at other ports around the UK to actually open those up into secure space on ocean freight vessels to move goods in. But yeah, it’s always good, I think in terms of, from a global point of view, just to touch on other parts of the world, how they may be impacted and affected. So thank you so much. And as an English person, it’s also great to have somebody concisely say what’s actually happening because by now we’ve either lost interest or just…

Yeah, there’s a lot of passion. One more thing I would add is, President Trump was very much pro-Brexit, pro-UK, pro-U.S.-UK free trade agreement, “Whatever you guys want to do, we’re with you.” Right?

President-elect Biden would appear to be, “Can you guys please work this out? Don’t make us take sides. We’re here to try to make everybody get along. It’s in the best interest of the global community if you guys can just work this out, don’t make us get involved.” So that’s more of the thing that you’re going to see from D.C. with regards to Brexit under a Biden administration.

Yeah, like a marriage counselor. I’ve asked to be the ambassador to the United Kingdom. I had no one’s returning my phone calls. It’s quite stifling, frankly.

Oh, we would welcome it. We mentioned Asia before and I just wanted to touch again on that kind of amazing post-recovery from the COVID pandemic. They do seem to have recovered more so than any other area of the world. You mentioned that that was primarily to do with their preparation and the way in which they handled the pandemic. Are there any other reasons in terms of them having a very strong global economic stance prior to the pandemic that would influence that?

Yeah, there’s a ton. Okay. So the preventative attitude of their public health to start with. No one should be surprised if I die at a young age, right? My diet mostly consists of meat, brown liquor, and anger. So if the alcohol or the meat doesn’t kill me, the stress certainly will. But the attitude of being preventative for my own sake is not something normal, particularly in America, it’s just not normal. In Asia, it’s common to see people doing everything they can to avoid getting sick, “We’re not going to deal with it once it happens, we’re going to try very hard not to have it happen in the first place.” One of the great lines by Bruce Lee, of course is, “The best way to avoid being punched is not to be in a fight in the first place.” I’m a big fan of that attitude.

Economically, what makes it very different than what happens in the U.S. and I think is it’s a hard lesson. For one thing, China is a centrally-controlled communist government, that’s able to make decisions and moves that we simply can’t do here. And they’re facing a credit crisis that no one’s talking about. I’ll get to this later, but there’s going to be some financial issues with China. Okay? I’ll make myself a note to remember that.

Also you’ve had a number of countries like Vietnam is an example that we’re seeing a renaissance, not really renaissance, but a kickstart to its manufacturing because of the 301 tariffs, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, all doing exceptionally well because of the 301 tariffs. The love was being spread around all over Asia.

Also, China is really taking their part, they’re going out there and they’re leading as a nation in Asia, where America had always been kind of setting the tone for the conversation, keeping China in check. It’s not happening over the past four years. The Trump administration has given China a vacuum to walk into to get more engaged with regards to trade. And I think that it’s been noticed by other countries in the APAC region.

So because of relatively low infection rates in places like Taiwan, places certainly like Vietnam. And then China’s quick recovery back, it’s just been easier for them to get re-engaged. And yes, there’s not as much trade between China and the U.S., but there’s plenty of trade in the intra-Asia for China to be engaged with. And they’re finding new markets for so much of their goods. Markets for goods that don’t have American and European brand names, but rather Chinese ones and replacing those names that are known to these countries by American companies. So I think you’re going to see a continued rise, but I also think you’re going to see some problems in Asia in the not too distant future.

You were going to mention the economics of China.

Yeah. It’s only a matter of time before that bubble bursts, there is a major credit crisis that’s on the cusp that will happen eventually in China, you’ve got way too many people that were working on the margin, way too many companies that were just piecing it together, borrowing money to keep it going. And then a pandemic hits and a cash crunch hits, and they were borrowing money from everybody they possibly could. China is a different economy than anyplace else in the world. And depending on how they decide to manage their credit crisis, it will talk about how quickly it comes back.

Any realistic analysis of the Chinese economy will lead an observer to realize that there are serious problems, the difference being of course, that they have a much heavier hand in any sort of movement or recovery than you would see in the West. So just because there are issues there, doesn’t mean there’ll be a long-term downturn. I just think it will be a punch in the nose and a wake up to reality, not only for their government, but for their people as well. So I think there’s something very much it’s going to happen there.

So whether it’s supply chain or supply chain security risk, or your health or global pandemic, the old adage of “Prevention is better than cure” still stands strong. I would like to ask if you have any other words of wisdom for our audience. Any kind of Pete Mento take-away life lessons?

Yeah. It wouldn’t be a conversation with me without my wild predictions, right? So one of them is that I don’t believe that the current tariffs that have been put in place by President Trump will go away quickly for Asia. I believe that the ones with Europe have a better chance of dwindling away. Certainly, the 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum have a good chance of going away quickly because they don’t serve for political leverage.

However, President-elect Biden will try to find some way to manage an “agreement,” with China, it will be watered down compared to what you would have had with President Trump. Now here’s a good tidbit for you. It is very likely, very likely that in order to appease the more left-wing of government that is currently forming in the United States, that a president Biden administration will use tariffs in a similar way to carbon offsets, where he will say to countries that are not focusing on dealing with pollution, “Well, here is something that’s going to hit your tree that you bring into the country in the form of tariffs, in a strange sort of combination with carbon offsets.” I see that certainly happening.

There is going to be conflict, and it’s a question of how we manage it. So there are way too many conflicts around the world that we don’t talk about, particularly in Africa, that the United States has actively engaged in, as has Great Britain, as a matter of fact, that no one talks about. I think that those could rise, I think you’re going to see a rise of Jihadism, you’re going to see a rise of paramilitary and dark nation-states being engaged in military actions in the Middle East and in Africa over the course of the next four years to test what’s going on in Washington, DC, the US people simply do not… There is fatigue for continued violence. If anything, they want to see less of it.

You’re going to see a meteoric rise of the Mexican economy. I think that that’s something people aren’t talking about, so I’ll throw that one on here. When I say meteoric, you’re going to see a positively astonishing rise in the financial situation in Mexico. And that will cause and force the United States to completely rethink our logistics situation between these two countries, how we manage movement of goods, how we manage our infrastructure. It’s very important.

Something is going to have to be done about the air carriers around the world. In places like China and the United States, we are more than happy to reinvest into these companies to take partial ownership until they recover. I don’t know about the rest of the world. There are nation flag carriers that may not have the money to save and rescue. I think you’re going to see either the consolidation or the plain old death of a number of airlines that many of us have come to know and love. Let’s see if I’m right about that one, that’ll be a fun one.

There will be another U.S. lockdown. And that lockdown is going to be contentious and ugly, and it’s going to cause a lot of problems in this country. The COVID vaccine will not be widely adopted in North America, there will be a lot of people who simply won’t take it. And because of that, because of our fear of it and because the politicization of it, we’re going to have this lingering issue with COVID for some time to come.

And if I had to give you my big prediction, it’s that there will be a major cyber event in the course of the next 18 months. We’re having this conversation face-to-face, businesses, the supply chains around the world have continued to move because of our ability to rely on the internet, that has not gone unnoticed. And somebody is going to take the opportunity to shut that down. You’re going to have a cyber event, it’s going to be significant. And when it happens, every security professional in the world is going to wish they paid attention to that advice, shore up your cyber, because someone’s going to take it down.

It’s for sure on the rise, cybersecurity attacks, just on that as we kind of head towards the next 10, 15, 20 years Industry 4.0, machine learning, automation, jobs moving from traditional people and humans to machines. What are your thoughts on the impact of Industry 4.0 in the next 20 years?

I believe that you’re going to see a melding of data, people, and machinery in a very positive way. I had a client whose principal designers are in South Africa, Germany, and San Francisco. They designed the product, which they hand over to a system that uses AI and machine learning to perfect. And then all of them have a 3D printer in their office, they print up a mock-up of the device. They all take a look at it and then they make minor changes to it, to collaborate on it. And then the AI and the machine learning makes it even better and sends it to a person-less a manufacturing site, where there isn’t an individual in it, it’s completely automated. And it goes into production. You’re going to see more of that, a lot more of that, but all of that requires innovative minds in technology.

My grandmother worked in a candy factory. My dad was an inspector for the USDA. And then it was turned into Novartis facility and I gave trade advice. Three generations of my family all ended up working in the same place. We had to give up certain things in our old economy to create a new one. And I wouldn’t be fearful of that. I think that there’s plenty of opportunity for all of us and to every naysayer who says the population keeps growing, what are we going to do with all these people who need jobs? It’s not going to keep growing. The population will eventually not only stop growing, it’s going to start going backwards. And when it does, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for everybody.

So one day Pete Mento may have a digital twin.

I certainly hope not because he’d even more problematic than I am. And probably much smarter. We don’t need that in this world.

Well, Pete, thank you so much for being on Overhaul Your Understanding, you shared so many insights with us today and predictions as well, which I hope we get an opportunity to catch up on in the future. And I’m sure that knowing your background, your history, that they will come true. So I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much.

Missed the last episode of our podcast on fast-moving consumer goods supply chains? Listen here.


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