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Howes: On Mackinac, auto industry understands stiff competition hails from Silicon Valley

Patrick Nouhailler
Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says competition from fast-acting Silicon Valley companies is ratcheting up competition for auto and business leaders in burgeoning mobility industry.

Michigan spent the 20th century making itself the center of the auto industry.But it's crystal clear Silicon Valley wants that crown for the 21st century.

That warning is being sounded at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says economic and business leaders on Mackinac Island this week realize that competition from Silicon Valley isn't going anywhere, and will force business leaders in Michigan to move quicker when it comes to participating in the evolving mobility industry and innovation.

“The people who are thinking about this, who are looking at the world around them, are saying ‘this is reality this is here to stay,’” Howes said.

Howes says the idea promoted by the Trump administration and others, that redefining American trade deals like NAFTA could lead to a boon for businesses, is “fanciful."

“It’s not just a trade thing," Howes said. "We live in a global economy that is constantly changing. To think that you can put the proverbial genie back in the bottle is just not being honest with people.”

Listen to the full conversation with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes above. 

Daniel Howes is a columnist with the Detroit News. Views expressed in his essays are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.

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