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US Pushes China to Adopt Trade Reform, Tensions Rise

 The United States accused China of unfair trade practices today during the World Trade Organization (WTO) review, saying the country's industrial policies "skew the playing field" against imported goods and services."We also cannot ignore reports of China's use of forced labor in several sectors," U.S. charge d'affaires David Bisbee told the ...
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Global Trade Rebound Is Strong but Unequal, WTO Say

 The World Trade Organization (WTO) updated its economic forecast for 2021-22 with a more positive outlook for global trade. The WTO now predicts trade will grow 10.8% this year, up from the 8% forecasted in March.However, while overall recovery is strong, many developing regions remain far behind partly due to the lack of vaccine access. "The...
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US-Vietnam Agreement to Keep Supply Chain Free of Illegal Timber

 U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced an agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that addresses U.S. concerns in the Vietnam Timber Section 301 investigation. This is the first 301 investigation to address environmental concerns. (Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. §2411) grants the Office of the United State...
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U.S. Products Could Face New EU Tariffs If Metal Dispute Is Not Resolved

The European Union warned that only one month is left to resolve a metals dispute with the U.S., otherwise new EU tariffs will hit American products starting Dec. 1.An agreement must happen by the beginning of November in order to avoid consequences, said EU trade commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, on Bloomberg Television. "We are now working very i...
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Will High Food Prices Lead to Civil Unrest?

 Wholesale food prices like wheat, sugar and vegetable oil have increased by roughly 33% globally since last year, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. But in some countries, the rising cost of food might be a tipping point – resulting in protests and even war, said Ida Rudolfsen, doctoral researcher at Uppsala University a...
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Coface Survey Shows Decrease in Payment Delays and a Positive Economic Outlook for 2021

According to a recent Germany corporate payment survey by Coface, payment delays have steadily decreased from 2020 to 2021. Among the companies responding to the survey, only 59% are reporting payment delays this year – a 9% decrease from 2020.Companies are also reporting a drop in the duration of payment delays resulting in an 8-day decline to an ...
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UK Delays Brexit Border Checks on Food as Grocery Stores Struggle to Stock Shelves

The United Kingdom will postpone the start of Brexit border checks on food imports from the European Union until July 2022, said Brexit minister David Frost in a statement on Tuesday.The goal of delaying some Brexit protocols is to give businesses more time to adjust and prevent the current food shortage in the U.K. from getting worse. Europe suppl...
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Federal Mandate for COVID Vaccinations Targets Government Contractors Among Others

President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are developing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that would require companies that employ more than 100 workers to ensure their employees are either fully vaccinated or test negative each week if unvaccinated in order to come into work sp...
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China Exports and Imports Hit Record Highs

China's global trade soared to record high levels last month, according to a report from CNN. The country's exports jumped 25.6% in August from one year ago to $294.3 billion, and imports spiked 33.1% to $236 billion, both the highest numbers on record.These economic strides are in despite of new coronavirus outbreaks and supply bottlenecks. "While...
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Vietnam is Latest Country to Struggle with Exports As Holiday Season Approaches

Vietnam is next in line to grapple with the challenges of widespread supply-chain woes as the country struggles to contain the coronavirus. Beginning today, Vietnam's major industrial southern provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai stay-home orders are extended for another 15 days."American companies that diversified their supplier bases outside of C...
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Why and How the Construction Industry is Getting Greener

The construction industry is traditionally notorious for consuming large amounts of raw materials and natural resources, but that may be about to change. The sector is making strides to find more sustainable alternatives and working to reduce its carbon footprint, according to a recent global survey from SAP, a German multinational software corpora...
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Survey Highlights Mixed Opinions on Globalization

Public perception of globalization has declined over the past two years, according to a market survey from the World Economic Forum and Ipsos. Although 75% of the survey takers agreed that expanding trade is a good thing, nearly 40% of them believe more trade barriers should limit imports of foreign goods. These results could indicate a decline in ...
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Global Trade Recovery Nearing Peak, WTO Report Says

Global trade continues to recover at an unexpected rate from the pandemic, but new data indicates recovery may now start plateauing, according to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) goods trade barometer reading posted today.The barometer latest reading reached a record level of 110.4, the highest number since the indicato...
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ABC Reports Construction Input Prices Up 23.1% Year-Over-Year

A recent analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) revealed that construction input prices rose by 0.6% in July. The analysis also revealed that these input prices increased to levels 23.1% higher than a year ago.Commodity prices have continued to soar under unrelenting dema...
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COVID-19 Vaccines Give Insight into How Global Supply Chains Work

A paper published this month by the Peterson Institute for International Economics analyzes how vaccine supply chains were setup during the pandemic and what it can tell us about international trade. The production and distribution of vaccines were put under unordinary pressures, but still the paper draws parallels to the cross-border trade of othe...
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Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Down from June to July

Commercial bankruptcy filings declined 15% from June to July this year, according to reports from Epiq's AACER bankruptcy information services business. Overall, U.S. bankruptcy filings were down 6%."New commercial filings continue to lag as the financial markets continue to offer robust alternatives to restructuring under U.S. bankruptcy code," sa...
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New Executive Order Aims for Competitive Marketplace

 President Joe Biden's July 9 executive order strives for a fairer and more open marketplace. The order encourages the leading antitrust agencies to focus enforcement efforts on problems in key markets and coordinates other agencies' ongoing response to corporate consolidation. Among other things, according to a White House fact sheet, it does...
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New Study Warns of Global Merchant Sailor Shortage

The commercial shipping industry is on track to face a serious shortage of merchant sailors in five years if urgent action is not taken, according to the recent Seafarer Workforce Report from BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).A merchant sailor shortage would further strain the already overwhelmed global supply chain. Commercial ...
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New US Measures on Xinjiang Would Hurt Global Trade, China says

The U.S. recently accused Xinjiang of using forced labor, which has led lawmakers to support blocking imports from the region. American companies also were warned of legal risks if they do business in this area, the Associated Press reported.The U.S. Senate approved a measure earlier this month that would block imports of goods made with forced lab...
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Construction Employment Remains Below Pre-Covid Levels in 39 States

​Continuous demand coupled with labor shortages in the construction industry has halted production across the majority of the U.S. According to the Association of General Contractors (AGC), today's employment levels in the construction industry are still trailing employment levels prior to the global shutdown in 39 states."The construction industry...
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