Afternoon Coffee: U.S., China Restart Trade Talks Before G20 Summit; Experts Look at Business Case for Self-Driving Vehicles in Supply Chain

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Trade talks between the U.S. and China have restarted before the nations’ leaders meet this weekend for the G20 Summit in Argentina, CNBC reports. Both countries have traded tariffs, and the Trump administration has planned more if the summit does not go well. But the situation developed Tuesday. “We’re having now a lot of communication with the Chinese government at all levels,” top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said. “We were at a total standstill.”

Supply Chain and Self-Driving Vehicles

Experts see autonomous vehicles affecting the supply chain — but not for a number of years, Supply Chain Dive finds in interviews with industry leaders. A.T. Kearney Partner Cort Jacoby said the technology is not ready for prime time: “Yes, technical advancements are being made and the capabilities to apply to commercial use may in fact exist, there are several challenges that will curtail adoption. These include government regulations, legal risk, questions regarding liability and ongoing maintenance of the technology, including resident skill sets within the companies, whether shippers or logistics companies seeking to implement this capability.”

FAA Slow on Drone Rules

The FAA is behind schedule for rules on drones, causing concern among industry officials who plan to use unmanned aircraft to transform their businesses, The Wall Street Journal reports. The agency said earlier this year that rules would be fast-tracked, but some experts now see 2022 as more likely, the Journal reports.

Consumer Confidence Strong but Lower

And finally, an update on the economy: According to figures released Tuesday, consumer confidence remained strong in November at 135.7 despite slipping from October’s 18-year high of 137.9, The Associated Press reports. “Overall, consumers are still quite confident that economic growth will continue at a solid pace into early 2019,” says Lynn Franco, a Conference Board economist. “However, if expectations soften further in the coming months, the pace of growth is likely to begin moderating.”

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