The World Trade Category

What One of Canada’s Richest Men Really Cares About When It Comes to Global Trade

Barry Zekelman's story sounds like the typical American dream — a tale of how he and his brothers were thrust into their father’s fledgling business after his sudden passing. Zekelman left college to help save the steel pipe manufacturer. He and his brothers innovated to help transform the firm from a $2 million company with five employees and no profits into a $1.2 billion behemoth by 2006. But, to hear him tell it, he cares more about how his company can help build a lasting community than profit margin.

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Will Procurement Automation be Transformed by Compulsory Real-Time Tax Controls?

Companies should be preparing for a world where government requirements for real-time transaction controls will be a major force in shaping the business-to-business (B2B) transaction automation systems of the future. With cloud becoming the principal deployment model for managing different types of B2B transactions, this revolution toward much-reduced freedom for companies to specify their process requirements can be expected to transform the way companies interact and contract with solution vendors. Let me explain through a couple of scenarios.

Californian Raisin Prices Soar on Strong Demand and a Decline in Production

raisins

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, market analyst at Mintec.

Turkish prices have also risen since April, buoyed by soaring prices in the US, but at a much slower rate, by only 25%. Californian raisins usually trade at a premium to Turkish produce, but this year, following the harvest, the price difference between the two origins increased rapidly.

Dr. Edward Altman and CreditRiskMonitor CEO Jerry Flum on the Looming Corporate Debt Crisis

Debt is a growing problem, both in the U.S. specifically and worldwide. As the Congressional Budget Office announced earlier this year, U.S. debt held by the public is projected to reach 150% of GDP by 2047. Currently, the $19.9 trillion of U.S. public debt equates to about 107% of GDP, according to the Pew Research Center. In short, there’s a mammoth debt problem, which was the title of a webinar that CreditRiskMonitor recently hosted on this very topic.

From Labor Shortages to Price Swings: How Brexit May Affect U.K. Food & Drink Supply Chains

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Scan the latest Brexit-related headlines, and the tone is decidedly pessimistic. Words like “turmoil,” “pain” and “severe loss” are scattered throughout. That last one comes from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not one to mince words. With the exodus of European Union workers already underway, many industries have cause for concern. The U.K. food and drink industry is certainly one of them, as new research shows.

Consumer Spending and Confidence are Up — Evidence of Trust?

This past week’s retail numbers were the best in a long while. A wave of beat-the-street earnings reports have poured in, as it appears the subdued level of consumer spending in early 2017 has run its course. And surprisingly, for the first time in recent polling memory, the majority of surveyed households across the U.S. are expressing a positive view of their financial health — perhaps the best indicator that consumer spending will continue to power an expanding economy.

Trump Manufacturing Council Roundup: When the CEOs Said ‘See Ya’

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Alas, President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative has sadly drawn to an abrupt close in the wake of the events in Charlottesville. As you’ve surely heard by now, Trump disbanded the council once a critical mass of CEOs and other business sector leaders stepped down. One day before his official decision, announced on Twitter (is there any other way?), the President tweeted one of my favorite tweets of his in recent memory.

What Worries Procurement Professionals the Most? Trade Comes Out on Top

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Global trade disputes. Automation and job losses. Immigration policies. Which of these three worry procurement the most? In a survey of 200 procurement professionals recently conducted by Beroe Inc., 55% of the respondents cited trade squabbles as their top concern, reflecting broader anxieties about current political and economic uncertainty.

Japan: High Employee Bonuses in Manufacturing Until Inflation Picks Up

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Irene Lauro, senior economist at IHS Markit.

In Japan, labor shortages and rising productivity are not leading companies to increase ordinary wages. Signs of a Japanese economic recovery have started to appear in rising corporate profits and falling unemployment. A meaningful pickup in wage growth, however, is not in the cards, as corporates are reluctant to lift ordinary earnings because of uncertainty about the economic outlook.

On the Future of Direct Procurement Tech: An Interview with Dan Willmer, VP Sales and Operations at Jaggaer

Today we present another installment from our ongoing series exploring where manufacturing procurement technology is headed. Produced in collaboration with our sister site MetalMiner, these interviews feature questions from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch posed to multiple experts at technology vendors on topics such as the current direct procurement renaissance, the increasing centralization of procurement departments, the volatile commodity environment and more. The most recent interview, published earlier Tuesday on MetalMiner, features Dan Willmer, vice president of sales and operations at Jaggaer.

Don’t Lose Your Shirt: American Apathy to Reshoring

Made in USA

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Oliver Everhard, an associate with GEP.

For decades, conventional wisdom has said that anything you can manufacture offshore — in particular, less skill-intensive products like clothing — will end up costing your company less. From a cost perspective alone, this is likely true. Yet “reshoring” — the process of bringing manufacturing back into the United States — has become an increasingly popular option for American companies.

Verisk Maplecroft Releases Latest Geopolitical Risk Outlook: Keep An Eye on Emerging Markets

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Emmanuel Macron’s win in the French presidential election was a temporary boon for geopolitical stability, as was Moon Jae-in’s election as the new president of South Korea. U.S. president Donald Trump, however, has managed to become even more of a wildcard. In addition to the above, many emerging markets are at risk of growing instability, according to global risk research firm Verisk Maplecroft, which recently released its 2017 Geopolitical Risk Outlook.