The World Trade Category

The Week in Metals: More Defense Spending, Less Regulation of… Pretty Much Everything


President Trump’s $1.1 trillion budget blueprint released Thursday proposes dramatic cuts to the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency while seeking billions more for defense issues and $1.5 billion for the president’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. Noted trade attorney Alan Price, of the Washington law firm Wiley Rein, said the World Trade Organization case that the federal government filed in January on behalf of aluminum producers will essentially serve as a guide for other industries looking to challenge state-subsidized companies’ overproduction for export in the People’s Republic. The Week in Metals brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

Where to Find Sustainably and Ethically Made Apparel? Ask Project JUST


Last month, I came across an article on Medium about Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and a group of six researchers’ attempt to unravel the supply chain behind the apparel. Sure, the fact that she is the daughter of President Donald Trump may have given the matter its newsworthiness — after all, plenty of celebrities lend their names to clothing lines — but I was curious whether Ivanka’s “women who work” platform extended to employees farther down the supply chain. Do women’s rights to, say, maternity leave, apply to the female factory worker sewing dresses in China or Indonesia — or just to the women buying those dresses?

The Week in Metals: Yes, The Mexican Border Wall is Happening

Not only is the Trump administration asking for bids for its promised southern border wall, but the Department of Homeland Security has also added specifications to its request for proposals. The Dakota Access Pipeline can continue construction of the final eight miles of the project underneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota, a federal judge ruled this week. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from MetalMiner.

Dispatches from Cuba (Part 2): On Transactions and the Cuban Supply Chain


Ginny Smith presents live science shows to schools, science festivals and other groups, and is also an author, journalist, radio and film presenter. As well as science, travel is another love, and as a neuroscientist by training, she is interested in the psychology of negotiation, which she discussed in her previous article about her recent trip to Cuba. In Part 2, she looks at queuing psychology, and touches on Cuban supply chain issues, too!

It wasn’t just navigating taxis that was a challenge in Cuba — shopping was a fascinating experience, as well. While it is often said that the English form the best queues in the world, I would disagree — the Cuban system is far better. When entering somewhere like a bank, you may think there is no queue at all, just one person at each desk and a number of others hanging around, sitting on sofas, chatting.

Decoding Border Tax Speculation: A Sourcing Advisor Explains the Top Priorities for Procurement

In a related article last week, we tried to get (a little closer) to the bottom of the whole Mexico border tax issue. Although there are still two potential camps of “tax” — President Trump’s potential blanket tax on Mexican imports, and the broader Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that comes from proposed Republican corporate tax reform — procurement organizations on both sides of the border have immediate concerns.

Apple Juice Prices Squeezed in the U.S.

apple juice

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

President Donald Trump is still talking about imposing high tariffs on imports from China, even with all of the presidential campaigning behind him. While this is yet to be followed by something more definite, government officials and workers from several industries, including manufacturing, technology and farming, are either voicing their excitement or worry. Importers in the U.S. apple juice industry are likely to be some of those with concerns, as they mainly import apple juice concentrate (AJC) from China.

The Week in Metals: Everything Analysts Think They Know About Copper is Wrong

direct materials procurement

Black is white, right is wrong — you get the picture. Our Lead Forecasting Analyst Raul de Frutos says that most analysts are wrong to say that copper prices will lose value later this year. The Week in Metals brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

Dispatches from Cuba (Part 1): On Negotiation and Supply Markets


In a country where you can earn more handing out pieces of toilet paper outside a toilet in a tourist cafe than by being a neurosurgeon, the Cuban economy is certainly a strange one. After decades of strict regulations, the system has begun to relax, and the country has opened up more to tourists, and my partner and I were among them on our self-organised three-week trip at the end of 2016.

Can We Get to the Bottom of Trump’s Border Tax?

10%. 20%. 35%. These are all numbers that the Trump administration has put on the table, at various times, as suggested levels of import tax that the administration threatens to levy on goods from countries such as Mexico if the U.S. companies importing them don’t move their overseas operations back to the States...right? Not so fast. It turns out that there are a few different things this whole “border tax” thing could mean.

How Trump’s NAFTA Threats Could Be the Dynamism Mexico’s Local Supply Base Has Been Craving

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Ana Gomez, senior associate at GEP.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump threatened to renegotiate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This has generated much uncertainty for companies in Mexico that for many years have exchanged raw materials and finished products without the payment of certain tariffs. According to some economists, the NAFTA, signed in January 1994, has benefited Mexico to a greater extent related to the import and export of raw materials and finished products.

A Major Price Risk Just Surfaced in Mexico: Why Unilever, Other Procurement Orgs Are Taking Note

Very recently — and rather quietly, overshadowed by talk of walls and deportations — the Mexican government made a major move that could upend North American supply chains for years to come. On Feb. 17, the Finance Secretariat announced that fuel prices in each of the country’s 90 regions would change on Saturday, Feb. 18, with daily price changes coming into place from that point forward, according to a report from Breakthrough Fuel, a global transportation energy management and advisory firm. This deregulatory move almost instantaneously introduced a new era of commodity price volatility concerns for multinational procurement organizations and their supply chains operating in or through Mexico.

The Week in Metals: Indonesia, Freeport-McMoran Fight Over Grasberg

The world’s second-largest copper mine, the Grasberg open pit mine, in Indonesia, sits idle as its operator, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoran, and the government of Indonesia squabble over permitting issues. President Donald Trump’s administration is mulling changes to how the U.S. calculates trade deficits. The Week in Metals brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.