Afternoon Coffee: Trump Hints at Progress on NAFTA Negotiations, Keurig Honors Top Suppliers

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President Trump gathered with prominent executives Tuesday to promise them some “pleasant surprises” forthcoming for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Wall Street Journal reports. While Trump frequently attacked NAFTA on the campaign trail, he is expected to pursue only modest changes to the trade pact in upcoming negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

Japanese Staffing Shortage

A shortage of workers is plaguing the Japanese trucking industry, but it’s also bringing a few upsides. As Nikkei Asian Review writes, delivery companies are using the shortage to justify raising shipping fees — in some cases as much as 50%.

Blockchain to Fight Counterfeiting

As readers of Spend Matters already know, we’re big of the potential impact of blockchain of the procurement and supply chain spheres. So, here’s another potential use: identifying counterfeits. Russian e-commerce company Ulmart is exploring a blockchain use case to help fight the flood of counterfeit products.

"Consumers complain to us about this issue and ask us to do something,” said Brian Kean, Ulmart's Chief International Officer. “The blockchain will let us join forces with major manufacturers and anyone can then merely point a bar-code or QR-code and follow the entire history of the product from production line to Ulmart's fulfillment center," explained Mr. Kean.

Keurig Suppliers

And finally, a note from the supplier world: Keurig Green Mountain released Wednesday the recipients of its second annual Supplier Recognition Awards. Keurig named engineered matierials supplier Glatfelter its supplier of the year, for displaying “superior responsiveness to Keurig’s evolving business needs, leading to improvement of the materials it provides and optimization of the supply chain.”

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