Afternoon Coffee: Discussion for US-UK Trade Deal Begin, Amazon Dreams Up Underwater Warehousing


U.K. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox arrived in the U.S. Monday to begins talks for a trade deal, the Guardian reports. While the U.K. government is eager to secure a deal as it simultaneously heads deeper into Brexit discussions with the European Union, British business leaders are worried that enthusiasm could inadvertently give American businesses the upper hand.

Under the Sea 

Amazon’s latest patent would take the retailer somewhere most online shoppers — or procurement professionals, for that matter — rarely go. According to Fortune, the idea of US Patent 9,624,034 B1 is “to use either man-made pools or natural bodies of water to store goods while waiting for fulfillment orders.”

Labor Shortage 

A dearth of farmworkers in California is creating challenges for growers and opportunities for makers of automation technologies, the Los Angeles Times reports. While wages for crop production have climbed 13% from 2010 to 2015, American workers are simply not interested in the job, leading companies such as Driscoll’s to develop “agrobots” than can do the job for them.

IMF Forecasts

And finally, an economic update: The International Monetary Fund has downgraded growth forecasts for the U.S. and U.K. economies, the BBC reports, after “weaker-than-expected” activity in the first three months of the year.

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