Afternoon Coffee: U.S. and China Put Trade War on Hold, Trump Pushes Postmaster General to Double Rates on Amazon

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The U.S. and China have agreed for now not to impose punitive tariffs on each other, temporarily averting a trade war, the BBC reports. In exchange for dropping the tariffs, China has affirmed a framework agreement in which the country would buy a considerably larger amount of goods and services from the U.S.

Amazon vs. Trump

President Trump has pushed the postmaster general to double shipping rates for Amazon and other firms that heavily rely on the Postal Service in their logistics efforts, the Washington Post reports. While the rates remain unchanged, as they are bound by contracts that a regulatory commission must view, Trump has persisted in finding ways to squeeze Amazon.

Supply Chain Salaries

Supply chain skills continue to draw a premium from employers, with average salaries for supply chain professionals rising 4.1% in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reports. That growth outpaced broader U.S. wage gains and those for professionals generally — a trend that could continue as rising inflation pushes companies to invest in more efficient procurement processes.

Oil Prices

And finally, an energy update: Oil prices strengthened again Monday, with Brent crude futures rising 23 cents to hit $78.74, Reuters reports. Geopolitical tensions, including resumed U.S. sanctions on Iran and the possibility of new sanctions on Venezuela, have stoked supply concerns.

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