Afternoon Coffee: USTR’s 2019 Trade Policy Agenda Released, Walmart Tightens OTIF Policies, Blockchain Hacking (Oh My)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released its latest trade policy agenda for 2019, which unsurprisingly focuses on China trade dynamics for a part of its 373 pages, according to our Commodities Roundup.

“The U.S. steel sector has increased its capacity utilization rate in the past year (since imposition of Section 232 tariffs on steel), but the report continued to focus on the theme of China’s steel overcapacity and its impact on the global market,” according to the article.

In other commodities news, metal prices have been up across the board, and U.S. auto sales and construction spending are in a bit of a winter slump.

Read the roundup in full here.

Walmart Tweaks OTIF Policies

The super-retailer continues to get even deeper into Amazon-competition territory.

“Walmart tightened its on-time, in-full (OTIF) policies to require suppliers to deliver full truckloads within a two-day window 87% of the time. This is up from a previous requirement of 85%,” according to Supply Chain Dive.

If that doesn’t happen, suppliers will get docked. “Suppliers will be fined 3% of the cost of goods sold if they fail to meet the requirements,” Walmart spokesperson Michelle Malashock told Supply Chain Dive in an email, according to their article.

ICYMI – Unhackable Blockchains Are Beginning to Get Hacked…What?

In a recent piece published by the MIT Technology Review, Mike Orcutt explores the worrisome incidences of security holes appearing in cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms.

“In short, while blockchain technology has been long touted for its security, under certain conditions it can be quite vulnerable.”

Read more here.

Also ICYMI — What the Heck are Companies Buying When They Purchase Accounts Payable Technology?

Spend Matters recently ran two surveys (one to procurement/finance practitioners and one to technology providers) in preparation for the launch of the Spend Matters Accounts Payable Automation SolutionMap later in 2019. "Many of our questions focused on how users and providers define the bounds of AP automation solutions since there is often a disconnect even within the vendor community, let alone the user community," wrote Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch.

Here is Busch’s layout of that landscape: read the full article here.

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