Afternoon Coffee: Toyota’s Tariff Balancing Act; Ivalua’s $1 Billion Valuation; SAP’s Padgett’s Abrupt Exit

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Reuters reports that Toyota Motor Corp had done a balancing act between U.S. and China even before tariffs began the trade war.

The automaker had earlier announced a U.S- investment-first strategy to avoid President Trump’s ire. At the same time, it had also pacified China by setting up a green-tech research institute with Tsinghua University and give state-owned BAIC Group’s Foton unit fuel-cell technology for buses, according to the report.

Podcast: Listen to which U.S. manufacturers fall on the “winner” or “loser” side of the U.S. tariff war with China, right here.

SAP Ariba’s Barry Padgett leaves the company

Spend Matters reported earlier today (paywall) that Barry Padgett has left the company “only weeks after being named president of the newly created SAP Intelligent Spend Group (ISG), a combination of SAP Ariba, SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass.”

Previously SAP Ariba’s president, Padgett has reportedly accepted a role as chief revenue officer for Stripe, a payments company, although that is as yet unconfirmed.

Ivalua reaches ‘unicorn’ status – now valued at $1 billion

Ivalua, “likely the fastest growing privately held source-to-pay procurement suite technology provider, announced Tuesday morning that, with its latest funding round, it has gained ‘unicorn’ status for start-ups by reaching $1 billion in valuation, as reported this morning by Spend Matters.

It raised $60 million from a new investor, Tiger Global Management, and Ardian Growth, one of Ivalua’s early investors that raised its investment level, the announcement said.

Read the full story right here.

5G supply chain players want clarification on Trump order

An executive order issued by the Trump administration to keep compromised or insecure gear out of the 5G network that’s being built has left industry groups and experts wanting to know more. Specifically, these associations are concerned how the new rules will be drafted and implemented.

Global ad association seeks to change procurement process

In its bid to change the much criticized procurement process, the World Federation of Advertisers has set up a new Global Sourcing Board. The latter is mandated to help to realign corporate procurement practices as they apply to marketing. The idea is to tackle complaints by agencies client reviews were frequently “procurement driven.”

The board is composed of sourcing and procurement leaders from P&G, Diageo, Unilever and Nestle, among others.

British Steel in trouble, knocking on foreclosure's door

Stuart Burns, editor at large of Spend Matters' sister site MetalMiner, covered the large stink emanating from the U.K.'s steel industry — and it isn't sulfur.

(Or sulphur, if you please).

"According to the BBC last week, British Steel, the U.K.’s second-largest steel producer, is knocking on the door of the British government for the second time in as many months looking for support," Burns wrote. The firm is on the brink of "administration," basically British for bankruptcy, if it doesn't get the $38 million loan it needs, according to the Economist.

Trade war comes as a boon for U.S. garlic farmers

The ongoing trade war between U.S. and China has become a blessing in disguise for U.S. garlic farmers.

Sales of California-grown garlic have reportedly gone up decades after losing ground to cheaper Chinese imports.

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