Afternoon Coffee: USMCA clears hurdle; WTO paralyzed; Tariff delay; new Upwork CEO; SAP partners with project44

Sasajo/Adobe Stock

Even amid impeachment developments, U.S. House Democrats and the White House have ironed out differences on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the trade pact proposed about a year ago to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to news reports.

Today's deal needs to be resubmitted to the House before it can be officially approved, according to CNBC, which gave this summary of the USMCA:

"The deal as signed last year made a few key changes from NAFTA, which took effect in 1994. U.S. farmers got better access to the Canadian dairy market, rules of origin for auto parts became more strict, nearly half of automobile parts had to be produced by workers who make at least $16 an hour, and digital trade and intellectual property rules were updated, among other provisions. Still, Democrats fought for measures they said would better prevent outsourcing of U.S. jobs to Mexico."

WTO losing power

As two of the last three members exit a WTO appeals panel Tuesday, the WTO's Appellate Body, a seven-member panel that acts as the highest court for international trade, will in effect be paralyzed, according to Reuters. The U.S. has blocked appointments to the panel. The latest loss of panel members to term limits essentially means that the Geneva-based body loses its ability to intervene in trade wars. Major trade disputes like the U.S. conflict with China and metal tariffs imposed by the Trump administration will not be resolved by the global trade arbiter, reports Reuters.

Tariffs on China delayed?

The Wall Street Journal reports that additional U.S. tariffs against China that were set to begin Sunday may be delayed.

Upwork to get new CEO

Upwork, the online freelancer solution business, announced that its president and CEO, Stephane Kasriel, will be stepping down at the end of 2019. The reins of the company are being turned over to Hayden Brown, currently the chief marketing and product officer.

The announcement noted that “Kasriel will remain involved with Upwork as an adviser to the company and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors through the company’s 2020 annual meeting of stockholders. Brown will also join the company’s Board of Directors.”

Starting in 2012, Kasriel headed product and engineering at oDesk and then the Elance-oDesk merged entity (now Upwork). He became Upwork’s CEO in April 2015 and oversaw the company’s ongoing double digit growth and led the company to its IPO in October 2018. Upwork’s market cap is now $1.2 billion.

Brown has led product at Upwork in VP and SVP roles since April 2015, and she rose to chief marketing officer in March 2019. Prior to joining Upwork, she was the head of corporate development at LivePerson and previously held several strategy and M&A roles at Microsoft. She started her career in the strategy group at McKinsey & Company. She has earned a place on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 40 Under 40 list for three consecutive years.

“It is a privilege to be asked to lead Upwork and a team for which I have great admiration,” Brown said in the announcement. “I am very enthusiastic about the company’s future, and share a deep passion for the transformational impact Upwork has through our mission of creating economic opportunities so people have better lives.”

Brown knows the company very well, and her product orientation and other experience will support the company’s continuing growth within the evolving contingent workforce industry.

SAP partners with project44

SAP today announced a partnership with project44, which provides visibility for shippers and service providers, a press release  said. Project44 is expected to enhance the SAP Logistics Business Network, which is part of SAP's “network of networks” strategy based on partnerships with "world-class innovators,” the press release says.

“Project44 ingests, cleanses and normalizes high-quality data from a wide network of global carriers,” the release says. "SAP Logistics Business Network enables customers to manage logistics transactions, exchange documents with key partners and gain transparency across the complete value chain. Integrating project44 data will enrich SAP Logistics Business Network with access to the largest and fastest-growing global carrier network.

Boeing whistleblower says aircraft maker was warned of 737 problems

Former Boeing manager Ed Pierson has told NBC News that he had warned the company about problems at its main factory in Washington state, prior to two of its 737 MAX airplane crashes in separate incidents that killed 350 people.

Manager Ed Pierson is scheduled to appear before Congress to detail his efforts to sound the alarm over the conditions at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington.

Trucking company Celadon files for bankruptcy

The 11th largest trucking company by revenue, Celadon Group and its 25 affiliate companies, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Delaware district of U.S. Bankruptcy Court. According to a Supply Chain Dive report, quoting a company press release, the company ceased operations effective Dec. 9.

Despite trade wars, U.S. manufacturers see higher 2020 sales

The semi-annual survey report by the Institute for Supply Management has said that U.S. manufacturers predicted a bounce in revenues in 2020 despite unease over trade tariffs that are prompting supply chain shifts. The projected 4.8% bump in manufacturing revenues was "one of the more surprising" figures in the semi-annual survey, said Timothy Fiore of ISM.

Share on Procurious

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.