Will China’s Currency Devaluation Complicate the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

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As trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries continue to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, China’s recent currency devaluation has sparked a debate over the inclusion of currency manipulation controls in global trade agreements. China is not currently part of the TPP, however, the agreement includes a mechanism for allowing other countries, including China, to join the agreement in the future. Continue reading this entry

Creative Cooperation: Public-Private-Partnerships

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Some people trust private industry and the free market to solve economic challenges and develop economic opportunities, while others prefer allowing government initiatives to address such issues. The space between these two poles may hold the answer to tackling seemingly insurmountable challenges. Collaborative efforts between the private sector and government bodies, commonly referred to as public-private-partnerships (P3s), may be just the ticket in such cases. Continue reading this entry

Monitor Financial Distress in Your Supply Chain

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While American manufacturing has experienced a resurgence in recent years, some manufacturers continue to face challenges. Witness for example the recent chapter 11 filings of Colt, Boomerang Tube, and Everyware Global. Sometimes, manufacturers struggle because a supply chain partner—a major supplier or customer—is struggling. In order to manage supply chain contracts, manufacturers need to watch for early signs of financial distress in their customer or supplier base. Then, they may quickly react to red flags and garner an advantageous position. Continue reading this entry

Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Financing

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Do your energy costs keep you up at night? Do aging systems keep your utility spend high while other needs draw scarce capital resources? You are not alone. Major HVAC, lighting and other upgrades can be capital intensive with a long payback that does not justify making them a short-term priority in the near term. Making long-term investments in your manufacturing or other facilities can also be problematic when you are unsure if you will be selling that property during the 20 years it may take to recoup the cost of such investments. Continue reading this entry

Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Face Tighter Timeline as Talks Continue

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Trade ministers announced that they will continue negotiations over several unresolved provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during a four-day meeting in Maui, Hawaii that concluded July 31. Trade ministers representing the 12 Pacific Rim countries included in the free trade deal remain optimistic about negotiations and said in a joint statement that they are “more confident than ever that TPP is within reach.”

One of the major sticking points reportedly centers around intellectual property protections for biologics. The U.S. reportedly attempted to secure 12 years’ data protection for pharmaceutical companies, while Australia is insisting on five years. Observers suggest the agreement will fall somewhere between five and seven years’ data protection. U.S. stakeholders concerned with a deal that only includes five years of data protection could threaten to round up enough opposition in Congress to stymie the deal. Continue reading this entry