News from the USTR: Japan-U.S. Organic Trade

Today, the United States and Japan announced that beginning January 1, 2014, organic products certified in Japan or in the United States may be sold as organic in either country.

This partnership will greatly benefit both countries as the organics sector in the United States and Japan is valued at more than $36 billion combined, and rising every year.

“Today’s agreement will streamline access to the growing Japanese organic market for U.S. farmers and processors and eliminate significant barriers for small and medium organic producers, benefiting America’s thriving organic industry,” said United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. “This represents another key step in strengthening our economic relationship with Japan by boosting agriculture trade between Japan and the United States, leading to more jobs and economic benefits   for American farmers and businesses in this important sector.”

“This partnership reflects the strength of the USDA organic standards, allowing American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to access Asia’s largest organic market,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “It is a win for the American economy and sets the foundation for additional organic agricultural trade agreements in Asia. This partnership provides economic opportunities for farmers and small businesses, resulting in good jobs for Americans across the organic supply chain.”

Read more here.

Weekly News -20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Sep 08-09

Official photographs of APEC Economic Leaders

On September 08, the 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting kicked off in Vladivostok, Russia. Leaders from 21 economies declared four priorities on the agenda:

  • Trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration;
  • strengthening food security;
  • establishing reliable supply chains;
  • intensive cooperation to foster innovative growth.

The Asia –Pacific region has been the drive of growth for global economy. Undoubtedly, the leading role of growth implies shared responsibility for economic recovery. Deeping regional cooperation and integration was the center-piece of the meeting. President Putin, in his opening remarks, stressed the importance to follow fundamental principles of open markets and free trade and called for an “action-orientated, focused, courageous and visionary” cooperation for economic growth and global recovery.

For more information: http://www.apec.org/

Global Transportation Issues To Keep In Mind

An important aspect of the global supply chain is that of physical distribution and transportation mode choice. Transportation is one major factor to consider because it determines how and when goods will be received. It can be further divided into three components: infrastructure, the availability of modes, and the choice of modes among the given alternatives. It is the role of the international manager to then understand the transportation infrastructures in other countries and the various modes of transportation. The choice of these modes will depend on the customer’s demands and the firm’s transit time, predictability, and cost requirements. In addition, noneconomic factors, such as government regulations, weigh heavily in this decision.

Source: Czinkota, Michael R., Ilkka A. Ronkainen, and Michael H. Moffett. Fundamentals of International Business. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western, 2004. 311.

How Human Trafficking Impacts the Supply Chain!

Source: Journal of the United States Council for Internatinal Business

Human trafficking is a very large and profitable crime, affecting all sectors of society. Today, there are about 27 million people worldwide who are victims, including men, women and children.

The forms of human trafficking readily seen are bonded labor, debt bondage, fraud, coercion and other forms of modern slavery. To better assist companies in grasping this problem and taking the proper steps to address it, the USCIB, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Organization of Employers, organized a forum in February at the Atlanta headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, on “Engaging Business: Addressing Human Trafficking in Labor Sourcing.”

USCIB members ManpowerGroup and the NGO Verite launched a new guide to help companies prevent trafficking in their labor sourcing. “An Ethical Framework for Cross-Border Labor Recruitment,” provides a detailed framework for combating human trafficking and forced labor.

“Today’s environment requires businesses to be global and talent to be mobile, therefore ManpowerGroup has made it a priority to be at the forefront of ensuring that global recruitment markets operate transparently and ethically.”

Source: “Human Trafficking in the Supply Chain.” Journal of the United States Council for Internatinal Business. XXXIV.1 (2012): 3. Print.

Episode 20: The Japanese Earthquake and International Business

In this episode of “Thoughts on International Business, Marketing, and Strategy,” Professor Czinkota and Professor Skuba of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business discuss the effects of the Japanese earthquake on international business. They discuss supply chain management, currency, and the lessons learned from such a sudden rupture in the globalized market.