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Great topic, Angela! The politics surrounding trade agreements and economic protection never cease to be interesting. An article today said the White House is asking for further information from the ITC on how foreign competition has harmed US manufacturers, and points to the WTO standard requiring companies to have faced unforeseen circumstances from foreign competition before tariffs can be imposed. As US manufacturers could have foreseen foreign solar panel competition a tariff ruling would not hold with the WTO, so there still may be some hope for SunPower and foreign manufacturers.


Interesting article, Sarah. I agree with your points and the comments above that labor supply fluctuations as a result of changing immigration policies every couple of years are a major challenge for US-based companies. A family member was telling me over Thanksgiving that his industrial flooring company is running into the same issues as they have lost a percentage of their laborers and cannot find enough reliable employees to do “unglamorous” work. I am also very surprised that the third-party verifier cannot be held accountable for what is essentially fraud. I would recommend LFP work with the trade organizations of other labor-intensive industries to press for accountability measures for the third-party verifiers on which they rely.

On November 28, 2017, MJP commented on Plenty of Fish – How to Sustainably Harvest New Fish :

Thanks for writing this article, Emily! The fishing industry often flies under the radar yet there are major economic, geopolitical, and ethical implications that go into fishing regulation. I agree that seaBOS is a good first step to addressing the overfishing temptation being opened up in the arctic for large fishing operations but it does not disincentivize rogue, independent fishermen from continuing to over-harvest. I like your third recommendation of building up sustainable aquaculture, particularly in high demand areas like China. Aquaculture practices have improved greatly in recent years and now produce fish that are safer to eat while reducing pollution coming from these operations, and building up additional fish farms could result in an additional revenue stream for Maruha Nichiro. I would also recommend that the large fishing companies work with organizations like Seafood Watch, FishWise, and Friends of the Ocean to influence customer demand for certain species at restaurants and retail locations as decreased demand for at-risk fish populations is perhaps the best way to combat illegal overfishing.

On November 28, 2017, MJP commented on Patagonia’s Mission Against Climate Change :

Awesome article, Karen! I agree with JV that it’s great to see a company enforce sustainability at each level of its operations rather than just paying it lip service. You raise an interesting question regarding engaging the growing customer base to help Patagonia realize it’s sustainability goals. The Patagonia website currently features an initiative to get customers to donate to or volunteer at the grassroots organizations that it works with through its “1% for the Planet” pledge and efforts like this to connect customers and worthwhile non-profits is a good step towards teaching/reinforcing Patagonia’s mission to new and longterm customers alike.

On November 28, 2017, MJP commented on Alibaba: When Blockchain meets Supply Chain :

Cool article, Ines. As someone who is admittedly pretty ignorant on how blockchain works and how the technology can be implemented, it’s very interesting to see companies going to it for a competitive advantage and to provide security to their own processes and to their end customers. I agree with your statement that Alibaba should be looking at ways to compete with JD in the logistics space since that is a key differentiator in the service they provide to customers and JD is investing heavily in logistics technology (drone delivery, etc). I do not imagine it would be much more difficult for JD to implement blockchain than it would be for Alibaba, so Alibaba’s competitive advantage from blockchain may be short-lived.

On November 28, 2017, MJP commented on Blood Donations in a Digital Age :

Great article, Pratik. I’m glad to see the Red Cross embracing technology to get donors into their doors since their major barrier to donation (aside from needles) is the inconvenience of searching for a blood bank and waiting to donate. I would be interested to see if/when the app expands through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies affiliates to include overseas blood donation centers. One potential concern for me is the “gamification” and tracking of blood donations on a mobile platform that could potentially expose personal health information of the donor or recipient if not well protected or anonymized.