Supply Chain

The United States and Mexico announced the successful resolution of the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) matter at the Fujikura Automotive wire harness facility in Piedras Negras.   A complaint alleged the firm was blacklisting workers from an American-owned trim plant shuttered in a prior RRM dispute. After the United States requested that the Government of Mexico review the matter, Mexico conducted an investigation and undertook multiple remediation steps to ensure workers’ rights are protected at the facility.

The United States today announced the successful resolution of the eighth USMCA facility-specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) petition regarding the facility operated by Goodyear-SLP, S. de R.L. de C.V. in the city and state of San Luis Potosí, where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. In 2019 US lawmakers threatened to hold up ratification of the USMCA over pay and conditions at the plant. Reporting by Reuters at the time suggested wages at the facility are range from $2 to $6 an hour. By comparison Goodyear workers in the US reportedly receive a basic wage of $23 per hour.

The Department of Defense released an updated blacklist with more than a dozen new Chinese companies on it, including memory chip maker YMTC, artificial intelligence company Megvii, LiDAR maker Hesai Technology and tech company NetPosa.   Section 1260H of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry NDAA for FY21 (Pub. L. 116–283) directs the Secretary of Defense to continue to list “Chinese military companies” (CMCs) annually until December 31, 2030.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has urged the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to "work expeditiously" to initiate a rulemaking on shipping exchanges and "establish healthy and fair competition in the global shipping market." "If the U.S. does not approve a competitor, the CCP could obtain a monopoly, leading to a troubling outcome for American shippers and global commerce," the lawmakers write.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Agreement Relating to Supply Chain Resilience, generally referred to as the Supply Chain Agreement, will enter into force on February 24, 2024.  The focus in the coming months will turn to various milestones set out in the Agreement related to establishing three supply chain bodies – the Supply Chain Council, Crisis Response Network, and Labor Rights Advisory Board.

House Select Committee on China Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) is continuing to put pressure on Ford Motor Company because of its partnership with China-based electric-vehicle battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL) to build a Michigan factory. Mr. Gallagher and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) said their "cursory review" uncovered evidence that Ford plans to use technology and software from at least four Chinese companies that supply the same types of information technology tools to the Chinese military, North Korean government and China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Democratic lawmakers joined their republican colleagues in calling out the Biden Administration's efforts to declare the Socialist Republic of Vietnam a market economy. "We are especially concerned by reports that Commerce pledged to the government of Vietnam that your agency’s review will result in a favorable determination, to the detriment of U.S. industries and workers,"the Senators write.

The United States and Mexico today announced the successful resolution of the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) matter at the Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico facility in El Marqués in the state of Querétaro, Mexico, where workers were previously denied their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.  After the United States requested Mexico’s review of the matter, Mexico and the company took several actions to address violations of labor law, including reinstating dismissed workers and correcting other employer interference in union activities.

The leaders of the House Select Committee on China are questioning whether the US government is effectively enforcing a law aimed at keeping out of the US market products made in China by forced labor. Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) and ranking Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill) have sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, calling for immediate action to strengthen enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

The Council of the European Union adopted a position on a regulation to ban products made with forced labor from the EU market. This mandate aims to combat forced labor, introducing improvements to the initial proposal. The proposal defines forced labor per International Labour Organization standards and requires authorities to assess risks from various sources, including civil society submissions and a forced labor risk database. If forced labor is suspected, investigations may be initiated, leading to product withdrawal and market/export bans.

Six U.S. Departments published a Supplemental Advisory, reminding businesses and individuals of the compliance and reputational risks associated with trading with the military regime in Rangoon.   While North American companies continue to engage in Burmese extractive industries, the growing ring of sanctions means firms in the Rare Earths, Timber and Precious Metals trade run an increasing risk of negative legal, financial, or reputational consequences.

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi on January 25, 2024. In their meeting, Under Secretary Fernandez "reaffirmed the United States as an enduring partner" and expressed support for the rapid development of Vietnam’s semiconductor ecosystem as part of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.  This effort includes cooperation to launch workforce development initiatives.  "The US will work with Việt Nam in supporting Vietnamese schools to have over 50,000 engineers in this field in the next few years.  That's important for Việt Nam's development of a semiconductor industry," Mr. Fernandez stated.

The United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Atento Servicios, S.A. de C.V. facilities in the city of Pachuca, state of Hidalgo, are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Both Atento locations in Pachuca offer call center services to BBVA Mexico, a subsidiary of the Spanish bank BBVA Group.  The request marks the nineteenth time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the first time the United States has done so in the telecommunications sector.

In a letter addressed to the Swiss company ASEA Brown Boveri Ltd. (ABB), a group of House Republican lawmakers requested public testimony from its U.S. Country Holding Officer, Michael Gray, regarding the company’s relationship with the Chinese state-owned enterprise, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC). 

Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the use of mature-node semiconductor devices (legacy chips) in the supply chains that support—directly or indirectly—U.S. national security and critical infrastructure.

The US Export-Import Bank signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with the Saudi Export-Import Bank to facilitate the financing of US exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The MOU will encourage collaboration between the two export credit agencies as well as support exports in a variety of sectors, including climate and energy security, critical minerals projects, infrastructure, transportation and digital technology.

The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC), a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) federal advisory committee, unanimously passed 12 recommendations on export modernization, rapid response and North American trade during its most recent public meeting. The 2024 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit, which will be held in Philadelphia March 25 – 28. Registration will open January 10, 2024, at noon Eastern time

Tibet rights campaigners have welcomed a commitment by Boston-based biotech giant Thermo Fisher Scientific to halt sales of its DNA test kits (“HID”) products to police in occupied Tibet. Thermo Fisher communicated this commitment to shareholders in a letter in December and it took effect on 31 December 2023. The announcement comes after more than a year of campaigning by Tibet groups.  The campaign was prompted by reports in 2022 revealing that Chinese police forces in occupied Tibet had been extensively using Thermo Fisher’s HID products, including DNA testing kits and DNA sequencing equipment to carry out a widespread, ethnically-targeted collection of DNA samples from Tibetans.

The leaders of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party kicked off the new year by writing to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking for a Chinese wireless company to be blacklisted. Shenzhen-based Quectel manufactures "Internet of Things (IoT)" modules which connect equipment to central control and monitoring systems.   Markets include Transportation, Industrial Telematics, and Smart Metering of utilities.

The Department of Commerce and Microchip Technology Inc. have reached a non-binding preliminary memorandum of terms (PMT) to provide approximately $162 million in federal incentives under the CHIPS and Science Act to support the onshoring of the company’s semiconductor supply chain. Microchip’s microcontroller units and mature-node semiconductors are critical components in the production and manufacturing of electric vehicles and other automotives, washing machines, cell phones, airplanes, and the defense-industrial base. Shortages of microcontrollers during the pandemic affected over 1% of global GDP.

« Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 8 | Next »
Currently viewing stories posted within the past 2 years.
For all older stories, please use our advanced search.