"According to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington research group that tracks money in politics, UPS contributed $22.5 million to federal candidates in the 1989-2008 period. That gave the company a ranking of No. 21 on the center's ''top all-time donors'' list.
About two-thirds of its spending went to Republican candidates. On the list of contributors to Republicans' political action committees, UPS ranked No. 7 for the 2007-2008 election cycle, with $948,208 donated, according to data released by the Federal Elections Commission on Sept. 17.UPS does not reveal how many lobbyists it employs, but the Center for Responsive Politics says UPS has spent at least $17.3 million on lobbying since 2002, with more than $2.5 million being spent just in the first half of this year."
Oct 7, 2008
Aug 10, 2008
This is going to be really interesting , consolidation talks. DHL will swing by TNT I think. They are both EU based entities. FEDEX will never merge with UPS. However, this is all speculation , remember that oil prices are going down. Once Oil prices level, pricing wars will begin again. PErsonally, I Think that both Fedex ad UPS will go thru de-vestments first before going thru a consoladation.
Jul 17, 2008
"Researcher Nate Lawson has discovered that FasTrak transponders are vulnerable to sniffing, cloning, and surreptitious tracking of a driver's comings and goings.
That is because the systems have no encryption or other technological protection measures to ensure that the information is not read by unauthorized readers or copied and cloned for misuse. Without protections, it is not just those toll booth and freeway sign readers that can track who you are and where you are going, but also that homegrown sniffer that Lawson plans to put up to collect information."
Source : ACLU
Jul 11, 2008
"IBM has developed radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology to track chickens from farms to supermarket shelves. The supplier is working with a Norwegian food producer Nortura to build a proof of concept item-level tagging application for the food industry.
RFID has been used successfully to track animal movements, such as the movement of cattle during the BSE outbreak, and to protect high-value items such as whisky and clothing, But it is unusual to find examples of item-level RFID tagging in food production, according to Stefan Pique, European director at GS1, the supply chain data standards body."
Jun 26, 2008
The meeting is scheduled to be held over five days at the W.T.O. headquarters in Geneva starting July 21, with the goal of agreeing to specific tariff and subsidy cuts. Up to 40 countries are expected to attend.
From the Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Ralph Basham - Date June 24th 2008
HTSUS 9801. Timothy Skud, deputy assistant secretary for tax, trade and tariff at the Treasury Department, said that the HTSUS 9801 proposed rule is under review at the Treasury Department, but noted that a proposal to include language in the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill may render the issue moot. In January, CBP had proposed to revoke an interpretation regarding qualification under HTSUS 9801.00.20, which permits the duty-free return of certain previously-imported goods that have been exported pursuant to a lease or similar agreement.
ACE. Basham reported that CBP expects to fully implement the Automated Commercial Environment by 2011 and that the agency has sufficient funding to meet that requirement.
Collection of AD and CV Duties. Basham said that CBP has proposed a continuous bond to be set upon entry, which would give the agency a better opportunity to collect duties at a later date when the liquidation is determined. CBP is working closely with the Department of Commerce on collecting antidumping and countervailing duties. Basham said that CBP would like to work with the Finance Committee to develop a better process for collecting duties and fees. Skud said that CBP collects over 99 percent of duties due, but the figure drops below 50 percent for AD duty obligations that result from retroactive increases after entry….
10+2 Cargo Data Proposal. Basham said that CBP is currently working to finalize the importer security filing rulemaking for the collection of imported cargo data. The "10+2" rule would require additional data elements from importers and ocean carriers before oceanborne cargo is brought into the U.S. He said that the trade community helped CBP to identify the data elements needed to increase the transparency of the global supply chain and to improve the overall targeting process for containers destined for U.S. ports. Basham said that they hope to submit the rule to OMB by the end of the week and have it ready for publication by the end of the summer.
International Trade Data System. Skud reported that the federal agencies that participate in the International Trade Data System are unable to access other data CBP already collects electronically, and that the ACE team is looking for ways to make the information available.
IPR Enforcement. Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., inquired about the agencies' progress on intellectual property rights enforcement. Basham said that the agencies are working together on the issuCommittee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., inquired about the agencies' progress on intellectual property rights enforcement. Basham said that the agencies are working together on the issue.
Jun 25, 2008
Canadians are already feeling the effects of strong emerging-market demand for commodities. They'll feel it more next week when hundreds of thousands will see their Enbridge natural gas bills jump 30 per cent. They'll see it when they fill up their cars' gas tanks for summer vacation.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing a rapidly slowing American economy and a collapse in the U.S. housing market, will likely lay the anti-inflation rhetoric on thick Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to not only keep rates steady, but maybe even hint at future increases, after months of aggressive cuts to stimulate growth.
Around the world, inflationary pressure is increasing. Total global inflation was rising at a 6.0-per-cent annual pace in May, and core inflation – which excludes the most volatile prices such as energy and food – was 3.5 per cent. …
But in emerging markets – which now make up about half the globe's economy – total inflation is bubbling over, and in many countries, core prices are jumping too, rising from about 3 per cent in 2006 to 5.3 per cent this May
... according to Goldman Sachs
For years, emerging markets have kept prices low around the world, producing copious amounts of cheap goods of increasingly better quality. This helped the US and Canada. However , this is a red alert situation. While Global inflation hits the emerging markets , the cost of their food, oil and cost of living goes up. This is directly being transfered to commodities. This means that nothing will be cheaper in Canada or the US and thereby the CPI will continue to increase.
Bottom line, The cost of living is on the raise and thereby the expandable income of consumer will continue to drop. Sometime in the near future, there will be the tipping point. Economic depression will hit. There's a vicious cycle in the making.
Jun 24, 2008
On June 20, 2008, pursuant to the WTO Agreement, Canada requested consultations with China concerning measures affecting foreign financial information suppliers in China.
The objective of the consultations is to seek a better understanding of China's regulatory regime governing the provision of financial information services by foreign suppliers, including how the relevant measures are applied. Canada seeks to resolve concerns over measures adopted by China that put Canadian financial information service suppliers at a disadvantage relative to domestic suppliers.
The consultations will also provide Canada with an opportunity to confirm its understanding of the Chinese measures and their consistency with China's obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and its Protocol of Accession. Canada's goal is to ensure that Canadian financial information service suppliers operate on a level playing field.
As a global leader in financial information services, Canada has significant interests in the Chinese market. Timely and reliable financial information is of crucial importance to financial markets and to the ability of financial service providers to operate effectively in the global marketplace.
The European Communities and the United States launched consultations with China concerning these same measures in March 2008.
WTO consultations are a first step toward finding a resolution to a dispute through a discussion of the matter at issue. If consultations fail to resolve the matter, a party may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel.
Jun 19, 2008
Form B227, Request for a Free Trade Agreement Advance Ruling or for a Review of a Free Trade Agreement Advance Ruling, has been cancelled by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Changes have been made to the "Guidelines and General Information" section to remove references to this form.
This memorandum has also been revised to include updated contact information in Appendix C, CBSA Regional and Headquarters Offices.
This memorandum outlines the Canada Border Services Agency's (Agency or CBSA) program for issuing advance rulings under paragraphs 43.1(1)(a) and (b) of the Customs Act pursuant to Article 509 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 5.8 of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), Article E-09 of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and Articles V.9 and IX.2 of the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (CCRFTA).
The revised Memorandum is available on the here
Business logistics costs in 2007 exceeded 10 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product for the first time in eight years, to 10.1 percent, as transportation costs increased 5.9 percent, or 6.2 percent of the GDP.
Business logistics costs totaled $1.4 trillion in 2007, an increase of $91 billion over 2006, according to the 19th Annual State of Logistics Report prepared by the Council of Supply Chain Professionals.
Logistics costs accounted for the greatest percentage of the GDP since 2000, after totaling 9.9 percent of the GDP in 2006.
Peter Mandelson, the European Union's trade chief, on Wednesday said that agreement can be reached in 2008 on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization if issues involving trade in meat and timber are resolved.
"I certainly think we can secure agreement on Russia's accession by the end of the year," Mandelson told Reuters…..
Russia is the still largest economy outside the WTO, and it has been negotiating membership since 1995. Russian officials say they are now very close to clinching a final deal on joining the organization.
Jun 18, 2008
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of International Trade has developed a new online trade violation reporting system called eAllegations to provide concerned members of the public a means to confidentially report suspected trade violations to CBP.
Concerned members of the public bring to light many trade violations and it is in the U.S. Government's best interest to make it as easy as possible for the public to report possible violations. All information submitted to CBP is voluntary and confidential
This is interesting, wondering how many people will violate the violation system itself !! :)-
Jun 17, 2008
Good question. Normally, a period of slowdown would be enough to take care of runaway prices, as constraints on labour, capital and resources ease. Evidence points to slower growth in world demand for these key economic elements, but in spite of this, commodity prices are stubbornly high. Producers are increasing selling prices in the face of weakening demand, just to remain viable. This is the essence of the new stagflation – and the prospect that it may spread more
generally to the rest of the economy, through wages and prices, is what worries central banks.
Has this generalized increase begun? At first glance, it might seem so. Consumer prices (CPI) are running well ahead of inflation targets in most countries. But the recent acceleration is very focused on food and energy price increases. Take these away, and core price growth is actually at, or in many cases below target.
For example, headline CPI is 4% in the US, but core is 2.3%. In the UK, headline CPI is 3%, but core is just 1.4%. Eurozone headline CPI is 3.3%, well above the comfort zone, but core growth is just 1.6%, well within its inflation target.
Canada faces similar conditions, and the situation in other key economies is roughly the same. At present, the data strongly suggest that the pass-through effect of higher food and energy prices has not occurred.
But that doesn't mean it won't. Today's data are important, but they don't give the whole picture. Future core price growth depends critically on expectations today, and if consumers and businesses alike believe that higher price growth is here to stay, they will gear their budgets to that new reality. That's what central banks fear, and because their actions take time to affect the economy, they have decided to send a signal aimed at reining in any change in expectations. And it is abundantly clear from past experience that failure to stem a nascent increase in inflationary expectations takes time and exacts a significant toll on the economy.
Source : Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada.
May 15, 2008
Take a look at this video and see what is happening. I can see this technology being used as a self service check out for major high volume groceries stores. Just put all your shopping on the belt and then the reader picks up the RFID signal and luanches the Checkout application. The User then can pay via a CC or RFID enable tap and go card. So no more checkout queues at the Loblaws or Price Choppers :)-
John Edgar Park's RFID Conveyor Belt - For more of the funniest videos, click here
Mar 27, 2008
In late 2003, when the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed into law, the second half of that bill included the Customs Modernization legislation. It was the Mod Act which contained the provision that now requires importers to exercise reasonable care, see 19 U.S.C. 1484.
… While how reasonable care applies in different contexts has been further commented upon since then, the basic principals of reasonable care have remained the same from the outset: It is up to the importer to conduct his business in such a way as to make reasonably sure that his declarations about classification, value and admissibility are correct at time of entry and if not, to correct them promptly thereafter.
Against this backdrop, it was stunning to see the indictment of the company which in 2007 imported wheat gluten contaminated with melamine used as an ingredient in pet food. The fact ChemNutra Inc. was indicted is perhaps not unexpected, but the basis for the indictment surely should give every international trader shudders. The facts of the case are relatively straightforward. It is what the U.S. Attorney claimed in the indictment that is shocking.
According to the indictment, ChemNutra is owned by Sally and Stephen Miller. ChemNutra sourced the gluten from Suzhou Textiles, Silk, Light Industrial Products, Arts and Crafts Import/Export Co., Ltd., or SSC. SSC was registered as an export broker, meaning it could export on its own account and for others. SSC, in turn, sourced the gluten from another company, Xuzou Anying Biologic Technology development Co., Ltd. (XAC), and then acted as exporter when the goods were ready to ship. Wheat gluten is used as a binding agent in the manufacture of certain types of pet food.
The gluten ordered by ChemNutra from SSC was to have a 75-percent minimum protein content. In the ordinary course of events, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese inspection service, is in charge of entry-exit commodity inspection. Wheat gluten is subject to mandatory inspection under Chinese law.
However, because SSC misclassified the gluten at time of export, AQSIQ did not inspect the goods prior to shipment. Of course, SSC prepared the documents required for export from China and import into the United States When it came to classifying the wheat gluten, SSC selected 3504.0090, which covers peptones, other derivatives and other protein substances.
Sally Miller is a Chinese national with a food chemistry engineering degree from a Chinese university. She supposedly represented herself to be certified in China as an ISO-9000 chief auditor. Claiming that ISO-9000 is "an international consensus on good quality management practices that provide[s] a set of internationally recognized standardized requirements for [a] quality management system in any organization," the U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, who brought the indictment, sought to impose on ChemNutra and the Millers liability for steps that when read together sound very much like exactly what any importer should do to exercise reasonable care and in conducting his business.
The first claim is that based on Sally Miller's training and experience, she knew or should have known that products exported under 3504.00, HTS, would not be inspected by AQSIQ. She is also alleged to know, or should have known, that if the wheat gluten had been classified under 1109.00, HTS, it would have been subjected to a mandatory inspection by AQSIQ, the clear inference being if that had happened, the melamine would have been detected and the pet illnesses and deaths which followed avoided. …
In a nutshell, the federal government claims the wheat gluten was deliberately labeled and coded so it would not be subject to a compulsory inspection at time of export. While that may be true, the question about which all traders should be concerned is how does this set of facts translate into liability in the U.S. on the part of the importer or its owners/shareholders?
Well, let's begin with the obvious FDA violations. The law is written in such a way that an importer has strict liability if he deals in goods which are misbranded or adulterated. In other words, whether or not the importer had knowledge, he is responsible if his product is adulterated, in this case because it contained the melamine, a "deleterious" substance that rendered the wheat gluten injurious to health. The wheat gluten was also misbranded in that it was labeled as containing a protein level of 75 percent when, in fact, the actual protein level was much lower.
The indictment contains 13 counts alleging the introduction, delivery for introduction and causing the introduction and delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded food, plus another 13 counts focused on adulterated foods. (The case covers 13 imported shipments.) Those 26 counts apparently were not enough, most likely because they involve misdemeanors…. Obviously, the U.S. Attorney felt it necessary to find a way to at least assert one felony count, and got creative and this is where international traders need to start worrying.
The indictment contains a count for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The claim is there was "a fraudulent scheme and artifice to defraud and obtain money by means of false and fraudulent representations and concealment of material facts" and that wire communications occurred which were both interstate and international in nature, i.e., wire fraud.
Given her background, the government states Miller and the other parties knew or should have known that misdeclaring the goods at time of export from China would allow those shipments to evade mandatory inspection, allowing tainted product to be imported.
So, just what did the importer do that contributed to the conspiracy? What are the "overt acts?" There are 32 paragraphs in the indictment listing a series of e-mail communications between Miller and a variety of parties, including the Chinese suppler/export agent, her husband and ChemNutra's customers, plus communications between Steven Miller and the customs broker stating the correct classification is 1109.00.10, HTSUS, (a similar message was separately sent by Sally Miller to a customs broker); also between Sally Miller and her husband describing 3504.00.90 as the tariff provision for collagen(?). There were also documents which described the product as wheat protein rather than wheat gluten; additionally, there were at least a couple of certificates of analysis. Finally, and most importantly from a reasonable care perspective, Sally Miller questioned the supplier about whether the correct classification was heading 3504 or 1109!
One argument made by the government is that ChemNutra failed to disclose its supplier was not the manufacturer, something quite common and business-proprietary in nature. Of course, the primary allegation is that ChemNutra and the Millers failed to disclose the wheat gluten had not been properly exported out of China, meaning no AQSIQ inspection took place! As to the certificates of analysis, none stated the presence of the melamine and, as is often emphasized in the indictment, ChemNutra and the Millers failed to disclose the presence of the melamine or the fact the wrong tariff number appeared on the certificates.
From the government's perspective, equally damning was the fact ChemNutra issued its own certificates of analysis (presumably relying on those from China) attesting to the 75-percent protein level, which, based on the FDA testing, was false. The remaining overt acts alleged involve quality complaints received from one buyer and the supposedly false representations made about how those problems would be resolved. Also noteworthy, the government took issue with ChemNutra representing the export trading company as "its manufacturer."…
In the meantime, international traders need to be worried about what else Washington expects them to know about their suppliers' activities in order to avoid liability. Do you know what your suppliers do to get their goods exported? Just how far should you go in your questioning of your suppliers practices? Does this case materially change how your due diligence is conducted? Most would probably say, what my supplier does is his responsibility not mine.
Are you as confident of that opinion in light of this indictment?
Mar 7, 2008
The suggestions below cannot guarantee your dealings with Customs will be problem-free, but if you follow them, you will at least be ready for those problems should they arise.
1. Know your product.
…You also need to know what it will cost you to get those goods imported and that you are dealing with reliable business partners…
2. Know your business partners.
…a closer working relationship with your business partners can only have positive effects.
3. Screen your business partners.
What do you know about your business partners? Meeting someone at a trade show who claims to be able to fill your order is not enough. How do you know the goods you order will be delivered on time, intact and at the agreed upon price? Unless you perform due diligence on your business partners, you cannot be sure they are reliable…
4. Know the regulatory requirements.
…Do you know the basic requirements and how to document them…?
5. Are your goods legally marked?
The law requires that each imported good have its country of origin legibly, indelibly and permanently affixed on the good and its outer packaging. Are your goods marked that way…?
6. Does anti-dumping or countervailing duty apply to your goods?
…These duties are imposed on top of what is provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule…
7. Can other agencies stop your imports?
…Have you identified them and complied with their requirements?
8. Do any terms and conditions apply?
In the air and ocean environment, there are internationally agreed upon limits of liability. Do you know them and the other usual terms and conditions that transport companies apply? Have you insured your shipment? …
9. Do you communicate regularly with your business partners…?
10. Keep up-to-date.
…Every transaction has different factors or considerations to it. These tips are intended to mention some of the most important ones that are typical to a vast array of transactions. These are also the ones most likely to take money out of your pocket if you have not planned properly. There is no way to fully explain the ins and outs of importing in this short an article, so the best tip of all is make sure you have good advisers around you. Following a competent and energetic staff, they are your best resource for success!
Feb 28, 2008
"There are causes for concern, most specifically security. "If I lose my phone then it would be like losing my money," said Kenji Kato, who works with computers.
To address these concerns, several mobile phone providers have introduced biometric security measures including finger print, facial and voice recognition, which are needed to activate the phone."I think that we are seeing the first wave of the future happening in Japan. Physical money will be part of history.
Feb 25, 2008
European Union and the United States committed to implementing the "EU-U.S. Action Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights" This operation, targeting counterfeit semiconductors and computer networking equipment. Counterfeit network hardware and ICs are just two examples of the many fake goods that threaten the safety of consumers and the ability of companies to fairly compete in the marketplace.
The Operation resulted in the seizure of more than 360,000 counterfeit integrated circuits and computer network components bearing more than 40 different trademarks.
As per CBP Assistant Commissioner Baldwin. "It is important to also recognize that there is a vitally important but discreet role that these components play in the everyday infrastructure of our societies. We therefore need to be able to rely on systems that are supported by them across various sectors, particularly as it relates to national security."
Feb 24, 2008
AT several 100's of feet tracking efforts, this could replace Passive Tag's. If there is a grid /network of Long Dstance Readers (802.1.01 Std) at a specific zone, it would be cool. Imagine a hand held device that helps you see where you kids/spouse are in a large mall. What about having a Track tag for the dog park ? Such applications on emergent echnologies would be cool !
Feb 22, 2008
Feb 19, 2008
I wonder what other Funds the doe UPS, DHL and other Organizations have ??
Feb 18, 2008
In concept this is good, but I dont like the idea of UHF being so close to a new born.
Feb 17, 2008
Interesting to note that a small country like Malta has an organization that can brew together a center of this nature. They are using the state of art Hardware and gadgetry for this center. !1