To me, this is an example of the disparity in enforcing free trade. A country like the US can impose penalties on countries that, in the opinion of the US, are engaging in dumping. However, the US exhibits some highly protectionist regulations such as the Jones Act. The Puerto Rico example highlights the inefficiencies – sometimes severe and lethal – that isolationism produces, inefficiencies that are sometimes hard to assess in the abstract.
Very interesting article. I think it is interesting to push the argument further, though. In particular, I am imagining a scenario where Walmart indeed sources more products from the US, generating more American jobs but having consumers pay higher prices for the products they are buying today – is this a better outcome than what is currently occurring today? It is not clear. Consumers have benefited greatly from gaining access to cheaper products – their lifestyles have improved because of this. Giving this up for slightly higher incomes is a trade that does not seem like a clear choice to me.
I like this article a lot. I do agree that disclosure of this information enhances accountability and both encourages and allows the improvement of operations. One point that the article does not emphasize but I think is worth noting is that sharing this information also makes it easier to share best practices between companies. As having better environmental standards is a goal that all companies can attain without hurting each other, the sharing of information is a key and important first step for companies to work together to enhance environmental standards across industries as a whole.
This is a very interesting article – I had never thought of telecom towers as significant contributors to environmental damage. One additional aspect that would have been interesting to have considered in your analysis is what governments are doing or not to influence tower companies’ decision to invest in energy-efficient infrastructure. I assume that governments have a big incentive to intervene and make these investments more attractive. If they are not doing enough so far, I would be curious to see why this is the case.
This is a nice example of technology being used to solve seemingly complex problems such as theft and tax evasion. What is interesting is that this technology also has the potential to help with something we struggle with in TOM a bit: the ability to obtain accurate data to improve operations. As we move towards increased tracking of activities – including more sophisticated technologies that permit such tracking – the ability of companies such as SGS to avoid problems such as theft and tax evasion but also to perfect its operations will be greater than ever before – and this will be game-changing in all industries.
This post reminded me of the Li & Fung case and what makes a supply chain intermediary such as Li & Fung valuable. During class discussion, it was brought up that Li & Fung provided value to the supply chain not just through its logistics function but also through its ability to manage the quality of its suppliers. In the case of Owens & Minor versus Amazon, I can see Owens & Minor providing value by allowing providers of medical devices that are not well known with the opportunity to serve customers that they might not be able to serve otherwise because of their lack of reputation. As the healthcare industry moves towards more value-based healthcare, this ability to identify quality providers with offerings at lower prices can constitute a significant competitive advantage against a unspecialized distributor like Amazon.