Issues In Global Trade

Grind for August 28th
“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.”
– Lana Turner

Slipping Through The Cracks

The Headline

Amazon struggles to police third-party sellers

The Grind

The last thing I ordered on Amazon was a soap dish. It never arrived.

When I called Amazon’s customer service, they told me they couldn’t replace or refund the item because I had purchased it from a third-party seller.

Amazon works with over two million third-party sellers (many of them anonymous) and uses an automated program to check for restricted products and suspicious sellers.

The Details

A recent investigation by The Wall Street Journal identified more than 4,000 unsafe, banned, or mislabeled products for sale on Amazon, including:

— Children’s toys and jewelry containing lead

— Medications without adequate safety warnings

— Products falsely listed as “FDA-approved”

— Recalled motorcycle helmets

— Unregistered pesticides

— Infant sleeping mats deemed unsafe by the FDA

— Supplements containing illegally imported drugs

— Paint removers containing deadly chemicals

Amazon responded to the Journal’s investigation by removing or changing the listing for about 80% of the items.

“Safety is a top priority at Amazon,” said a company spokesperson. “When a concern arises…we move quickly to protect customers and work directly with sellers, brands, and government agencies.”

Word Of Advice

The Headline

UK Prime Minister warns: US must cooperate to win trade deal

The Grind

President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet Sunday during the G7 summit in France to discuss a possible trade deal.

“There are massive opportunities to UK companies to open up, to prise open the American market,” said Johnson on Saturday. “We intend to seize those opportunities, but they are going to require our American friends to compromise and to open up their approach, because currently there are too many restrictions.”

Johnson cited US restrictions on pork, bell peppers, wine, and micro-breweries.

The Details

National Security Adviser John Bolton, who met Johnson earlier this month, said the UK was “at the front of the trade queue” for the Trump Administration, but would need to make some concessions.

Bolton said the US supported a no-deal Brexit and that US lawmakers were ready to ratify trade agreements before Johnson’s promised departure date of October 31st.

In July, Trump hinted that a “very substantial” trade deal with the UK had already begun and that such a deal could result in a ‘five times increase in current trade.’

Did you know… After age 30, the brain shrinks a quarter of a percent (0.25%) in mass each year.