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America Shouldn’t Compete Against China With One Arm Tied Behind Its Back

The Senate recently passed a bill intended to bolster America’s technological and industrial capacity as we compete against China. The bill, called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, began as a serious, bipartisan effort to meet one of our country’s greatest challenges.But in one of those “only in Washington” moments, a bill written to make our country more competitive with China now includes an amendment that will do exactly the opposite.This legislation is fundamentally important because winning our contest with China is vital to our future. This country has the largest economy in the world, …

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A Renewal for IBM Campuses Once Home to Punch Cards and Circuit Boards

ENDICOTT, N.Y. — The sidewalks along Washington Avenue in Endicott, N.Y., are empty enough that bicycles cruise their length with smooth sailing. But 40 years ago, when an IBM plant hummed with thousands of employees, the cyclists might have picked a different route.“During lunch hour, you couldn’t see down the street because there were so many people,” said Mary Morley, the owner of Angeline’s Flowers, one of the few storefronts without a “for rent” sign. “It used to be quite the place.”Wistfully recalling times gone by has been a pastime in the Southern Tier and Hudson …

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The Tech Cold War’s ‘Most Complicated Machine’ That’s Out of China’s Reach

SAN FRANCISCO — President Biden and many lawmakers in Washington are worried these days about computer chips and China’s ambitions with the foundational technology.But a massive machine sold by a Dutch company has emerged as a key lever for policymakers — and illustrates how any country’s hopes of building a completely self-sufficient supply chain in semiconductor technology are unrealistic.The machine is made by ASML Holding, based in Veldhoven. Its system uses a different kind of light to define ultrasmall circuitry on chips, packing more performance into the small slices of silicon. The tool, which took decades to develop …

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Canada Goose’s Image Is Challenged by Union Effort

Canada Goose, the luxury jacket maker, has cultivated an image that is not only chic but also socially conscious. It has forged alliances with environmental advocates and talked of its commitment to high labor standards.These efforts have paid off as the company outgrew its roots as a family enterprise and built a worldwide following for its parkas, which can cost over $1,000 and have been worn by celebrities like Daniel Craig and Kate Upton. “We believe that the brand image we have developed has significantly contributed to the success of our business,” the company wrote in a Securities and Exchange …

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He Warned Apple About the Risks in China. Then They Became Reality.

In 2014, shortly after Mr. Guthrie left his job as dean of the George Washington University business school, Apple hired him to teach its managers and advise executives about China. He also conducted research, and his first project was the company’s supply chain. Mr. Guthrie, now 52, is a professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.When he started at Apple, Mr. Guthrie said, its executives knew they relied too much on China and wanted to diversify. India and Vietnam were the top candidates, but Mr. Guthrie concluded that neither was a viable replacement.Vietnam’s …

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Starbucks, Flush With Customers, Is Running Low on Ingredients

Although most people are familiar with the problems in the global supply chain to some extent, some Starbucks customers are still shocked — even incensed — by their inability to get their coffee exactly how they want it. Others laugh it off.“I was told they couldn’t give me an extra shot of caramel because there was a national shortage,” Nicole Brashear, a 24-year-old pharmacy student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, said of ordering an iced caramel macchiato with extra caramel drizzle in late May. “I just sort of laughed and was like, ‘Isn’t caramel just burnt sugar?’” …

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China Moves to Tame Inflation Before Prices Rise Too Much

SHANGHAI — Prices are jumping in the United States and around the world, prompting growing warnings that a wave of inflation could threaten the global economy if it persists.China isn’t waiting to find out.Beijing is moving swiftly to protect its factories and workplaces from rising costs. It has discouraged steel makers and coal producers from raising prices. It has vowed to investigate price-gouging and hoarding. And it has allowed its currency to rise in value to a level unseen in years, giving it a more valuable and powerful tool for buying up the world’s grain, meat, petroleum, …

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Biden Administration Moves to Unkink Supply Chain Bottlenecks

Most of the world’s lithium, a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, is mined in Australia, China, Chile and Argentina. China dominates global production of rare earth minerals such as neodymium, used to make magnets in wind turbines. It has also largely cornered the market in lithium-ion batteries, accounting for 77 percent of the world’s capacity for producing battery cells and 80 percent of its raw-material refining, according to BloombergNEF, an energy research group.Updated June 8, 2021, 12:31 p.m. ETThe United States lags far behind other countries in manufacturing many clean energy technologies, leaving it heavily reliant on …

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Portugal’s Bike Boom: How the Country Is Meeting the Demand

VOUZELA, Portugal — Inside a factory set among eucalyptus trees in the Portuguese countryside, workers carefully cut thin strips of sticky carbon fiber and press them into molds. It is slow and painstaking labor.But after each mold is cooked in an oven heated to 200 degrees Celsius (about 390 degrees Fahrenheit), out comes an incredibly light frame for a bicycle that may sell for about $7,000, helping accelerate Portugal’s growth as the largest bike manufacturing nation in the European Union.Demand for bikes is soaring, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic. More people have decided to pedal to stay fit after …

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Global Shortages During Coronavirus Reveal Failings of Just in Time Manufacturing

In the story of how the modern world was constructed, Toyota stands out as the mastermind of a monumental advance in industrial efficiency. The Japanese automaker pioneered so-called Just In Time manufacturing, in which parts are delivered to factories right as they are required, minimizing the need to stockpile them.Over the last half-century, this approach has captivated global business in industries far beyond autos. From fashion to food processing to pharmaceuticals, companies have embraced Just In Time to stay nimble, allowing them to adapt to changing market demands, while cutting costs.But the tumultuous events of the past year …

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