Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Factories and Manufacturing

China’s Power Problems Expose a Strategic Weakness

China’s Power Problems Expose a Strategic Weakness

Business
BEIJING — A bread company can’t get all the power it needs for its bakeries. A chemicals supplier for some of the world’s biggest paint producers announced production cuts. A port city changed electricity rationing rules for manufacturers four times in a single day.China’s electricity shortage is rippling across factories and industries, testing the nation’s status as the world’s capital for reliable manufacturing. The shortage prompted the authorities to announce on Wednesday a national rush to mine and burn more coal, despite their previous pledges to curb emissions that cause climate change.Mines that were closed without authorization have been ordered to reopen. Coal mines and coal-fired power plants that were shut for repairs are also to be reopened. Tax incentives are being drafted f...
World’s Growth Cools and the Rich-Poor Divide Widens

World’s Growth Cools and the Rich-Poor Divide Widens

Business
As the world economy struggles to find its footing, the resurgence of the coronavirus and supply chain chokeholds threaten to hold back the global recovery’s momentum, a closely watched report warned on Tuesday.The overall growth rate will remain near 6 percent this year, a historically high level after a recession, but the expansion reflects a vast divergence in the fortunes of rich and poor countries, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.Worldwide poverty, hunger and unmanageable debt are all on the upswing. Employment has fallen, especially for women, reversing many of the gains they made in recent years.Uneven access to vaccines and health care is at the heart of the economic disparities. While booster shots are becoming available in some wea...
Kanye West Lists His Wyoming Ranch for Sale

Kanye West Lists His Wyoming Ranch for Sale

LifeStyle
The Kanye West era in Cody, Wyo., may be coming to an end.The Wyoming ranch that the rap superstar bought in 2019 was put up for sale this week, signaling that Mr. West’s plans to turn the sleepy tourist city of about 10,000 into a factory town for his company, Yeezy, are about as likely to materialize as his election to the presidency.A listing for the ranch he owns was posted this week on the website of a local realtor, DBW Realty, with a price of $11 million. The listing, which referred to the property as Monster Lake Ranch — its name before the rapper purchased it — made no mention of Mr. West, though it did advertise the ranch’s go-kart track and freshwater “trophy trout fishing” on site. The property is 3,888 acres, according to the listing.Though the listing was posted Monday, it ha...
What America’s Port Crisis Looks Like Up Close

What America’s Port Crisis Looks Like Up Close

Business
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Like toy blocks hurled from the heavens, nearly 80,000 shipping containers are stacked in various configurations at the Port of Savannah — 50 percent more than usual.The steel boxes are waiting for ships to carry them to their final destination, or for trucks to haul them to warehouses that are themselves stuffed to the rafters. Some 700 containers have been left at the port, on the banks of the Savannah River, by their owners for a month or more.“They’re not coming to get their freight,” complained Griff Lynch the executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority. “We’ve never had the yard as full as this.”As he speaks, another vessel glides silently toward an open berth — the 1,207-foot-long Yang Ming Witness, its decks jammed with containers full of clothing, shoes, elec...
Retailers’ Latest Headache: Shutdowns at Their Vietnamese Suppliers

Retailers’ Latest Headache: Shutdowns at Their Vietnamese Suppliers

Business
After a bruising 18 months of the pandemic, this fall represented a fresh start for the apparel company Everlane. It was preparing to release a slew of new products, with September marking the beginning of an ambitious marketing campaign around its denim.Instead, Everlane has spent this month scrambling just to get jeans — along with other products like bags and shoes — out of Vietnam, where a surge in coronavirus cases has forced factories to either close or operate at severely reduced capacity with staff living in on-site bubbles.“At this point, we have factories in 100 percent lockdown,” Michael Preysman, Everlane’s chief executive, said in an interview. “Do we fly things over? Do we move things? Do we adjust in the factory? It’s a nonstop game of Tetris.”The crisis in Vietnam, which ha...
Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push

Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push

Technology, World
The top wage for a Ford assembly line worker represented by the United Auto Workers is $32 an hour under a contract the company and union reached in 2019. Unionized workers at parts factories typically make less than those assembling cars.Other big automakers are also pouring billions into battery and electric car plants. G.M., which said this year that it aimed to end production of internal-combustion vehicles by 2035, plans to build four battery plants in the United States over the next few years. Ford expects electric models to make up 40 percent of its production by 2030.Even companies that have resisted electric cars have been changing their tune. Toyota Motor, in a sudden shift in strategy, said this month that it planned to spend billions of dollars over the next decade to build bat...

China Power Outages Close Factories and Threaten Growth

Business
DONGGUAN, China — Power cuts and even blackouts have slowed or closed factories across China in recent days, adding a new threat to the country’s slowing economy and potentially further snarling global supply chains ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season in the West.The outages have rippled across most of eastern China, where the bulk of the population lives and works. Some building managers have turned off elevators. Some municipal pumping stations have shut down, prompting one town to urge residents to store extra water for the next several months, though it later withdrew the advice.There are several reasons electricity is suddenly in short supply in much of China. More regions of the world are reopening after pandemic-induced lockdowns, greatly increasing demand for China’s electr...
What Will It Take for Electric Vehicles to Create Jobs, Not Cut Them?

What Will It Take for Electric Vehicles to Create Jobs, Not Cut Them?

Technology
When President Biden announced his multitrillion-dollar jobs plan in March, it included nearly $175 billion in spending to encourage Americans to buy electric vehicles.The money would help ensure “that these vehicles are affordable for all families and manufactured by workers with good jobs,” the White House wrote at the time.Now, as Mr. Biden’s plan wends its way through Congress, a liberal think tank has tried to flesh out the number of jobs to be gained or lost in the transition away from internal-combustion vehicles.The report, released Wednesday by the Economic Policy Institute, concluded that it would take government subsidies focused on developing a domestic supply chain and increasing demand for U.S.-made vehicles to avoid job losses.It found that without additional government inve...
Beyond Evergrande’s Troubles, a Slowing Chinese Economy

Beyond Evergrande’s Troubles, a Slowing Chinese Economy

Business
BEIJING — Global markets have watched anxiously as a huge and deeply indebted Chinese property company flirts with default, fearing that any collapse could ripple through the international financial system.China Evergrande Group, the developer, on Wednesday said it reached a deal that might give it some breathing room in the face of a bond payment due the next day. But that murky arrangement doesn’t address the broader threat for Beijing’s top leaders and the global economic outlook: China’s growth is slowing, and the government may have to work harder to rekindle it.Retail sales were much more weak than expected last month in China, led by slow car sales. Industrial production has slackened, particularly for large freight trucks. And developers sharply reduced new housing projects over th...
They Never Could Work From Home. These Are Their Stories.

They Never Could Work From Home. These Are Their Stories.

Business
Day after day, they went to work.While white-collar America largely worked from the cocoons of their homes, these workers left for jobs elsewhere. Most had no choice.For many workers around the country, the Delta variant’s surge this summer upended long-awaited plans to return to the office this fall. But millions more — including nurses, cashiers, restaurant and grocery workers, delivery drivers, factory workers, janitors and housekeepers — never worked from home in the first place.“They’re the people who often are working around the public, often working in jobs that are requiring them to be at particular risk from the virus,” said Eliza Forsythe, an economist at the University of Illinois. “All of these types of jobs where you’re not sitting at a computer — that’s what’s really been the...