Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.

Blogs > Business Without Borders

REWIND: International Business News #47

Posted on December 7th, 2012 | Author: admin

  • After having transferred most of its manufacturing to Asia in the late 1990s, Apple will be moving some of its manufacturing back to the United States.  For 2013, Apple plans to make one of its existing Mac lines domestically with plans to spend $100 million in American manufacturing.  Apple’s products have typically been made in Asian factories, including the Chinese factories of Foxconn Technology.  Apple has come under criticism for outsourcing jobs abroad and for reports of poor labor practices by Foxconn. This return to American-made products is further supported by CEO Tim Cook’s recent statements which suggest that Apple may be planning to build more of Mac’s components in the United States, albeit with domestic partners as opposed to a fully in-house operation.
  • In an effort to appease the British public and deflect criticism for tax dodging tactics, Starbucks offered to pay £10 million a year in taxes, an amount that is above what is currently required from them by U.K. law.  During a time of fiscal austerity and government spending cuts in the U.K., Starbucks and other U.S. multinational companies have come under scrutiny in Britain for their tax reduction strategies which some deem to be “immoral” behavior.  A British organization campaigning against the government fiscal policies has also called for protests outside Starbucks stores, increasing public pressure on the coffee company.
  • A student group in Austria plans to take on Facebook in an Irish court for the social networking company’s alleged violations of European and national privacy laws.  European privacy laws increasingly demand that consumers first give explicit, prior consent before their data can be used for targeted advertising. Regulators in Britain and Ireland are more supportive of the privacy policies of U.S.-based web companies than the authorities on the European continent, which has led to a fragmented handling of the issue in Europe.
  • The risk exposure of German banks to the international shipping industry is posing an even greater threat to their economic health than the debt crisis in Greece. Moody’s rating agency affirmed a negative outlook for the banks, which have, in the aggregate, lent a significant percentage of their capital to the shipping industry.  The shipping crisis is a global phenomenon, which has caused a string of bankruptcies around the world.