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On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. As of March 16th, there are over 169,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the world, not including cases that have not been reported due to a lack of testing. Public health professionals across the globe have asked people to practice “social distancing.” People are being asked to work from home, to stay 6 feet apart from people, and to avoid gathering in large crowds. Although practicing effective social distancing techniques is essential to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, the economic implications of this practice could be detrimental to the global economy, at least in the short term.

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Oil, often considered to be a prime example of an inelastic good—always in demand regardless of price—may not hold true now due to the coronavirus epidemic.  With recent news of major air carriers and other transportation companies reducing domestic and international service, it has created a ripple effect in the travel industry as a whole (cruise ships, hotels, resorts).  With many would-be travelers canceling their plans, it is fair to say that the foreseeable future for the travel industry is bleak.  Not to mention, shutdowns in China have played a significant impact on oil when considering they are the world’s greatest importer of oil.  For these reasons, the short-term demand for oil has decreased dramatically, resulting in an eye-opening response from major oil producers across the globe.

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Back in October, we ran through the financials of hosting the Olympics. Five months and millions of dollars later, hosting the Olympics may remain a dream for Tokyo thanks to the coronavirus. Since the first coronavirus update on the globalEDGE website, officials have discovered thousands of new cases of the virus, along with a new strain, bringing the total number of cases to more than 113,000. About 71% of cases have been found in mainland China, specifically in the Hubei Province, but new and major outbreaks have been found in Italy, South Korea, and Iran. While officials say the overall threat to the United States is moderate, they are worried about the potential that this virus possesses. They say the virus could mutate and become weaker or stronger; it is unpredictable.

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The dairy industry is changing throughout the globe as dairy alternatives become more and more popular.  Examples of these products include almond milk, oat milk, soymilk, coconut milk, nut-based cheeses, and coconut yogurt.  Virtually every dairy product now has a viable nondairy alternative.  However, different regions show different preferences in dairy, or nondairy, consumption.  Let’s look at how the dairy industry is changing around the world.

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In this blog, Melissa Kreger writes about the updated impacts of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus first outbroke in January and now has become a global health epidemic. The largest question that has been lingering for economists and large investors is, “How long will the Chinese economy be halted and how bad will it affect all economies”? The Chinese economy is the world’s second-largest economy, first behind that of the United States. China being at a halt will affect global supply chains and we are starting to see those repercussions now.

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With growing concern for the environment, electric vehicles have taken up a strong position in the automotive market. Electric vehicles offer consumers little maintenance, a quiet and fast ride, and most importantly, no toxic fumes. China has become the quickest to adopt the new technology; over 70 percent of consumers reported that they would consider an electric vehicle for their next purchase.

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Early into the new year, waves of protests have emerged in Canada. Indigenous activists have begun to organize demonstrations to object the construction of a 670-kilometer pipeline (the Coastal GasLink pipeline) that passes through indigenous lands. One native group that opposes the project is known as the Wet'suwet'en, located out of British Columbia. The Wet'suwet'en did propose alternate routes to Coastal Gaslink, but the routes were rejected in favor of a path that was more technically viable and minimized environmental impact. Coastal Gaslink claims to have consulted with Aboriginal groups in the process of planning the route.

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In today's digitized world, everything is shifting to incorporate technology, especially the retail industry. Customer preferences are changing, and companies have to quickly adjust their strategies and style in order to stay competitive. For example, online retail has been in the spotlight for the last decade. It is convenient for both the customer and the retailer; however, how does it affect the manufacturer's and retailer's supply chains?

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In the United States, approximately 257.3 million people own and use a cell phone.  Zoom out to the world as a whole and that number increases to 4.57 billion people.  In both cases, the statistics are only expected to show increases as global income rises, interconnectedness becomes normalized across land and sea, and technology continues to advance at a rapid clip.  Recently, the cell phone market in the U.S. made news when T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint was approved by a federal judge on February 11th, uniting the third and fourth largest players in the U.S. industry, respectively.

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Over the past several months, relations between the U.S. and China have continuously been unpredictable. With recent developments, it appears that the relationship may continue to worsen. On February 13, the U.S. government charged Huawei Technologies and two of its subsidiaries with federal racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets from American companies. With Huawei technologies being one of China’s top tech companies, this may lead to future global issues.