Panel Discussion: Global Supply Chains Gridlock

In our last Zoom Panel on Oct 26th, APAPA Bay Area Region, USA-China Links and Ding Ding TV hosted a slew of experts committed to shedding some light on the dark and foreboding horizon of Sino-American trade tensions as we took a candid look at Amazon and the global supply chain.

Hitting on the end-user, we discussed how the consumers are the victims of an explosive chain reaction, feeling the blast wave of inflation at its hottest in 13 years.

Rosemary Coates, President of Blue Silk Consulting gave us this example: When Wuhan, “the Detroit of China,” shut down, within a week or two, Hyundai had to follow suit for lack of auto parts. This then rippled further down the supply chain.

The situation is also compounded by the shutdown of Passenger Planes. 50% of our Air Cargo rides in the belly of these behemoths. 50% of air cargo had halted, forcing backups and delays for DHL, FedEx, and others.

Prices were flying higher than the planes themselves due to increased demand.

She even pointed to the tightening of the supply chain chokehold due to greater demand for commodities by consumers holed up in their homes on lengthy lockdowns. “We had greater demand with not enough cargo movement and growing backups with ports shutting down.” A recipe for chaos, and a dish we’re still eating today.

It’s not just Covid hampering cargo. John Choate, CEO of World Wide Value Solutions added, “Covid isn’t the primary disrupter. Factory fires are also up 143% worldwide.”

We’re losing commodities long before cargo ships get stuck sideways in high traffic canals costing the global economy $400 million every hour…

John added that the “exploration of Gridlock Solutions through robotics and smarter interactions with machines” could very well solve much of the nightmare we’re seeing today.

Moving into the Amazon issue, our experts examined how Amazon is all but divorced from Chinese vendors. Having banned over 600 brands across 3000 seller accounts in violation of review fraud, Amazon has now blocked accounts reaching over 50k.

Some would call this an underhanded follow-up to a successful first quarter for the company up an enormous 44% over last year.

Xiaohua Yang, Professor of International Business at the University of San Francisco School of Management, added a counterpoint.

“Out of the 800k Chinese sellers on Amazon, only 3k found themselves banned. That’s only 0.00375%.”

Buying reviews, and incentivizing real customers to leave those coveted five stars with gift cards, is nothing new for E-commerce.

“Even Alibaba has purged large numbers of Chinese sellers in the past for buying reviews.” Xiaohua added, “if we don’t stop this unethical activity, there will be a severe ripple effect that disrupts the marketplace.”

As if the Amazon Purge wasn’t enough, we looked at how the US is digging its heels in and is adamant about imposing high import dues from China. This is leaving our communities curious about the impending impact that will have on what is already a tense trade relation.

The Peterson Institute of International Economics states that average US tariffs on imports from China remain elevated at 19.3%. These tariffs are more than six times higher than before the trade war began in 2018 and cover 66.4% of Chinese exports to the United States.

It’s no secret that Biden has yet to take any measures to loosen the cinch on what has become an economic chokehold, either. He is amplifying his predecessor’s policies by strengthening anti-Chinese alliances, implementing extra sanctions.

What has that achieved?

Damaged trade relations and a strangled economy. It’s no longer a trade war, but a socio-economic cold war. Biden himself stated it’s “a battle between the utility of democracies and autocracies in the twenty-first century.”

Couple that with the projected worsening of the global supply chain, and it’s certain dark clouds are gathering overhead.

Greg Tanaka CEO & Founder of Percolata and Palo Alto City Council Member poignantly pointed to “tariffs” as “a large contribution to the start of WW2.” Now, don’t rush to the markets for more toilet paper yet, Greg also laid out a sound
solution to the rising tensions.

He continued, “stronger trade relations decrease the chances of war, warm or cold.” Further, though “eliminating fraudulence in the marketplace is of extreme importance,” our focus should be on “prioritizing economic efficiency and vibrancy. Tariffs are extra costs that add no value. They need to renegotiate these as they’re not the right thing to do economically, placing a larger burden on the consumers.”

Will Biden ease trade sanctions and implement industry policies? Only time will tell. For now, the outlook is shadowed in uncertainty, the gridlock likely outlasting the pandemic itself.

Want the full rundown with even more hair-raising points? Be sure to watch the video above for a stark and candid look at Amazon and the Sino-American trade war.

Here’s a brief look at the expert panel in this latest discussion:

● John Choate, CEO/Senior Consultant, World Wide Value Solutions, & Global
Logistics-Data Systems Officer for the United States Air Force.
● Rosemary Coates, President of Blue Silk Consulting & an Expert in the global
supply chain, procurement, logistics, and manufacturing.
● Greg Tanaka, CEO & Founder of Percolata and Palo Alto City Council Member.
● Xiaohua Yang, Professor of International Business at University of San Francisco
School of Management & Director of the China Business Studies Initiative.
● Henry Yin, Moderator; California Commissioner for Economic Development &
Founder and President of USA-China-Link




John Choate

Global OEM/EMS Supply Chain Subject Matter Expert (SME)

CEO/Senior Consultant,World Wide Value Solutions
Global Logistics-Data Systems Officer,United States Air Force

Over 30 years as a successful OEM/EMS (SMT-Box) Line/Matrix Cross-Functional Team Leader, On/Offshore (China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, and Singapore) of integrating groups that deliver High-Value solutions that meet but often exceed Senior/Executive Stakeholder Business goals.

A Change Agent in Business Process Improvement (Order to Cash), Lean Six Sigma Supply Chain- Manufacturing Operations, Quality Assurance, and Finance utilizing IT Cloud Technology | ERP as a tool to integrate company vertical functional streams that deliver “value solutions” which increase company profitability and internal and external team productivity.

Rosemary Coates

President of Blue Silk Consulting

Expert in the global supply chain, procurement, logistics, and manufacturing.

She is an expert in global supply chain, procurement, logistics, and manufacturing. She has 30 years of experience in industry, consulting and expert witnessing. Her clients include 80 companies worldwide with manufacturing in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, Vietnam, and Europe. The sectors she has covered include: electronics, software, consumer products, apparel and footwear, toys, industrial products, automotive, transportation, oil & gas, aerospace, third-party logistics, contract manufacturing, and outsourcing. Rosemary authored five supply chain books including Amazon Best Seller “42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China”, and “42 Rules for Superior Field Service” and “Negotiation Blueprinting for Buyers” and “Reshoring Guidebook” and “Legal Blacksmith- How To Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes.” She is a Licensed U.S. Customs Broker.

Greg Tanaka

CEO & Founder, Percolata

Palo Alto City Council Member

Over his career, he has recruited and managed hundreds of people in the areas of product management, sales, business development, engineering (IoT, machine learning, software, hardware, etc.), operations, management, finance, and politics. Also, I am adept at understanding and have experience in multiple markets (machine learning, SaaS, human capital management, retail, cloud computing, intellectual property, imaging, computer vision, semiconductors, GPUs, construction, government, etc.) and in multiple geographies (North America, Europe and Asia)

Xiaohua Yang

Professor of International Business at University of San Francisco School of Management

Director, China Business Studies Initiative

Dr. Xiaohua (Shaowa) Yang is Professor of International Business and the director of China Business Studies Initiative in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. She has published numerous referred journal articles on the topics of internationalization of firms, international R&D strategic alliances, corporate social responsibility in multinational corporations, and innovation.  She has taught and lectured in the USA, Australia, China, Taiwan, and Europe. Professor Yang is a recipient of multiple Best Paper Awards from prestigious international conferences, the outstanding research awards from the USF School of Management.  Dr. Yang has served on numerous boards and has consulted companies and government agencies in a number of countries, including US, China, Australia, Finland, and Armenia.  She has been interviewed by CBS, KTUV (Channel 2), San Francisco Business Times, Daily Economic News, Wenzhou Daily, Sing Tao Daily, Chinese Biz News and Armenia National TV.  She is a frequent speaker at both academic and industry conferences.



Henry Yin

California Commissioner for Economic Development

Founder and President, USA-China-Link.





Hong Nguyen-Phuong

Co-producer, Asian Americans Network @ Clubhouse






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