Archive for August 21st, 2012

A trade war between the United States and China over solar panels is brewing.

The U.S. has accused China of illegally subsidizing its domestic manufacturers, which have enabled them to ramp up panel production even as prices fell, and “dumping” goods into the U.S. marketplace. Chinese panel manufacturers are also believed to have few environmental restrictions, which further slash their costs.

At the behest of a consortium of U.S. solar panel companies, the Obama administration imposed a series of temporary tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports, with the levies ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent. As a result, Chinese solar sales in the U.S. dropped by 64 percent in April and 45 percent in May, according to the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing. In response, the Chinese government and solar panel industry have filed complaints, accusing the U.S. of trying to “protect its own industry amid an economic downturn,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Read more


Many companies across the manufacturing sector are struggling to find the right employees for unfilled positions. While business activity in U.S. manufacturing remains strong, this shortage of workers with the appropriate technical skills and experience is hindering growth and may soon reach a critical level. How can manufacturers bridge the talent gap? Read more

Business handshake

Employers in all sectors plan to increase hiring in the third quarter of 2012, as reflected in improving employment numbers. However, economic uncertainties regarding the looming “fiscal cliff” may constrain efforts to expand staff levels. Read more

Filled out Time Sheet with writing hand

When employers fill vacant full-time positions, they often turn to the most qualified temporary workers first. Career experts reveal to IMT how part-timers can stand out from the competition and turn a temp role into a permanent one. Read more


Americans’ expectations for retirement have changed in recent years, with more employees planning to work to an older age and fewer expecting to enjoy a financially secure retirement. Read more

Credit: Ian Armstrong

Chinese firms have been hired to handle several major infrastructure projects in the U.S., raising concerns about the outsourcing of domestic infrastructure work to foreign businesses. Read more


For many businesses, including manufacturing firms, social media platforms like Twitter have provided an opportunity to gain exposure, solidify customer loyalty and drum up new business. Read more

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