Plus: U.S. Pressing China in Trade Talks, Workers Value Corporate Responsibility, the Reason for Christmas Gift Crazes, Fiscal Cliff Negotiation Tips and Traveling in Peace.
Sometimes the Internet seems like it’s gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, Industry Market Trends’ weekly Worth a Look feature spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar — all in bite-sized chunks.
- U.S. to Increase Pressure on China in Trade Talks | United States officials plan to press China on key trade issues during talks at the annual Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade next week. According to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, “This year, we’re focused on delivering meaningful results on issues including enforcement of intellectual property rights, combating pressures to transfer technology, eliminating trade-distortive industrial policies and removing key obstacles to our exports.” For its part, China will likely caution the U.S. against protectionism and urge eliminating restrictions on sales of sensitive technology.
- Job Seekers Care about Company Virtue | New research indicates that workers place a very high value on companies that make socially responsible decisions. Roughly two-thirds of survey respondents said they would accept a lower salary from an employer with “sustainable” business practices, such as providing employees a good working environment, reducing pollution and promoting employee safety. Moreover, the majority of workers say they care more about sustainability now than they did three years ago.
- The Secret to Christmas Crazes | Ever wonder why some products cause consumers to storm retail stores during the holidays? Co.Design identifies three key characteristics behind Christmas crazes: the product should meet a rational need and enable its owner to lead a more effective life; it must address sub-conscious desires that connect an object with an emotional state; and it should provide an unexpected surprise, fulfilling a need its recipient doesn’t even know he has.
- Negotiation Lessons from the Fiscal Cliff | While many Americans are deeply disheartened by the ongoing deadlock among policymakers in resolving the fiscal cliff, the debacle may actually teach us certain lessons about the art of negotiation – or, at the very least, show us what not to do. CBS MoneyWatch lists the common pitfalls to avoid when negotiating (as illustrated by the fiscal cliff talks), including: mistaking a negotiation for a debate, having a handful of demands from which there’s no backing down and confusing a set of positions with one’s core values.
- Travel Tools to Make Your Holidays Manageable | From creating an agenda that satisfies each family member’s needs to organizing every detail of a trip, holiday traveling can be a nightmare. Luckily, there are some apps and gadgets that can ease the process and help you get to your destination in peace. For example, the free TravelNerd app offers detailed terminal maps for the 50 highest-traffic airports in the world, while the Ostrich Pillow provides a portable “micro environment” that allows you to nap in public.
- The Global Counterfeiting Economy | Counterfeiting products has become a major business across the world, but the size and scope of this illegal trade can seem astonishing. Experts forecast that the value of counterfeit goods will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide by 2015, while approximately 520,000 counterfeit parts end up being transported on planes each year. The infographic below shows just how massive the counterfeiting economy has grown.