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FTAs — deal struck to move long-delayed free trade agreements (FTAs) & Andean Preferences renewal — action likely this fall
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky., announced a deal Aug. 3, as Congress was adjourning for its August recess, to move the three pending and long-delayed free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Korea, and Panama. As part of the deal, the U.S. House of Representatives would first pass legislation to renew the expired Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The U.S. Senate would then take that bill and amend the legislation with a renewal of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. The Senate would then approve the amended legislation and send the revised legislation back to the House for approval. At some point after Senate approval of the TAA/GSP package, President Barack Obama would formally submit to Congress the implementing legislation for the three pending FTAs. Retroactive renewal of the expired Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) would be packaged with the Colombia FTA. While a number of things remain unclear surrounding the announced deal, it should pave the way for passage of the three pending FTAs and renewal of the Andean preferences, GSP, and TAA by the end of the fall. More

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Hospitality sector adds 17,000 jobs in July
TheStreet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. economy added 17,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector in July, with a majority of the gains coming in the arts, entertainment and recreation. "Industry data has been showing increased lodging demand for many quarters now," Rodman & Renshaw analyst Robert LaFleur told TheStreet. "More demand equals more occupied rooms which equals a greater need for desk clerks, bellmen, maids, laundry workers, etc." More

Airlines roll back fare increases as federal taxes return
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The tax holiday is over for U.S. airlines. Many carriers dropped fares as federal taxes were added back into the total ticket price for travelers after a 16-day Federal Aviation Administration shutdown. Most U.S. airlines raised base fares last month when taxes were suspended, pocketing the money that would have gone to the government and swallowing the potential price break for consumers. More

Travel goods, gadgets and gear: Jam your way to good times
Travelin' Tales    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bring the entertainment with you — wirelessly — on your next press tour with a wireless speaker that provides a quality audio experience no matter what you're watching, listening to or playing during travel and down time. Two new travel goods accessories, at two different ends of the pricing spectrum, are pitch perfect in augmenting the sound on anything not equipped with decent speakers of its own, but be forewarned: Either product may, as chicboom notes, "cause uncontrollable groovitude." More

Dare To Be Different?

Introducing Barracuda®, high performance fabric that delivers a distinctive combination of beauty and strength, transforming your luggage into a style that Dares to be Different! MORE

Case study: How one company more than doubled customer referrals
MarketingProfs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plenty of companies have referral programs, but how many can say theirs converts at about three times the rate of other online marketing campaigns and brings in over 500 new product sales each month? Read on to learn what Roku did to make its customer referral program a huge success. More

Hackers shift attacks to smaller firms
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent hacking attacks on Sony Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. grabbed headlines. What happened at City Newsstand Inc. last year did not. Unbeknownst to owner Joe Angelastri, cyber thieves planted a software program on the cash registers at his two Chicago-area magazine shops that sent customer credit card numbers to Russia. His experience highlights a growing threat to small businesses. Hackers are expanding their sights beyond multinationals to include any business that stores data in electronic form. More

2 ways to get it all done
Small Business Trends    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Communication expert Jamillah Warner asks, "So what do you do when you don't have the money to pay a separate, dedicated task force to move your business forward? Here is where two words can truly pay off: Consistency and strategy." More

BugZip Travel Protectors for Bedbugs

Luggage encasements are specially designed to resist bed bugs. Encase your clothing, bags and belongings while traveling to reduce the likelihood of bringing bed bugs home or from place to place. Comes in four sizes and features a three-sided bug resistant zipper for easy access to contents.

Your company's health: Performance is not enough    Share    Share on
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Scott Keller and Colin Price write, "When we ask CEOs if they have ways of measuring their company's performance, they say 'Yes, of course.' When we ask if they put competitive benchmarks and targets against these measures, we get the same reply. But when we ask if they have ways of measuring their organization's health, we hear a hesitant 'We have an employee opinion survey...' And when we ask about benchmarks and targets for health, we usually get a blank stare." More

5 problem employees and what you can do about them
Entrepreneur    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Problem employees inevitably surface in most workplaces, and small companies aren't immune. Sometimes the problems are obvious, such as attendance issues or a failure to deliver results. Other times, a workplace harbors a problem and you might not immediately know the cause, says attorney Lisa Guerin, co-author of Dealing with Problem Employees. More

The manager's new role
Harvard Business Review Blog Network    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Managers are increasingly taking a back seat as information providers. From the moment employees sign up, organizations direct them to company intranets to understand different aspects of the job, the organization, clients, company policies, and often, the performance development program and its measurement metrics. For the first time, perhaps, managers find themselves overshadowed by the net's omnipresence in answering questions about the what and how. More
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