London’s Air Ambulance & One Feeds Two win DBA Design Effectiveness Awards London Air AmbulanceThe charity needed generate financial support to help deliver a second helicopter so The Clearing focused on the livery as the most visible asset of the brand to communicate key messages to Londoners and potential donors.The helicopter became a billboard featuring a call to action, number of critical missions and trauma team messaging. Green and yellow chevrons signaled the Trauma Team’s role in an emergency.This positive approach attracted new commercial sponsors and saw huge increases in social media engagement. £4.5 million of the five-year £6 million target was raised within months with a campaign featuring the rebranded helicopter, and the second helicopter was acquired two years after the new designs were launched.Graham Hodgkin, CEO London’s Air Ambulance 2012-2016, said:“Our goal was the acquisition of a second emergency medical helicopter. Enhancing the livery on the current aircraft helped us promote the critical messages of the advanced trauma service, that we are funded by donations and how many patients we have cared for. Building equity into the livery design turned our helicopter into a powerful communication and awareness tool.”Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive of the Design Business Association said:“Design uniquely cuts to the heart of every business it touches. It closes the gap between business risk and market success. So when it comes to our nation’s competitiveness, infusing design universal into business should be a priority in order to drive long-term growth and economic advantage for the UK. The DBA Design Effectiveness Award winners prove why.”The charities received their awards on 22 February, from Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who presented the Awards at the ceremony, which took place at The Brewery in central London and was hosted by journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. 289 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis12 Tagged with: Awards brand design Melanie May | 27 February 2018 | News One Feeds Two and London’s Air Ambulance have both won DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise projects that demonstrate the tangible effect design has on an organisation, looking at its strategic and commercial value, and judged by design and marketing heads of organisations including The Hershey Company, Ministry of Defence, Waitrose, British Airways, Barclays, Twitter and IBM.Both charities worked with brand consultancy The Clearing on their winning projects, with food charity One Feeds Two receiving a Gold award, and London’s Air Ambulance a Silver award.One Feeds TwoThe charity’s aim is to bring together food companies, charities and consumers to give school meals to children living in poverty. To evolve the original brand to create mass-market appeal, attract a credible commercial partner and provide an easy choice for consumers, The Clearing repositioned the brand, and created a new visual and verbal identity, putting the key message at the heart of the brand: that good food shouldn’t just taste good, it should do good. It used a smile to indicate this approach at the point of purchase on partners’ packaging.Since launch in 2014, One Feeds Two has delivered nearly three million meals, and signed up brand partnerships with Byron Hamburgers, Cook, Higgidy Pies and Rola Wala.JP Campbell, co-Founder and CEO of One Feeds Two said:“The Clearing grasped our vision to challenge both the food and non-profit sectors. Our new brand helped us to communicate and deliver this challenge – and make our vision a reality. The brand has doubled our efforts. An additional“One million meals are attributable to our relationship with Byron Hamburgers, a relationship that wouldn’t have happened without the new brand.” Advertisement About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. 290 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis12
World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution Iqbal leads women’s golf to fourth-place finish at Big 12 Tournament Branson Nelson Branson Nelsonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/branson-nelson/ Previous articleVietnam Memorial Wall replica comes to the Stockyards StationNext articleHorned Frogs miss shot to bolster NCAA tournament resume against West Virginia, 61-60 Branson Nelson RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Senior third baseman Elliott Barzilli hit his second home run of the season in the sixth inning. (Photo by Michael Clements) Welcome TCU Class of 2025 TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Twitter Twitter A COVID-19 Charles Schwab Challenge Branson Nelsonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/branson-nelson/ ReddIt Branson Nelsonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/branson-nelson/ Linkedin Branson is a junior journalism major from Fort Worth, Texas. He enjoys writing about all sports and plans to go to law school after graduation. Women’s golf heads to Oklahoma for chance at first Big 12 title + posts Branson Nelsonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/branson-nelson/ Facebook Equestrian earns last seed in NCEA team bracket TAGSgame lostHF in title Facebook Linkedin ReddIt printThe No. 1 Horned Frogs dropped their first game of the season to the Sun Devils 13-9 at Lupton Stadium Friday, on a night that saw TCU surrender 13 hits and commit four errors.“Poor defense, giving up extra bases obviously stood out,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We played very, very poorly, but at the same time they played great.”Senior starting pitcher Brian Howard (1-1) worked around a walk and an error in the first inning before going on to retire 11 in a row to get through the first four innings scoreless and hit-less.TCU (4-1) took its only lead of the night after they loaded the bases with no outs in the second. Sophomore Josh Watson struck out before senior Ryan Merrill drove in his third run of the year on a sacrifice fly caught at the wall in right field. The Frogs ended up stranding two in the inning after junior Connor Wanhanen struck out.Arizona State’s (4-1) six-hole hitter, Tyler Williams, snapped Howard’s streak of consecutive batters retired as he led off the top of the fifth with a solo home run, tying the game at one. Two more hits and a hit batter pushed the second and third runs of the night across for the Sun Devils.Howard ended up throwing just five innings, surrendering three earned runs on three hits, a walk and seven strikeouts in his first loss of the 2017 season.“I thought he was over-throwing a little bit, trying to be too perfect. He was pitching behind in the count a lot,” Schlossnagle said. “For the way the ballpark was playing, you can’t get behind in the count, and he did.”The Sun Devils added a run in the sixth as the Frogs sent three different freshmen to the mound. The run was charged to Austin Boyles, who let two runners reach base. Cal Coughlin and Haylen Green managed to limit the damage and strand three runners.Senior third baseman Elliott Barzilli led off the bottom of the sixth with his second home run of the season. The home run ended Barzilli’s 0-12 drought that dated back to his home run in last Saturday’s game against Penn State. The homer cut the deficit to just two.The wheels started coming off for the Frogs in the top of the seventh though as Green gave up two unearned runs. Third baseman Andrew Snow struck out to lead off the inning, but reached base on a wild pitch. Green got the next two batters, but Snow moved into scoring position on a passed ball.With two down, Watson dropped a fly ball allowing a run to score. Williams singled in another run making it 6-2 at the seventh inning stretch.The Horned Frogs went quietly in the bottom of the seventh before Green gave up three runs in the top of the eighth, totaling five for him on the night in 1.1 innings. Two walks and a single chased Green from the game.“We asked a lot of Haylen Green tonight. I thought he came in and made good pitches,” Schlossnagle said. “Probably left him out there too long, but I don’t want to burn our bullpen in a game we’re losing by that much, in the first game of a series.”Junior Ryan Burnett came on for the first time this season, allowing all three of the runners he inherited from Green to score on two sacrifice fly balls and an error on junior catcher Evan Skoug, the Frogs’ fourth of the night.TCU answered the Sun Devils’ three-run inning with three of their own in the bottom of the eighth. RBIs from sophomore Luken Baker, senior Cam Warner and senior Nolan Brown made it a 9-5 game heading into the final frame.Nolan Brown continues to lead the Frogs in hitting with an average of .500 (7-14) with a .632 on-base percentage and six RBI’s. Brown is the only Horned Frog to have reached base in all five games this season.Sophomore relief pitcher Dalton Horton pitched the ninth inning, giving up four runs on five hits in his season debut. Horton’s four runs seemed unimportant at the time, but a Horned Frog rally in the ninth made the runs the difference in the game.Horned Frog relievers had given up only one run over 16 innings in the first four games of the season before allowing 10 runs in just four innings against ASU.Down 13-5, four runs on three home runs from sophomore Michael Landestoy, junior Austen Wade and Baker pulled the Frogs within four.In the end, the Horned Frogs’ seven runs in the final two innings and four home runs of the night were not enough to overcome the Sun Devils.“They played great,” Schlossnagle said. “They have some really impressive young hitters.”After striking out 13 times against ASU pitching on Friday, TCU has now struck out 45 times in just five games, totaling nine strike outs per game. In 2016, the Frogs struck out just over 6.5 times per game. Pre-season All-American Evan Skoug leads the team with 12 strikeouts in 23 trips to the plate.Freshman Nick Lodolo will make his second career start on Saturday against Arizona State. First pitch will be at 4 p.m. at Lupton Stadium.
The annual Ocean City Police Chase 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) run, 2-mile walk and fun runs for kids take place on Saturday, June 7, starting at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier on the Ocean City Boardwalk.On-site registration opens at 7 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m.The 5K run and 2-mile walk start at Wonderland Pier (Sixth Street and Boardwalk) with the majority of the 5K race course on the boardwalk and streets of Ocean City, finishing at the Ocean City High School track.Visit www.ocpba.com or www.runtheday.com to register.T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 250 entrants. Packet pickup will be available at the Sneaker Shop, 704 Asbury Avenue, noon to 6 p.m. June 6.Kids can register for the fun runs on race day at no charge.Sponsors include the Ocean City Policeman’s Benevolent Association, Playland’s Castaway Cove and the Sneaker Shop. All proceeds benefit the PBA, which provides student scholarships, a Christmas toy drive, a free helmet program and the Youth Leadership Program.For more information, email Maureen Kelly at [email protected] or call the OCPD Community Policing Unit at 609-525-9108 ([email protected]).
By The Nelson Daily SportsLast week Lauren Taylor became the first freshman in Portland State school history to capture a women’s golf tournament.Tuesday, the Nelson native added another first beside her name in the Portland State record book.Taylor shot a final round 75 to claim the top prize at the Big Sky Conference Anteater Invitational title at Dove Canyon Country Club in Dove Canyon, CA.With the victory the Granite Pointe at Nelson golfer becomes only the third Viking player to win twice in a career.“I knew she was good, I didn’t know she would be this good, this soon,” Portland State head Coach Kathleen Takaishi said on the university website. “She struggled a little down the stretch, but 17 and 18 aren’t easy holes.”Taylor, the leader following Day one of the two-day tournament, finished with a 218 total, following round of 71, 72 and 75. She won the event by two strokes over Joyce Chong of Nevada and Kayla Mortellaro of Idaho.Taylor had eight birdies over three rounds led the Vikings and now has a 75.75 scoring average in 12 competitive rounds to lead the team.Portland State was also a winner in the team category, edging out Nevada by six shots.The Viks started Tuesday shots being Day one leader Long Beach State by two shots. However, Portland State roared to the top of the leader board to finish the event with an 890 total. UC Irvine was thirds at 899 followed by Long Beach State at 900.Taylor won as a freshman in Irving, CA., at the Folino Invitational Tourney hosted by Cal State Fullerton.The achievement garnered the L.V. Rogers Bomber grad Big Sky Conference player of the week honours.Prior to her win in Irving, Taylor’s best finished was a tie for seventh at the OSU/Washington Triangle event. In two other tournaments in Colorado and Fresno State, the 19-year-old golfer finished 24th and 30th.The Vikings continue the season Monday and Tuesday at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic before traveling to the Big Sky Championship on April 18-20. Both tournaments take place the Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, AZ.Taylor attends Portland State on a golf scholarship. The West Kootenay Junior Golf graduate is enrolled in first year studies. [email protected]
Employees of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) benefitted from a two-day training exercise to better understand societal issues which are present in communities, one of which was stereotyping.Commissioners and employees of the ERC during the training exerciseIn collaboration with the Department of Social Cohesion, Commissioners and other staff members gathered at the Racquet Centre, where they were addressed by facilitators to equip themselves with skills to address these plaguing circumstances.Chairman of the ERC, Reverend John Smith related that this was a much-needed activity ever since the establishment of the Commission.“It is something that was long overdue. When we were sworn in as Commissioners, we came with a 24-point mandate from the Constitution. I think we needed some orientation as to what is expected of us and we have been working. But now with this training, it has opened our eyes to some things that we needed to know and we hopefully should have known before,” Smith asserted.As customary, persons are usually dispatched to work environments to discuss peace and lessen the probability of conflicts. However, stereotyping has never been on the agenda as a topic to be addressed. Going forward, they will be implementing talks on such issues in future visits. The Department will also be involved to provide additional support.The Chairman stated, “We go to workplaces and would have been able to serve them better if we had this information to warn them and to help them deal with stereotypes because we have a lot of assumptions about people. We are going forward together with the Department of Social Cohesion as we enter with stakeholders. I am really happy because there are difference and what we see is all the difference, not the things that we have in common”.The participants were tasked with creating ways to unify persons, regardless of their differences. Many of them chose events such as Harmony Village to engage youths in cultural activities to achieve these results.The ERC was conceptualised after protests following the 1997 General Election. As part of the Herdmanston Accord brokered by Caricom and signed on January 17, 1998, the ERC was established as a constitutional body by Constitutional Amendment Act of 2000, which was assented to by the then President on August 11, 2000.It has four broad functions: “Investigative, conflict resolution, education and public awareness, and research and development strategies”. Among its functions, as outlined in Article 212 (D) of the Constitution, are to provide for equality of opportunity between persons of different ethnic groups and to promote harmony and good relations between such persons and to promote arbitration, conciliation, mediation and like forms of dispute resolution in order to secure ethnic harmony and peace.Additionally, it can investigate complaints of racial discrimination and make recommendations on the measures to be taken if such complaints are valid, and where there is justification, therefore, refer matters to the Human Rights Commission or other relevant authorities for further action to be taken.Meanwhile, the ERC is also mandated to promote equal access to persons of all ethnic groups to all public or other services and facilities provided by the Government or other bodies.
A story in BBC News claims that multiple impact sites have been found under Antarctic ice covering an area 1300 by 2400 miles, with one impact making a hole in the ice 200 miles across. The estimated date of these impacts (around 780,000 years ago) creates a problem, however:The research suggests that an asteroid the size of the one blamed for killing off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago could have struck Earth relatively recently. Early humans would have been living in Africa and other parts of the Old World at the time of the strikes.If such a destructive impact killed off dinosaurs, how could the humans and other mammals survived? A suggestion was quickly forthcoming: “But the impacts would have occurred during an ice age, so even tidal waves would have been weakened by the stabilising effect of icebergs on the ocean.”For an ad hoc just-so story to explain away evidence against a popular theory, this one takes the cake. These theorists seem to have been hit with a rock on the head.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
In which we highlight a few tips on cutting comedy projects based on Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”Cover image via Netflix.Learning to tell a short joke is a big lesson in storytelling. Each joke has its own setup, elaboration, and punchline. It’s a classic three-act structure: beginning, middle and end.Editing is crucial to telling a joke successfully on film because comedy is all in the timing. If the rhythm of the storytelling is wrong, a funny joke can fall flat.Although we most often think of jokes in the context of stand-up comedians, or simply telling a friend a funny story, we are actually all “editing” in real-time — adding pauses for laughter, leaving things out that hinder the story, and adding emphasis to make sure the punchline really lands.In this post, I’ve brought together some compelling insights into constructing and cutting comedy — largely based on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and the Ghostbusters remake.In this short interview with the New York Times Magazine, Jerry Seinfeld breaks down his writing process when constructing a joke.Although he’s going for as many laughs as he can, Seinfeld says, “I know you think people are going to be interested in this . . . but they’re not.” There are some useful tips here on understanding how a joke works that can help you keep from harming the humor when you’re editing one. And as an editing mentor of mine likes to say “Always keep in the funny.”Make the First Line Funny“When I was a kid and they invented the pop-tart, the back of my head blew right off.” Depending on the context of the piece you’re editing, you usually don’t want a joke to sidle up to the audience. You need them to know you want them to laugh — that they’re supposed to laugh.(Incidentally this is why watching something like the original Coen Brothers film Fargo gets funnier with every watch. When you first watch it, you think it’s a thriller, and you don’t know you’re supposed to be laughing.)Use Funny Words“Chimps in the dirt playing with sticks. In seven words, four of them are funny.”As much as we want to make comedy sound complicated, most of the time, we’re laughing at people falling down, saying funny words, or making strange sounds. If a word is funny (“kumquat” for instance), go with it.Timing Is Editing“So now I’m looking for the connective tissue that gives me a really tight, smooth link . . . if it’s just a split-second too long, you’ll shave letters off words. You’ll count syllables.”Cut out anything that gets in the way between the setup and the punchline. As we’ll see later, even a few extra frames can ruin a joke.The Biggest Laugh Has to be at the EndEven though Jerry is talking about writing “a long bit,” this is true of any comedy scene. You want the biggest laugh at the end of the scene — otherwise it will drag on, and the final delivery won’t be worthwhile.This is similar to the editing maxim of “arrive late, get out early.” You want to cut out all of the “shoe leather” (people walking to the door to open the door to enter the office to sit in the chair to start talking) and just cut to them in the office talking.To waste this much time on something this stupid, that felt good to me. —Jerry SeinfeldEditing Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeIf you’ve never seen Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, it’s now on Netflix (it was originally online for free), and the basic premise is that Jerry takes a different comedian out for coffee in each episode — and they try to make each other laugh.It’s a “talk show interview on the move” with a set structure that lends each episode some semblance of a format — albeit a very fluid one. Since it was originally for online audiences, there is no specific runtime — no need for ad-breaks, recaps, or cliffhangers.As such, it’s an interesting show to watch from an editing perspective because it’s almost always just about cramming in as many jokes as possible without much narrative drive. (We’ll look at some specific examples in a bit.)In this hour-long discussion between Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman, hosted at the Paley Center for Media, you can learn how Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee came to be — and what it takes to make each episode.It’s worth watching for a few minutes from about 9 minutes in (click here), as you’ll not only get Seinfeld’s rationale behind the look of the show, but you’ll also get a few stats on the shooting ratio.For each show, they generally shoot for 3-4 hours and compress that into 10-20 minutes of final product. Seinfeld says that it usually takes them about three weeks to edit each episode. Since there is no “network formula” they have to meet, they can make each episode as long or short as it needs to be.What’s really interesting, and what makes this particular video worth watching for our purposes, is that (at 10.40″ in) Seinfeld shows a 60-second clip of unedited raw material and then the same footage edited into the show.It’s not often that you get to see these kind of comparisons. It’s instructive to see how they edit the show to create a driving pace — as well as cutting straight to the jokes.(There is a second example at 15.42″ of Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman in a doughnut shop.)Seinfeld mentions (and it’s obvious in the second example) that many of the scenes are actually music montages with jokes and one-liners for good measure. For Seinfeld, this is because there is no “driving” force behind each scene — it helps to move things along.It’s also interesting to note that all of the social media experts Seinfeld consulted before beginning his experimental show (“I honestly didn’t know if it was going to work.“) told him that shorter was better for the internet, while I suspect he had a show more like Seinfeld in mind, which ran for 20 minutes per episode.Jerry: You can’t make it longer than 5 minutes. If you make it longer than 5 minutes the audience is going to be gone . . . and I ignored that. They said ‘5 minutes is the internet firewall, you can’t go past it.’David: They have quantified the American attention span as five minutes?Jerry: Yeah, but our viewers on average watch 19 minutes.Dissecting a Frog — Analyzing a jokeIn this excellent post, Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting compares the opening 18 seconds of the U.S. and U.K. trailers for the 2016 Ghostbusters remake.The reason this post is worth reading is that it demonstrates the difference that a few frames can make when selling a joke. It also shares some excellent lessons on why a joke’s setup may be the reason for its failure.(Jump here to read through the full breakdown, including frame count and shot composition comparisons.)Tips on Editing Interviews and Action for LaughsIn this excellent breakdown by Thomas Flight, you can see a comparison of two different interview formats: David Letterman’s My Next Guest and Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.“When you’re making arbitrary cuts to arbitrary angles, we begin to notice the editing and the camera work, and it draws our attention away from the content of the interview.”In the essay, Flight lays out three logical reasons why you might want to cut during an interview:To show relevant information (e.g. a reaction shot).A cut for punctuation and emphasis.Edit out mistakes or pauses to improve the flow of conversation.These are also the reasons you would want to cut during a joke as well. If you’re not cutting for these reasons, you might want to ask yourself if you really need to cut at all.At 3 minutes into the video essay, Flight breaks down a moment from the episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with President Barak Obama. (Another excellent episode.)Watching this breakdown will give you some great insights into a logical progression behind making edits that increases the power of the joke and helps the punchline land.I’ve not seen anyone use this cut-by-cut, picture-in-picture technique before (to break down an edit), but it’s a really powerful way to see what each building block is doing and whether it’s helping or hindering the structure of the scene.The most important part is the editing. And most of the directors they don’t know how to edit it. Even the stunt co-ordinators they don’t know how to edit it. —Jackie ChanAlso from Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting is a lesson from Jackie Chan on editing action and comedy for the greatest impact, which means “keep the action and the reaction in the same shot.”This is a fundamentally different rhythm than Hollywood editing, but it’s far more successful. Zhou also covers Chan’s preference to add frames to action cuts to make the hits clearer and stronger — rather than adopting the U.S. style, which is to actually remove frames to make the cuts faster and more visceral.Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Get To Know DaVinci Resolve 15’s Super Scale FeatureVideo Tutorial: How to Make 360° Videos Look BetterHow to Set Up a Tethered Shoot with the Panasonic GH5Tips for Creating the All Important Video Thumbnail Cover ImageBest Lenses for Gimbal Cinematography
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Photo courtesy of Paco GuerreroKaya Futbol Club (FC) Academy’s Under-12 team has raced to a 2-0 start at the Gothia Cup in China.Kaya recorded a convincing 12-0 victory against Beijing’s Sunny Zone team on Monday, and followed it up with a 2-0 beating of Shanxi’s FC Eagle Brothers.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games “We want to show not only China but the rest of the world that we can play good football in the Philippines,” Coach Thomas Pfyl said in a statement on Tuesday.Gothia Cup, which originated in Sweden in 1975, is considered the biggest youth football tournament in the world. Its staging in Asia, which is considered the second biggest in the world, was first held in Shenyang, China last year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsLast year, Kaya FC was the only Philippine team in the tournament. They finished in the top 16 out of the 32 teams in their age group. This year, the Quezon City Football Club also joined the Cup. IDLPhoto courtesy of Paco Guerrero PH opens SEAG bid on high note, nips Thailand in water polo MOST READ NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES
PENTAGON, Va. – The NAFTA talks have now entered their most difficult phase with the United States beginning to drop its bombshell proposals on the negotiating table at a just-begun fourth round outside Washington.U.S. officials had foreshadowed that this week-long round would see the most contentious discussions open and that is coming to fruition, with the American side levelling one demand deemed a non-starter — and preparing to deliver another one.The just-released demand would create a so-called termination clause. It would end NAFTA after five years, unless its member countries explicitly opted to renew it. That proposal was delivered late Wednesday night.That comes after the U.S. proposed far stricter Buy American rules at the last negotiating round, and in the leadup to one of the most important proposals of the entire negotiation: on rules for auto parts, which could come as early as Friday.”More contentious issues will be coming up very shortly,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said during a panel discussion this week at the Dentons law firm.”So far the talks have mainly done basic background things. Kind of what I would call boilerplate things. Relatively easy issues.”The other NAFTA countries say they’re legitimately baffled by where the U.S. is headed.Sources say others are trying to figure out what this hardline approach signals from the U.S. — opening positions that will be flexible with some bargaining; hard demands; or a desire to poison the talks, let them collapse, and simply do away with NAFTA.Some allies of President Donald Trump are more positive.Newt Gingrich said this week he sees little appetite within the U.S. cabinet for the type of turmoil cancelling NAFTA might cause. He said Trump’s team is filled with wealthy pro-traders, who simply believe the U.S. needs tougher deals.Ross himself said he doesn’t anticipate a NAFTA collapse, though he added a caveat: “We don’t hope it will (end), we don’t desire that it will, we don’t believe that it will, but it is at least a conceptual possibility.”Canada and Mexico are vehemently opposed to the five-year termination idea, seeing it as a destabilizing investment-killer and an unacceptable red line.Still, leaders from both countries said late Thursday night they aren’t walking away from the table. At a joint press conference in Mexico City, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would consider the new proposal and continue to negotiate, while Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said any speculation on the implications of any proposal should be taken with a grain of salt.Ross shrugged off the talk of red lines.“Yes, that’s our proposal,” Ross said, adding dismissively: “Red lines, blue lines, green lines, purple lines — those are just colours in a rainbow… It’s a big, complicated negotiation and the key is having an overall package that works (at the end).”The next big scare could come on Friday the 13th.That’s when the group handling rules for auto parts meets for the first time in this round, and it’s expected the U.S. is preparing to level demands viewed as non-starters by Canada, Mexico, and the auto industry.One report said the planned demand would require 85 per cent of a car’s parts to come from North America, and half of them to come from the U.S. The industry says many of these components simply aren’t made on the continent, and warns that if the rules get too onerous it might just stop working within NAFTA and start paying tariffs.The demands being levelled cross several of the six so-called red lines laid out by Mexico’s Senate, which says it would refuse any deal that includes a termination clause, a U.S. auto content requirement, or the end of the Chapter 19 dispute-resolution system.One official says it’s important to keep negotiating calmly.“We’re expecting some contentious proposals this week,” said the official, a non-American who was not authorized to speak publicly. “Having said that, no one should lose sight of the fact you have three teams of negotiators working to make progress on the deal and they are making progress.“If there weren’t contentious proposals, it wouldn’t be a negotiation.”American industry has begun sounding alarm bells about the potential damage if NAFTA dies. The U.S. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association released a study Thursday saying it could cost 25,000 to 50,000 U.S. jobs, and warned that too-stringent content rules could cost 24,000 jobs.A team of Scotiabank economists agrees the auto sector is faring well under NAFTA. It points to data showing a surge in U.S. auto employment since the 2008-09 recession, with six per cent annual employment increases that are multiple times larger than growth in other manufacturing sectors. They say Ross relies on skewed numbers to paint an overly grim portrait, which underestimates the degree of U.S. content in North American cars.But Ross shrugs off the industry’s complaints: ”I think you’ll find the car companies will adapt themselves to it.”