AFL-CIO's Trumka says more work remains on U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal

Reuters | November 19, 2019

A major U.S. labor leader on Monday said there was more work to do on a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, pushing back against comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that a breakthrough was imminent. U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, but House Democrats have been pushing for changes to shore up enforcement of the labor and environmental provisions.

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A bond with a credit rating below investment grade. Due to their perceived higher risk of default, these bonds tend to offer a high rate of interest compared to
investment grade and government bonds.Important Information: The views and opinions contained herein are those of Schroders’ Economics team, and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. This document is intended to be for information purposes only and it is not intended as promotional
material in any respect. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The material is not intended to provide,and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Schroders does not warrant its completeness or accuracy.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Defined.ai to Play Significant Role in Accelerat.ai, the Government of Portugal-Approved AI Initiative

Defined.ai | June 21, 2022

Defined.ai (formerly DefinedCrowd), the leading provider of data, models and tools for Artificial Intelligence, announced its role in Accelerat.ai, which the Portuguese government fully approved it. Portugal is one of the first European Union countries to implement the Covid 2019 Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Digital Transformation Mandate by the European Union, which Accelerat.ai is a part of. Accelerat.ai is a consortium of Portuguese companies backed by the government, with an investment of €48 million (~$51 million) to speed up the digital transformation of Portugal's public and private sectors. The project, born from the EU Digital Compass 2030 initiative, is financed partly through a €16 billion ($17 billion) award granted to Portugal as part of the initiative. It is also the first of many projects from Portugal's Center of Excellence for AI. The mandate of the consortium is to make it easier to develop trustworthy AI apps and use unbiased data in European Portuguese. Accelerat.ai works on the European Portuguese language problem, which has yet to be effectively addressed well in the field of Conversational AI, especially in the public sector and industry-specific domains as the big tech companies usually focus on other markets. If a developer wants to use voice interfaces in the Portuguese market, they have to use APIs in English or Brazilian Portuguese, which is not what the Portuguese people prefer. Today, António Costa Silva, Minister of Economy and Sea, Sir John O'Reilly, President of the Jury, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner, and António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, will officially announce the winners of the public audit and contest, including Accelerat.ai as the winner of a process that began exactly one year ago. Defined.ai will play a leading role in Accelerat.ai, a consortium of companies that includes Talkdesk, Devscope, Instituto Superior Tecnico de Lisboa (Inesc id), Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Clarin, NOS, IBM, Microsoft, and KPMG. Interested clients include Caixa Geral de Depositos, Novo Banco, Santander, SPMS/SNS (Healthcare Ministry), AMA (Digital Transformation), Social Security Ministry, EDP (electricity and gas), the Telco NOS, the popular Retail provider Worten, and the Insurance company Fidelidade. Dr. Daniela Braga, Founder and CEO of Defined.ai, was a key player in proposing the creation of a Center of Excellence in AI in Europe and starting the Accelerat.ai consortium and project. (Defined.ai gives AI builders the data they need to train their models.) This ambitious project is aimed at dramatically improving private and public customer service through virtual assistants paired with contact centers as a service in European Portuguese. In its early stages, Accelerat.ai’s goal is to improve customer service in Portugal's private and public sectors and speed up the country's digital transformation. It will develop proprietary technology that can easily scale up to other EU markets since what changes after that is the data. Accelerat.ai will work on a conversational AI framework for modern contact centers that can handle multiple languages. This will improve customer service and cut costs by automating 80 percent of customer support resolutions. It will give customers access to the latest technology in a way that doesn't depend on the cloud provider, infrastructure, or technology. Customers will be able to choose which ASR, NLU, or TTS works best for them. The business model will be based on subscriptions that are flexible and easy to set up. This will make it possible to create 200 highly skilled AI jobs in Portugal. Some of the applications will have a voice and video-enabled avatars that will speak to people when they call the Portuguese Healthcare system to schedule a Covid booster or call Social Security to check on the status of a maternity leave pension. Customer service in the top European languages will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and at a lower cost. Initially designed to help the Portuguese, it will impact all EU citizens in the future because of its multi-language modularity. About Defined.ai Defined.ai is on a mission to enable the creators of the future. At Defined.ai, we believe AI should be created as we raise our children, with the responsibility to make it the best version possible, to be fair, kind, inclusive and to strive for a better world. That’s why we provide high-quality AI training data, tools, and models to the creators of the future. We offer data scientists the solutions to get it just right, from datasets to bootstrap their models which keep their projects moving, to the final tuning in domains and perfection in accents and phonetics. We host the leading AI marketplace, where data scientists can buy and sell off-the-shelf datasets, tools and models, and we provide customizable workflows that can be used to generate datasets tuned to their needs. And, because the future of AI is complicated, Defined.ai can also offer professional services to help deliver success in complex machine learning projects. Defined.ai has offices in Seattle, USA, Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, and Tokyo, Japan, and has raised more than $80 million in investment.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Pitney Bowes SendPro 360 Achieves FedRAMP Security Authorization to Begin Offering Secure Cloud Services to Federal Agencies

Pitney Bowes | June 14, 2022

Pitney Bowes Inc., a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, announced it has achieved U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization for the SendPro 360TM solution, its next-generation sending and receiving platform. The FedRAMP authorization is testament to Pitney Bowes firm commitment to the security of data within its SendPro 360 platform and sustained dedication to its federal government clients. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the sponsoring agency for Pitney Bowes. FedRAMP is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Buyers benefit from the reassurance that cloud services adhere to a common set of security standards as authorized by the federal government. The sending and receiving cloud platform from Pitney Bowes provides federal government clients with secure access to a suite of powerful technologies. These include inbound and outbound mailing software like PitneyShip TM and PitneyTrack TM and comprehensive analytics across the platform. The solutions are some of the very first shipping technologies listed in the FedRAMP marketplace, which simplifies and standardizes access to secure technologies for federal agencies. These FedRAMP services will be provided directly by the dedicated Pitney Bowes Federal Team based in Washington, DC. This FedRAMP authorization demonstrates the deep levels of investment, innovation and robust security that are integral to our next-generation sending and receiving platform and services. Securing this prominent standard marks our unwavering commitment to our government clients. We are grateful for the support of the Department of Veterans Affairs, our sponsor throughout the process.” Jason Dies, EVP and President, Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes The authorization was achieved following a robust two-and-a-half year process during which Pitney Bowes was required to demonstrate specific standards of cloud security and commitment to government agencies for its sending and receiving software platform. The Department of Veterans Affairs, as sponsoring agency, provided counsel and guidance throughout the process. With this authorization for SendPro 360, Pitney Bowes joins an impressive list of FedRAMP authorized companies that includes IBM, Google and Microsoft. FedRAMP was established in 2011 to provide a cost-effective, risk-based approach for the adoption and use of cloud services by the federal government. It drives agencies to embrace cloud technologies, with an emphasis on security and protection of federal information. About Pitney Bowes Pitney Bowes is a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services to more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. Small business, retail, enterprise, and government clients around the world rely on Pitney Bowes to remove the complexity of sending mail and parcels.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Carahsoft Named Dell 2022 Federal Partner of the Year

Carahsoft | June 13, 2022

Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, announced that it has been named the 2022 Federal Partner of the Year for “Excellence in Engagement” by Dell Technologies. This award was presented to Carahsoft at Dell Technologies World recognizing Carahsoft’s dedicated sales, integrated marketing, and overall quest to best serve customers alongside Dell. We are honored to be recognized as Dell’s Federal Partner of the Year. With the support of our reseller partners, our dedicated Dell team is committed to driving value through customer and reseller education, implementing strategic marketing campaigns, and coming up with new ways to interest our customers in the power of Dell. We look forward to continuing this momentum and building upon this successful partnership.” Maryam Emdadi, Vice President, Carahsoft Carahsoft became an authorized distributor for Dell in 2017 after many successful years working with the company. Carahsoft works closely with Dell Technologies to develop and implement marketing initiatives, such as the Dell Partner Webinar Series, which trains and empowers hundreds of customers and partners on the capabilities of Dell’s industry-leading technology. Over the past five years, Carahsoft has grown to become Dell’s largest Federal Distributor. Carahsoft and our reseller partners remain committed to furthering Dell’s business momentum and driving value for customers. About Carahsoft Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles.

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