U.S.-Japan trade deal hits snag as Tokyo seeks assurances on car tariffs

Reuters | September 24, 2019

A U.S.-Japan trade deal hit a last-minute snag as Japanese officials sought assurances that the Trump administration will not impose national security tariffs on Japanese-built cars and auto parts, people familiar with the talks said on Monday. U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have been aiming to sign a trade deal at a meeting this week during the United Nations General Assembly in New York that provides increased access to Japan for U.S. agricultural goods and bilateral cuts in industrial goods tariffs.

Spotlight

The affordability of prescription drugs is a pressing concern for many Americans, with broad agreement across the political spectrum that lowering prescription drug costs should be a top priority for Congress. The Trump Administration, members of Congress, and several 2020 presidential candidates have offered proposals to lower drug prices. Many of these proposals would affect prescription drug spending under Medicare, which accounts for 30 percent of national retail spending on drugs and nearly $1 out of every $5 in total Medicare spending (Figure 1).

Spotlight

The affordability of prescription drugs is a pressing concern for many Americans, with broad agreement across the political spectrum that lowering prescription drug costs should be a top priority for Congress. The Trump Administration, members of Congress, and several 2020 presidential candidates have offered proposals to lower drug prices. Many of these proposals would affect prescription drug spending under Medicare, which accounts for 30 percent of national retail spending on drugs and nearly $1 out of every $5 in total Medicare spending (Figure 1).

Related News

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Esri Partners with Federal Government and State of California to Tackle Climate Change, Improve Resilience

Esri | September 20, 2022

Esri, the global leader in GIS and location intelligence, has partnered with agencies in the federal government and the state of California to build comprehensive and interactive climate data portals and targeted applications to better respond to climate hazards and conservation opportunities. Agencies have used GIS technology for decades to record and track authoritative data on a range of topics that can provide critical insights into complex challenges such as climate change. “Responding to climate change effectively requires a whole of government approach, By harnessing the vast data resources of federal agencies, we’re providing local communities with the information they need to make impactful, equitable decisions that will improve the lives of their citizens.” -David J Hayes, special assistant to the President for climate policy at the White House. This past week, Esri partnered with the Biden-Harris Administration, Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI), to jointly launch the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) portal. This new website helps organizations plan and implement climate resiliency actions by using a new screening tool that assesses the vulnerability of counties, census tracts and tribal lands. The location-based tool can be used to evaluate projects based on exposure to climate-related hazards now and in the future and can strengthen proposals for federal funding. In July, Esri partnered with NOAA and the Biden Administration through the interagency National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) to launch Heat.gov. Heat.gov offers maps, data and guidance that inform operational decisions by communities on a daily basis related to heat health and its impacts. Communities can also use current and forecasted data to plan equitable mitigation measures in anticipation of future heat events, such as where to plant more trees to improve shade in urban areas. The site seamlessly integrates heat information from across federal agencies, including heat forecasts from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service, the new national Climate and Health Outlook developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC’s Heat and Health Tracker, as well as heat planning and preparedness guides. In April of 2022, Esri partnered with the California Natural Resources Agency to build CA Nature in support of Governor Newsom’s vision to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030 to fight species loss and ecosystem destruction. CA Nature provides publicly available interactive mapping and visualization tools to identify conservation opportunities and track progress against the 30x30 goal. Powered by Esri’s ArcGIS, CA Nature explains the 30x30 mission, visualizes biodiversity throughout the state, and catalogs protected lands. “Together, these efforts reflect the will and desire of governments at all levels to use maps and data to empower communities to effectively meet our most pressing climate challenges, We are encouraged that governments are embracing the power of maps and GIS to better understand climate impacts and how to plan and build for a more resilient and sustainable future.” -Jack Dangermond president Esri. About Esri: Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Trust Stamp Unveils Privtech™ - a New Government-Focused Privacy-First Identity Technology

Trust Stamp | September 29, 2022

T Stamp Inc. (“Trust Stamp” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: IDAI, Euronext Growth: AIID ID), a global provider of AI-powered trust and identity services used globally across multiple sectors, today unveiled its new government-focused, privacy-first identity technology, Privtech™, and reports it has received registered trademark status for the Privtech solution by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The technology provides four customizable levels of privacy protection using the Company’s existing Privtech Certified® structure and offers government agencies the ability to verify identity and protect against fraud, while minimizing the data collected and providing transparency as to its use. “Privtech technology utilizes our patented irreversibly transformed identity token (IT2™), which allows users to be identified on a probabilistic basis without disclosing underlying biometric or other identity data. Within the Privtech Certified® structure there are four levels of privacy protection, of which Privtech Level Four is the most stringent with the entire enrollment and authentication processes taking place on the user’s own device, and only a randomized and encrypted one-time identifier ever leaving the device, Government agencies need to balance safe and efficient interaction with digital users against minimizing intrusion into the user’s privacy. Unlike the typical biometric systems in use today, Privtech Level Four does not require data intermediation by a private sector vendor and does not require the user to provide the agency with their biometric data. We have designed these solutions to meet the specific demands of government customers, which represent a very substantial and growing market opportunity. Ultimately, we believe that Privtech Certified products will define a new privacy-first approach to interacting with government agencies.” -Gareth Genner, Chief Executive Officer of Trust Stamp. Dr. Norman Poh, Chief Science Officer of Trust Stamp, stated, An IT2 can be created from virtually any modality of biometric together with most other types of identity data. In addition to the obvious benefit of privacy protection, the IT2 has numerous advantages when compared to legacy biometric templates, including computational efficiency, interoperability and cancelability. The Company’s announcement is in the wake of substantial increases in technology-focused investments by government agencies including $80 billion in new funding for the Internal Revenue Service with a stated emphasis on improving taxpayer services and modernizing the agency’s technology and other infrastructure. About Trust Stamp: Trust Stamp, is a global provider of AI-powered identity services for use in multiple sectors including banking and finance, regulatory compliance, government, real estate, communications, and humanitarian services. Its technology empowers organizations with advanced biometric identity solutions that reduce fraud, protect personal data privacy, increase operational efficiency, and reach a broader base of users worldwide through its unique data transformation and comparison capabilities.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Qtrac and Strategic Communications Partner to Improve Customer, Employee Experiences in Government Offices

Strategic Communications | September 16, 2022

Qtrac® by Lavi Industries, a world-leading provider of virtual queue management and appointment scheduling systems, today announced it is partnering with Strategic Communications, a certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) and reseller to U.S. government agencies, to provide best-in-class queue solutions for local, state and federal government offices. "Qtrac identified Strategic Communications as a partner who had broad industry experience in IT, audio visual and cloud services deployments, and shared Qtrac's passion to innovate with a purpose by delivering the highest value in business solutions, Both Qtrac and Strategic Communications share a commitment to provide the very best products and excellent customer service to their clients, We look forward to expanding Qtrac's virtual queue platform to additional departments and services in Florida and across the country because of our partnership with Strategic Communications." -Steve Covate, VP of Sales at Qtrac. Since its founding, Qtrac has continually invested in its products and staff to deliver an ever-evolving solution and unsurpassed support to appeal to a broad and changing market. The partnership enables Qtrac to leverage Strategic Communications' extensive experience and knowledge in order to increase market share and build product awareness in the government, education, healthcare, and enterprise sectors. "Strategic Communications sought a partnership with Qtrac to support a variety of government agencies with a best-in-class queuing and appointment platform that can be configured to benefit a wide range of government agencies and manage the complexity within them." -Blake Kelly, cloud sales manager at Strategic Communications. The partnership is already helping residents in Florida who need WIC (women, infants, and children) assistance. Qtrac's queue management solutions are being deployed by the Florida Department of Revenue to give them the ability to schedule their appointments for a time most convenient for them. Because of information gathered from citizens at the time appointments are made, workers will be prepared to deliver necessary products and services, increasing staff efficiency and reducing the amount of time recipients spend collecting needed supplies. ABOUT QTRAC: Qtrac® provides virtual queue management systems to companies of all sizes and across many different industries around the world. Its virtual queuing technology enhances the customer experience by focusing on the way people interact with businesses in order to eliminate lines, increase sales and improve service. Qtrac was founded by Lavi Industries, the premier provider of public guidance and crowd control solutions. Building on Lavi's 40+ years of experience and success in helping the world's leading companies effectively guide people in, through and out of their facilities, Qtrac helps organizations improve their operations by improving the customer journey.

Read More