Tag: Factories and Manufacturing

One of Europe’s Most Polluted Towns Stages a Noisy Revolt

FOS-SUR-MER, France — The line of giant chimneys ceaselessly belching smoke in the air stretches to the horizon in one of the most polluted industrial zones in Europe. For years, the inhabitants of Fos-sur-Mer, France, accepted their illnesses — for example, a cancer rate that is double the national average — in exchange for jobs […]

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Traders Seek China’s Masks to Help U.S. Hospitals Battle the Coronavirus

SHANGHAI — Million-dollar wire transfers to strangers. Rumors of hidden supplies in forgotten warehouses. Wheeler-dealers trying to talk regulators and customs officials into letting that one precious shipment through. Global desperation to protect front-line medical workers battling the coronavirus epidemic has spurred a mad international scramble for masks and other protective gear. Governments, hospital chains, […]

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Bangladesh Garment Workers Face Ruin Due to Coronavirus

The empty, echoing shopping malls of Western cities are a testament to the biggest crisis borne by global clothing and retail industries in over a generation. But the impact of the coronavirus on retail is a two-part devastation, as the daily flow of thousands of orders placed by Western retailers to supplier factories in South […]

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Inside G.M.’s Race to Build Ventilators, Before Trump’s Attack

While much of the U.S. economy has ground to a halt because of the coronavirus outbreak, several dozen workers in orange vests and hard hats were hauling heavy equipment on Sunday at a General Motors plant in Kokomo, Ind. The crew was part of a crash effort to make tens of thousands of ventilators, the […]

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Trump Said He Was the President of Manufacturing. Then Disaster Struck.

When President Trump came to office, he promised a new day with America’s manufacturers, casting himself as the first president who understood their needs. He toured factory floors, often handing out his signature “Make America Great Again” hats. Yet in the first national crisis that required harnessing American manufacturing ingenuity and ramping up production of […]

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China Pushes to Churn Out Coronavirus Gear, Yet Struggles to Police It

HONG KONG — One man made fake Honeywell N95 respirators at a makeshift factory on a farm. Pharmacies sold ineffective knockoffs of a Chinese version of Clorox. In one Chinese province, authorities seized more than seven million masks that were substandard, mislabeled or counterfeited. China’s vast manufacturing machine has moved into overdrive to supply the […]

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Trump Administration Pulls Back From $1 Billion Coronavirus Ventilator Deal

WASHINGTON — The White House had been preparing on Wednesday to announce amid an escalating pandemic that a joint venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems would begin producing as many as 80,000 desperately needed ventilators when word suddenly came down that the announcement was off. The decision to cancel the announcement, according to […]

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How the World’s Richest Country Ran Out of Face Masks

Why is the United States running out of face masks for medical workers? How does the world’s wealthiest country find itself in such a tragic and avoidable mess? And how long will it take to get enough protective gear, if that’s even possible now? I’ve spent the last few days digging into these questions, because […]

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Christian Siriano and Dov Charney Are Making Masks and Medical Supplies Now

ImageBoth tourists and New Yorkers on March 14, at the World Trade Center in New York City.Credit…Elizabeth Bick for The New York Times Last week the American fashion industry went dark as stores and factories closed, both voluntarily and by government decree, to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Yet by this weekend, […]

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Governments and Companies Race to Make Masks Vital to Virus Fight

President Trump on Saturday sought to assure an anxious American public that help was on the way to overwhelmed hospitals, and that private companies had agreed to provide desperately needed medical supplies to fight the fast-spreading coronavirus. But Mr. Trump resisted appeals from state and local officials and hospital administrators for more aggressive action, saying […]

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Coronavirus Gives Trump a Chance to Make Good on His Promises

The coronavirus guarantees that for the foreseeable future President Trump will be right where he likes to be: front and center, with the spotlight squarely on him. His likely Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, is an afterthought as the nation grapples with a challenge to public health and the devastating fallout that comes from shutting down […]

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White House Enlists Military to Import Swabs for Coronavirus Tests

WASHINGTON — Faced with steep shortages of medical supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the White House is scrambling to coordinate with the private sector to import and manufacture testing swabs, face masks and hand sanitizer. A lack of nasal swabs has been a pressing obstacle as the United States tries to accelerate testing for […]

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After Mounting Criticism, Tesla Will Shut Down California Factory

Tesla, the luxury electric carmaker, said on Thursday that it would shut down production at its San Francisco Bay Area factory, which has remained open for several days in apparent defiance of a local county order. The carmaker had caused uproar by continuing production even after Alameda County officials issued a shelter-at-home order that applied […]

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Customers Want Customization, and Companies Are Giving It to Them

This article is part of our continuing Fast Forward series, which examines technological, economic, social and cultural shifts that happen as businesses evolve. At a production plant in western Tennessee, about 100 3-D printers, arranged in pods for different tasks and parts, spit out hundreds of pairs of individually fitted insoles and sandals a day. […]

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France Fines Apple $1.2 Billion for Antitrust Issues

WASHINGTON — France’s antitrust regulator on Monday fined Apple 1.1 billion euros, or $1.2 billion, putting more pressure on the company as it grapples with the coronavirus outbreak that has threatened its supply chains and closed its retail stores. France’s competition regulator, which had been examining wholesalers who sell Apple’s products in the country, said […]

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Coronavirus Could End China’s Decades-Long Economic Growth Streak

SHANGHAI — China’s growth streak has lasted for decades, surviving the crackdown at Tiananmen Square, the global financial crisis and the trade war with the United States. But it might not endure the coronavirus epidemic, making it nearly impossible for the rest of the world to escape a slowdown. The damage was widespread in the […]

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U.S. Weighs Tariff Relief but Some Fear China Will Take Advantage

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus outbreak is prompting a heated debate among lawmakers and the White House over whether the Trump administration should remove the tariffs it has imposed on China and other nations to provide some economic relief. Supporters of lifting the tariffs, even temporarily, say it would be a simple and immediate way to […]

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The World Needs Masks. China Makes Them — But Has Been Hoarding Them.

SHANGHAI — As hospitals and governments hunt desperately for respirators and surgical masks to protect doctors and nurses from the coronavirus pandemic, they face a difficult reality: The world depends on China to make them, and the country is only beginning to share. China made half the world’s masks before the coronavirus emerged there, and […]

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Luxury’s Hidden Indian Supply Chain

MUMBAI, India — At the top of a staircase covered in dirt and sequins, several dozen Indian artisans hunched over yards of fabric, using needles to embroider garments for the world’s most powerful fashion brands. They sewed without health benefits in a multiroom factory with caged windows and no emergency exit, where they earned a […]

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Sales Worry Carmakers More Than Supply Chains

FRANKFURT — European auto manufacturers have so far defied expectations that supply chain chaos would bring their assembly lines to a standstill. Even after northern Italy, an important node in the global parts network, went into lockdown on Sunday, carmakers like BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Peugeot and Volkswagen said on Monday that production was normal. How […]

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A Global Outbreak Is Fueling the Backlash to Globalization

LONDON — Well before a deadly virus began spreading across multiple borders, a world defined by deepening interconnection appeared to be reassessing the merits of globalization. The United States, led by the unabashed nationalist Donald J. Trump, was ordering multinational companies to abandon China and make their goods in American factories. Britain was forsaking the […]

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China Stopped Its Economy to Tackle Coronavirus. Now the World Suffers.

In an industrial area west of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, more than 6,000 miles from China, Michael Smerling is steeling himself for a devastating blow from the coronavirus outbreak. Mr. Smerling makes knapsacks, travel pouches and outdoor gear for companies like Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom Rack and Amazon. For now, the warehouse of his […]

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After Factory Disaster, Bangladesh Made Big Safety Strides. Are the Bad Days Coming Back?

As she walked to her job as a garment worker, Rima Khatun was passing the Natural Sweater Village on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, when a boiler exploded inside. A wall of the two-story factory crashed onto a nearby sidewalk, injuring 10 pedestrians. Hit by falling rubble, Ms. Khatun, 20, was killed instantly. Her death […]

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