China to Cut Tariffs & Starsky Robotics Seeks Potential Buyers | Weekly News Update

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China to Cut Tariffs on Range of Goods Amid Push for Trade Deal

The phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China continues to move forward with China taking the next big step.  The country will cut tariffs for pork, pharmaceuticals, and some high-tech competent starting January 1.  The tariffs will be lowered for all trading partners on 859 types of products to below the rates that most favored nations had in place.  This is a step towards the phase-one deal coming to fruition.  Additionally, China has promised to purchase more agricultural products from the U.S., in return for the U.S. lowering tariff rates that were applied during the two-year tit-for-tat trade war.


Starsky Robotics Seeks Potential Buyers as Autonomous Startup Struggles to Raise Funds

Starsky Robotics—an autonomous truck startup—is in talks with potential buyers after failing to raise enough funds to continue to operate.  It is expected that Starsky has enough funds to last through the end of January.  The company is best known for its technology that allows “drivers” to take control of the vehicle remotely during city driving and then allowing the truck to drive itself on the highway portions of the route.  The company has gotten interest from rivals Embark, Cruise, Tesla, Nikola, and Amazon.  All the companies are stated to “have interest in parts of the Starsky team.”


Top Energy Stories

WSJ: In the Green Transition, Transportation Is the Next Big Baddie

Climate change crusaders are quick to lionize someone like Tesla’s Elon Musk and to demonize Big Oil executives. The reality, though, is that even “green” transport risks becoming a villain.

Platts: Crude settles in black after large US draw

Crude futures settled higher Friday after the US Energy Information Administration reported a large draw in US crude oil inventories.  An uptick in refinery demand weighed on US crude oil inventories last week, extending their decline for a second straight week.


Top Freight Transportation Stories

FreightWaves: Starsky Robotics seeks potential buyers as autonomous startup struggles to raise funds

Autonomous trucking startup Starsky Robotics is in talks with potential buyers, including some with its rivals, after failing to raise new funding to stay afloat, a former employee claims.

Transport Topics: West Coast Ports Slump While East Coast Facilities Weather Tariffs

Several of the nation’s most prominent ports felt the impact of the trade war between the United States and China as 2019 comes to a close, just as the Trump administration struck an initial trade agreement with China that is due to be signed sometime in 2020.

CCJ: Trucking in 2019: A look back the year’s top news and equipment and tech trends

As the sun sets on 2019, CCJ editors compiled a look back at some of the top trucking headlines from the year.  The list includes the California independent contractor law, US economic growth, federal hours of service, electrification, and the ELD mandate taking full effect.


Top Economic Stories

WSJ: China to Cut Tariffs on Range of Goods Amid Push for Trade Deal

China will cut import tariffs for frozen pork, pharmaceuticals and some high-tech components starting from Jan. 1, a move that comes as Beijing and Washington are trying to complete a phase-one trade deal.

WSJ: Consumer Spending Strengthens Headed Into Year End

Consumers boosted spending as they headed into the end of the year, buoyed by a rise in income and an optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy.


This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at

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