JPL Engineers Develop COVID-19 Prototype Ventilator in 37 Days

first_img CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy At left, doctors at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City give a thumbs up after testing a ventilator prototype developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. At right, JPL engineers are working on the ventilator prototype for coronavirus patients. Credit: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City and NASA/JPL-CaltechA new high-pressure ventilator developed by NASA engineers and tailored to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients passed a critical test Tuesday at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, an epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”>?</span>NASA is helping the medical community address the shortage of ventilators needed to treat coronavirus patients with a ventilator prototype.The device, called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), was developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to free up the nation’s limited supply of traditional ventilators so they may be used on patients with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms.“We specialize in spacecraft, not medical-device manufacturing,” said JPL Director Michael Watkins. “But excellent engineering, rigorous testing and rapid prototyping are some of our specialties. When people at JPL realized they might have what it takes to support the medical community and the broader community, they felt it was their duty to share their ingenuity, expertise and drive.”NASA next is seeking expedited FDA approval for the device via an emergency use authorization, a fast-track approval process developed for crisis situations that takes just days rather than years. To get input from a gold-standard medical facility, JPL delivered a prototype of the device to the Human Simulation Lab in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Mount Sinai for additional testing.“We were very pleased with the results of the testing we performed in our high-fidelity human simulation lab,” said Dr. Matthew Levin, Director of Innovation for the Human Simulation Lab and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Preoperative and Pain Medicine, and Genetics and Genomics Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine. “The NASA prototype performed as expected under a wide variety of simulated patient conditions. The team feels confident that the VITAL ventilator will be able to safely ventilate patients suffering from COVID-19 both here in the United States and throughout the world.”VITAL can be built faster and maintained more easily than a traditional ventilator, and is composed of far fewer parts, many of which are currently available to potential manufacturers through existing supply chains. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals being set up in convention centers, hotels, and other high-capacity facilities across the country and around the globe.Like all ventilators, VITAL requires patients to be sedated and an oxygen tube inserted into their airway to breathe. The new device wouldn’t replace current hospital ventilators, which can last years and are built to address a broader range of medical issues. Instead, VITAL is intended to last three to four months and is specifically tailored for COVID-19 patients.“Intensive care units are seeing COVID-19 patients who require highly dynamic ventilators,” said Dr. J.D. Polk, NASA’s chief health and medical officer. “The intention with VITAL is to decrease the likelihood patients will get to that advanced stage of the disease and require more advanced ventilator assistance.”The Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships at Caltech, which manages JPL for NASA, will offer a free license for VITAL and currently is reaching out to the commercial medical industry to find manufacturers for the device.To learn more about how NASA is helping in the national response to COVID-19, visit Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe More Cool Stuff Make a comment Science and Technology JPL Engineers Develop COVID-19 Prototype Ventilator in 37 Days A high-pressure ventilator designed by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for rapid production is being tested for use in medical centers. By NASA/JPL-Caltech Published on Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 7:10 pmcenter_img EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Business News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena 95 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Herbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyRemove Belly Fat Without Going Under The KnifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautylast_img read more

Carey Mulligan & Bill Nighy-Led Skylight Starts Previews

first_img The show was last seen on Broadway in 1996, when it starred Michael Gambon, Lia Williams and Christian Camargo. The revival is scheduled to conclude its run on June 14. Skylight tells the story of a teacher, Kyra Hollis (Mulligan), who receives an unexpected visit from her former lover Tom Sergeant (Nighy) and his son Edward, played by Matthew Beard, who will also be reprising his role on the Great White Way. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on June 21, 2015 Move over Hugh Jackman, it’s Carey Mulligan’s turn to cook up a storm on the Great White Way! The Oscar nominee and Bill Nighy begin previews in David Hare’s Skylight on Broadway on March 13. Directed by Stephen Daldry, the production, which recently had an acclaimed run in London’s West End, will officially open at the Golden Theatre on April 2. Skylight View Commentslast_img read more

Hilleard and Petrozzi to challenge in Colombia

first_img30 Aug 2016 Hilleard and Petrozzi to challenge in Colombia  Internationals Josh Hilleard and Gian-Marco Petrozzi will represent England in this week’s Fedegolf 70 Years Cup in Colombia. The 72-hole international team championship will be played at Los Lagartos Golf Club in Bogota from September 1-4. Josh Hilleard, 21, (Farrington Park, Somerset), won the West of England Championship, the Berkhamsted Trophy, the Faldo Series Wales Championship and the Hampshire Salver in April. He was joint top-scorer when England beat France at Formby, was in England’s winning team at the Costa Ballena Quadrangular Tournament and represented England in the men’s Home Internationals. (Image © Leaderboard Photography) Gian-Marco Petrozzi, 19, (Trentham) reached the Amateur Championship matchplay and was fourth in the Brabazon Trophy, where he shot the championship low score of seven-under 65 in the final round. He tied ninth in the European amateur, third in the Duncan Putter, eighth in the Dutch Open and was 10th in the Lytham Trophy. He also represented England in the Men’s Home Internationals.last_img read more

Di Matteo says he would like Lampard to stay at Chelsea

first_imgChelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo says he hopes Frank Lampard stays at Stamford Bridge.Lampard, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has been linked with January moves to China and the United States.But Di Matteo would be happy to see the England midfielder, 34, sign a new deal.“He has been great at Chelsea for over a decade, so it would be nice for him to finish his career here,” said Di Matteo.“I’m not aware how the discussions are going but if there’s a willingness from both sides, Frank will remain with us.”Click here for the West Brom v Chelsea quiz See also:Chelsea cautious over Lampard injuryBlues consider cover for Moses and MikelYTo4OntzOjk6IndpZGdldF9pZCI7czoyMDoid3lzaWphLW5sLTEzNTI0NjE4NjkiO3M6NToibGlzdHMiO2E6MTp7aTowO3M6MToiMyI7fXM6MTA6Imxpc3RzX25hbWUiO2E6MTp7aTozO3M6MjI6Ildlc3QgTG9uZG9uIFNwb3J0IGxpc3QiO31zOjEyOiJhdXRvcmVnaXN0ZXIiO3M6MTc6Im5vdF9hdXRvX3JlZ2lzdGVyIjtzOjEyOiJsYWJlbHN3aXRoaW4iO3M6MTM6ImxhYmVsc193aXRoaW4iO3M6Njoic3VibWl0IjtzOjMzOiJTdWJzY3JpYmUgdG8gb3VyIGRhaWx5IG5ld3NsZXR0ZXIiO3M6Nzoic3VjY2VzcyI7czoyODM6IlRoYW5rIHlvdSEgUGxlYXNlIGNoZWNrIHlvdXIgaW5ib3ggaW4gb3JkZXIgdG8gY29uZmlybSB5b3VyIHN1YnNjcmlwdGlvbi4gSWYgeW91IGRvbid0IHNlZSBhbiBlLW1haWwgZnJvbSB1cywgY2hlY2sgeW91ciBzcGFtIGZvbGRlci4gSWYgeW91IHN0aWxsIGhhdmVuJ3QgcmVjZWl2ZWQgYSBjb25maXJtYXRpb24gbWVzc2FnZSwgcGxlYXNlIGUtbWFpbCBmZWVkYmFja0B3ZXN0bG9uZG9uc3BvcnQuY29tIGFuZCB0ZWxsIHVzIHlvdSB3aXNoIHRvIHN1YnNjcmliZSB0byBvdXIgbmV3c2xldHRlci4iO3M6MTI6ImN1c3RvbWZpZWxkcyI7YToxOntzOjU6ImVtYWlsIjthOjE6e3M6NToibGFiZWwiO3M6NToiRW1haWwiO319fQ== Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

N Cape solar projects steaming ahead

first_img28 August 2013 Spanish renewable energy group Abengoa has completed construction of the tower section of South Africa’s first concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, one of three such plants under development in the semi-desert Northern Cape province that will together add 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to the country’s national grid. Abengoa is one of 28 independent power producers that signed contracts with the South African government late last year, in the first round of a programme that will see an initial 1 400 MW of renewable energy being added to SA’s energy mix, while bringing an estimated R47-billion in new investment into the country. The Department of Energy aims to bring 17 800 MW from renewable sources online by 2030. Abengoa, in partnership with the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and community trusts in Upington and Pofadder, is building Khi Solar One, a 50 MW solar tower plant near Upington, and KaXu Solar One, a 100 MW parabolic trough solar plant near Pofadder.Investment of over R10-billion According to the Southern Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association (Sastela), the two power stations will leverage investment of over R10-billion, and together will generate almost 500 GWh per year of clean solar electricity. On Monday, representatives of the government, the IDC and the Khi Community Trust attended a flag-raising event to mark the completion of the 205-metre tall tower of Khi Solar One. Abengoa, who will build, operate and maintain the two solar plants, owns a controlling 51% of the projects, with the IDC owning 29% and community trusts owning the remaining 20%. According to Abengoa, the two plants will reduce South Africa’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 498 000 tons a year, while creating between 1 400 and 2 000 construction jobs and about 70 permanent operation jobs, as well as numerous indirect jobs to fulfill the needs required by the plant and its construction. “South Africa has one of the best solar resources in the world, with great potential to be a leader in concentrating solar power generation,” the company said when construction on the plants commenced in November. Abengoa said on Monday that Khi Solar One represented an important technological advance in CSP tower efficiency “by using higher temperatures and an innovative dry cooling system”, meaning it will use a fraction of the water consumed by wet-cooled power stations. Both Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One will have facilities for storing steam, enabling them to provide electricity for up to three hours when the sun is not shining – including during peak demand periods.Bokpoort CSP power station The third CSP plant under construction in the Northern Cape, the 50 MW Bokpoort CSP power station near the town of Groblershoop, about 100 kilometres south-east of Upington, is still more ambitious in its storage plans. The Bokpoort plant is being developed by a consortium led by Saudi Arabian company Acwa Power International, and was the only CSP project of the 19 projects selected by the Department of Energy for the second window of the country’s renewable energy programme for independent power producers. Annoucing the start of construction on the R4.5-billion project earlier this month, Acwa Power said Bokpoort would be equipped with the largest thermal storage adopted to date for a solar power plant of this class and capacity. “The plant thermal storage capacity will be 9.3 hours, enabling it to yield a record-high generation in excess of 200 GWh/year well into the night every day throughout the year,” Acwa Power said in a statement.‘CSP is a base load technology’ “This makes CSP the only renewable technology at commercial scale to cover the country’s daily peak demand from 5 to 9pm, thereby helping to prevent power blackouts.” Of the 18 900 MW of renewable energy made allowance for in the government’s Integrated Resource Plan, a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand, only 1 200 MW is allocated to concentrating solar power. Wind energy has been allocated 9 200 MW and solar photovoltaic (PV) 8 400 MW. The Southern Africa Solar Thermal Energy and Electricity Association (Sastela), which represents the CSP industry, argues that CSP’s ability to provide peak demand electricity gives it the edge over wind and PV, which are restricted by natural and weather conditions. Michael Goldblatt, a director of Solafrica, which is part of the consortium developing the Bokpoort plant, told Satela recently: “We see development of the Bokpoort plant as an opportunity to prove that CSP is a base load technology … We have designed Bokpoort to be as close as you can get to a base load power station, with the ability to generate electricity virtually 24 hours a day.” According to Acwa Power, the Bokpoort plant will reduce South Africa’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 230 000 tons a year, while creating 900 jobs during peak construction and 60 permanent jobs once the plant comes on line, and involving South African companies with previously disadvantaged community participation in plant construction, operation and maintenance. Other members of the consortium developing Bokpoort are the Public Investment Corporation of SA (representing the Government Employees Pension Fund), Lereko Solafrica Investment, Lereko Metier Solafrica Fund 1, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, Kurisani Solafrica Investments (representing NGO Lovelife) and Solafrica Community Investment Company. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

SEC Additions To JOBS Act May Create A Legal Minefield For Startups

first_imgMatt Asay Tags:#Congress#Government#JOBS Act#startups Life just got more complicated in startup land. While the U.S. Congress last year voted in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act to ease New Deal-era regulations on startups, the SEC has since loaded up the Act with even more regulations.While these changes are unlikely to prevent the next great startup from getting funded, they may well ensure it’s reasonably likely to get sued. Several of the industry’s most prominent investors, from Mitch Kapor to Fred Wilson, are crying foul.JOBS Act: A Good, Not Perfect, StartThe JOBS Act, passed in 2012 by an overwhelming 73-26 bipartisan majority, was intended to make life easier for startup companies. Given the role of startups in creating high-paying, high-impact jobs, it’s no wonder Congress wanted to smooth the way to greater startup success.Congress did this by adding four primary provisions to the JOBS Act:An easing of regulations to allow for crowdfundingAn increase in the shareholder ceiling for private companies from 500 to 2,000The ability for companies doing less than $1 billion in revenue to file an IPO confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which latitude Twitter recently used to file for its IPO(In response to the JOBS Act) a loosening of demands around General Solicitation by the SEC, or the ability of startups to more broadly solicit the purchase of shares in their companiesWhile no one thought the JOBS Act was perfect—former Wall Street financier Steven Rattner called it the “greatest loosening of securities regulation in modern history”—the tech industry generally welcomed the change. As Union Squares Ventures general partner Fred Wilson declared, “These new rules are much-needed regulatory relief for startup companies.”One Year (And Much More Regulation) Later…Wilson isn’t so optimistic anymore. Since the Securities Act of 1933 companies have been prohibited from generally marketing their securities to the general public (“General Solicitation”). But as the SEC has interpreted the JOBS Act, it has loosened these requirements, allowing general solicitation in a company’s securities.So far, so good.The problem is that the SEC has also introduced new regulations that effectively neuter the impact of this change. As Wilson argues, the SEC has added burdensome regulations to the JOBS Act that “effectively make General Solicitation a non-starter for startup companies.” Wilson lists the added burdens:If you want to use General Solicitation, you must limit your investors to accredited investors (investors that satisfy net worth or annual income requirements) and you must undertake some specific efforts to make sure that your investors are in fact accredited;A 15-day filing period for Form D before the company initiates its fundraising process;The requirement to formally file all written materials provided to investors with the SEC is very burdensome when entrepreneurs update their slides and other fundraising material from meeting to meeting; andThe penalty for violating any of these rules is a one-year prohibition from being able to raise capital under Rule 506.More disturbingly, says Lotus founder and active early-stage investor Mitch Kapor, “Practices that have worked well without incident for decades could suddenly become unintentional minefields for honest startups and sophisticated investors alike… This means that some of the most high profile ways new startups raise money transparently may now cause those same startups to go out of business if the penalties are enforced.”In other words, even startups that don’t intend to “generally solicit” may be found to be doing so. Things like demo days and even tweets could suddenly impose unexpectedly high hurdles on a startup’s funding plans.A Good Law Gone BadFor anyone that has raised venture capital, it will be immediately obvious why these rules won’t work. For example, usually companies are required to file for Form D within 15 days of raising capital. Requiring them to file before they even start, without even knowing if they’ll be able to raise money, is both problematic and potentially cumbersome. Some deals happen very fast and, indeed, speed is critical to getting a particular deal done on advantageous terms. This would ruin that.Or what about the requirement that startups only sell securities to accredited investors? This seems like a reasonable way to protect investors, until you realize, as The Wall Street Journal‘s Gordon Crovitz highlights, “[W]hereas in the past investors attested to their financial qualifications, the onus is now on companies to obtain potential investors’ tax returns or bank statements—information they’re understandably reluctant to share.”More poignantly, imposing a one-year penalty for getting any of these rules wrong “effectively means that a startup that violates any of these rules is likely to be put out of business,” as Wilson suggests, given the pace at which startups raise funding.All of which means that the JOBS Act, intended to liberate startups to create more jobs and generate more wealth, will likely do little of either. In fact, the added regulations, still under public comment, could make things worse. Much worse. As such, you can make your voice heard by submitting comments here. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Notley’s Queenslander spirit brings him back

first_imgAfter 11 years away from State of Origin (SOO) touch football, Scott Notley is back wearing the colours of his beloved maroons.Notley is the player-coach of Queensland’s men’s 40s team that will play at the SOO series, which will be contested today and tomorrow at the Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium.Notley made his debut for Queensland in 1987 and spent many years playing for the ‘sunshine state’.He last played in the 1998 series and was at the helm of Queensland’s men’s opens team when they were defeated by NSW in their best-of-three-game series, 2-1.He said the competitive nature of SOO brought him back to the field.“I just like the competition I guess. I don’t play much park touch football,” he said.Taking charge of the men’s 40s has been a challenge for the former Australian representative with most of the players coming from all over the state.“It’s been a little bit hard [to get together] because we have players from North Queensland, players from interstate and the south east corner.“It has been a poor build up.”But he said his players have played enough touch football to know what is expected of them.“I think we are in there [with a chance]. We don’t really have too many standouts, we are good across the park.“I don’t know much about NSW because I’ve been away for so long but the names on paper, the look pretty solid.”The first game of the men’s 40s SOO will be played at 5.40pm.Make sure you stay up to date with these websites for all the State of Origin action: State of Origin – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – Football Australia’s YouTube channel – LinksNotley’s Queenslander spiritlast_img read more

10 months agoRoma chief Monchi on Boston summit: We’re not there to talk American food

first_imgRoma chief Monchi on Boston summit: We’re not there to talk American foodby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAS Roma chief Monchi denies coach Eusebio di Francesco’s future is up for discussion.Di Francesco oversaw victory against Genoa on Sunday amid talk he’d be sacked if they lost.Monchi is travelling to Boston this week for talks with president James Pallotta and stated: “I go to Boston every month because there are matters to discuss, we have so many things to talk about.”An analysis will be done, we always do it, it’s normal that he wants to know the situation, we do not go to Boston to talk about American food. We will talk about football.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoReading defender O’Shea offers advice to Man Utd ace Pogba

first_imgReading defender O’Shea offers advice to Man Utd ace Pogbaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReading defender John O’Shea says the jury should still be out for Paul Pogba and his revival at Manchester United.Ahead of today’s FA Cup tie, O’Shea believes the midfielder must now discover consistency.”I remember Paul from the youth team. He was so bubbly, everybody knew he was a fantastic talent. He will be a huge star for United because there’s that ability. And once he concentrates on that, he’ll be a fantastic player for years to come. He won the World Cup, so he’s doing enough talking on the pitch, but he’s got to make sure he keeps doing it.”The best players maintain that level consistently season after season, and the attributes that he has, if he can maintain that, he will become like he’s showing at the minute — that player who scores goals, creates goals. And if he does that I’m sure the United fans will get right behind him.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

NAFTA glossary Talk trade like a boss with these negotiating terms

first_imgWASHINGTON – Negotiations start Wednesday for an update to the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement. This glossary of negotiating terms helps explain understand some of the underlying dynamics of these talks.Demandeur: The party requesting a negotiation. In this case, it’s the U.S. The demandeur is generally considered to have weaker leverage, but that weakness is mitigated here by the U.S.’s economic might, and by President Donald Trump’s efforts to re-establish leverage with the ultimate threat: ripping up the deal.Zone of possible agreement: Exactly what it sounds like. For example, say the U.S. wants Canada’s dairy industry opened 100 per cent to free-market competition, but would secretly settle for two per cent. And suppose Canada wants a zero per cent change, but would eventually settle for four per cent. That leaves an eventual zone of agreement between two and four per cent.Non-agreement alternative: Your power at the negotiating table is tied to what happens if you walk away. If your Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is the status quo, and you’re happy with it, you have power. This is Canada and Mexico’s position. Trump has moved to scramble that rosy scenario by threatening the end of NAFTA.Fast track: Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has power over international agreements. Because no country wants to negotiate with 535 amendment-adding American lawmakers, the U.S. political system has devised a compromise. It’s formally called Trade Promotion Authority — better known as “fast track.” Under a fast-track law, the White House handles negotiations with the foreigners. In exchange, lawmakers are guaranteed a role in shaping U.S. strategy, with regular consultations.Supply management: A system that protects a sector shielded from free trade, with import limits and price controls. Canada has such a system for dairy and poultry. The U.S. hates it. Recent trade deals have seen Canada open up the system slightly. Canada agreed to a 3.25 per cent opening in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for fear of a scary BATNA there: being shut out of a new global trade zone. It will now likely argue that, like the TPP, and like old milk, that offer is expired.Diafiltered milk: Supply management isn’t the main irritant listed by the U.S. dairy industry. It’s especially unhappy that Canadian producers get to profit from price controls, and then can sell skimmed-off diafiltered components for cheese-making at (lower) market prices, squeezing Americans out of this growing market. The Canadian government created a new category of dairy product for this purpose, Class 7. It became internationally famous when President Donald Trump complained about it.Rules of origin: Will be a big issue. It involves what percentage of a product is really North American, and therefore deserving of being traded without tariffs. Under NAFTA, a 62.5 per cent of car components must be North American to count as a domestic tariff-free product. The Trump team wants that raised. But key details still aren’t clear — including whether it will be designed to target Asia, or Canada and Mexico; how it will affect supply chains; and whether it will be calculated on the basis of where a piece gets assembled, or where its sub-components come from.De minimis: This old phrase from Latin, meaning “of minimal” concern, is now relevant in regard to an ultra-modern retail giant: EBay, too. The question is how much Canadians can spend on an online purchase from abroad, without paying a duty. Canada has one of the strictest de minimis thresholds in the world — it’s $20. The U.S. has it set at $800, and wants Canada to move that way. On the other side, bricks-and-mortar retailers in Canada are pleading with the Canadian government to keep a low threshold, arguing that the hunt for bargains abroad will damage jobs and businesses at home.Two-level bargaining: The idea that national negotiators are working on two levels: with the other country, and with domestic parties. These domestic actors can be silent allies: think good cop, bad cop. The good cop (the negotiator) says he or she can’t move, because the bad cops at home will fight any concession. The U.S. has notoriously powerful domestic actors — big business donors to Congress, and a Congress itself that can, in the end, block whatever deal it wants. The renowned academic who developed two-level theory, Robert Putnam, says this sometimes benefits the U.S., and sometimes hurts it: “(It’s) an unhappy and unique feature of our democracy,” he once wrote. “(It) increases the bargaining power of American negotiators, but it also reduces the scope for international co-operation.” Canada’s domestic actors include the provinces. At TPP talks, Canadian officials printed up a news story about provinces complaining about supply management changes to distribute it, and made sure other parties were aware the provinces were unhappy.last_img read more