The news that Stream Energy had launched its charity foundation, Stream Cares, came as no surprise as the Dallas-based firm has proven its affinity for charitable causes. And the energy firm does not just write checks but also commits time to philanthropic causes.
While it is the norm for many modern firms to be involved in corporate social responsibility, Stream Energy’s involvement in such causes is ingrained in its business model. The company’s business model relies on independent associates to market energy, wireless, and home services. The associates earn a commission based on their sales. The company has many associates, who are actively involved in philanthropic causes. Add that to the company’s effort, and you establish why the energy firm is the most talked about in Texas regarding philanthropy.
When Hurricane Harvey touched down in Southern Texas destroying homes, property, and displacing residents, Stream Energy made efforts to help heal and rebuild the affected areas. The company donated $25,000 to the American Red Cross. In addition, the firm collaborated with Red Cross, accepting donations on behalf of the non-profit. What’s more, the firm announced it would be lenient towards its customers in the affected areas, regarding payment of utility bills.
Statistics indicate that there is a 24 percent rise in homelessness in Dallas. What a better way to alleviate the suffering of the homeless than affording them memorable experiences? Stream Energy, its associates, and Hope Supply Co. have collaborated to sponsor annual Splash for Hope. The event saw over a thousand North Texas homeless children access monetary assistance, essential supplies, and partake in a fun day. Hope and Stream have had such partnerships for over four years.
Dallas-area veterans and their families have benefitted from Stream and its associates. Through the Operation Once in a Lifetime program, the company sponsored the veterans and their families to sumptuous lunch. The firm also catered to their transportations costs. The American Girl Doll experience shortly came after the lunch. The experience sought to pamper 10 young girls belonging to the veterans.
In 2016 alone, the Chinese have imported $14 billion worth of soybeans from the United States, reports CNN Money in a recent article. Soybeans are just one example of the need for agricultural products in the Middle Kingdom. The large Chinese population of about 1.4 billion needs immense quantities of food.
Yet agricultural trade could be affected in negative ways. Last month, the Trump administration put tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels. Now, the White House is considering tariffs on imports of Chinese aluminum and steel. In response, the Chinese Commerce Ministry indicated that if this “affects China’s interests, we will take necessary measures to defend our rights.”
China is already investigating whether the Unites States is dumping sorghum, an agricultural product. When it comes to cultivation of sorghum, the American farmers are world leaders with 2016 production of 480 bushels.
Would the Chinese authorities give up on imports of American agricultural products when it comes to feeding the world’s largest population? This isn’t that likely. Still, it worries farmers, many of whom voted for Donald Trump.
Despite tough rhetoric, “nobody wants a trade war,” as William Zarit, chairman of the Chinese branch of the American Chamber of Commerce, has said.
What is likely is that the world’s two economies will both cooperate and trade with each other in the foreseeable future.
The Trump administration has recently decided to levy tariffs on imports of solar modules to the United States. This cam after some module manufacturers in the United States complained that the cheap cost of foreign technology, often driven even lower due to government subsidies, were making it impossible for them to compete on such a lopsided playing field. The tariff tacks on 30% of the panels cost as it comes into the country in an attempt to give domestic manufacturers more of a chance to compete. Similar tariffs against washing machines were also put into place at the same time as the solar tariffs. The countries hit hardest by this decision include both China and South Korea. The United States already had tariffs against Chinese solar modules in place causing them to move many of their operations to nearby South Korea. This could ultimately lead to strained relationships between the United States and these two countries in a time when an alliance between the three is more important than ever. Some sources indicate that China and South Korea could take their claims to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO would likely take years to make a ruling in the case however and given that the tariffs are only set for a four year time frame they may end up having little to no impact on the issue. Some fear that this could lead to an all out trade war which in the end would benefit no one and lead to economic decline for all countries involved. Only time will tell what the outcome of these economic decisions will be both at home and abroad.