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Supply Chain and Logistics

The holiday hiring season is underway and it looks like it’s getting bigger. TargetCorp. TGT 0.82% says it will boost its hiring of temporary seasonal workers by 40% this year, adding about 100,000 jobs, the WSJ’s Khadeeja Safdar reports, in the latest sign of growing confidence in the retail sector. Target’s hiring in its logistics operations won’t be as strong as last year—4,500 more workers are coming in after adding 7,500 to its distribution centers in the 2016 season—but Target had opened three fulfillment centers a year ago that it was staffing up. The scramble for holiday-season workers has been intensifying steadily in recent years, fueled by the growth of online shopping and by what companies say is trouble filling the warehouse positions and getting new workers trained. Retailers have been pushing more goods into those distribution centers: The National Retail Federation says imports into the biggest U.S. ports jumped 5% from June to July and 9.2% from a year ago.

Seadrill Ltd. is looking for a swift pass through a bankruptcy to make way for new money to save the fleet of one of the world’s biggest offshore drilling companies. The business controlled by Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas, the WSJ’s Peg Brickley reports, in the latest fallout from falling oil prices and an upheaval in energy markets. The company operates 68 rigs and drillships for customers including Total SA, TOT Petrobras Brasileiro SA and Exxon MobilCorp. The company is looking to exit bankruptcy in less than a year, with a longer timeline on $5.7 billion in bank loans and more than $1 billion in new financing to see it through the current downturn. A Texas court was due to review a bankruptcy plan that would leave shareholders with 2% of the business while giving Mr. Fredriksen and his allied Centerbridge Partners generous slices of the new business.

 The European Union’s top executive thinks President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies could open trade opportunities around the world for Europe. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says countries around the world “are knocking at our door in order to sign trade agreements with us,” the WSJ’s Valentina Pop and Emre Peker report, and that trade deals with Mexico and South America’s Mercosur countries are in the works. Those talks and Mr. Juncker’s confident outlook reflect a transition in the tenor of world-wide trade as the White House advances a new American agenda while the EU looks for stronger economic links from Asia to Latin America