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Monday, June 24, 2019

Donald Trump News

Trump Warns Tehran of Possible Attack, Calls for Talks

Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.News of the message, delivered through Oman overnight, came shortly after the New York Times said Trump had approved military strikes against Iran on Friday over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called them off at the last minute."In his message…

Image Credit: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

China Pulls WTO Suit Over Claim to be a 'Market Economy'

China has halted a dispute at the World Trade Organization over its claim to be a market economy, a panel of three WTO adjudicators said on Monday, meaning Beijing must accept continued EU and U.S. "anti-dumping" levies on cheap Chinese goods.One trade official close to the case said so much of the ruling had gone against Beijing that it had opted to pull the plug before the result became official."They lost so much that they didn't even want the world to see the panel's reasoning…

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

Tillerson Applauds U.S. Trade Goals, Not Tactics

Rex Tillerson, the former U.S. secretary of state and Exxon Mobil Corp chairman who has clashed with President Donald Trump since leaving the administration, said on Wednesday he supports the president's trade objectives "but may not support the tactical moves."Speaking to a group of energy executives in Houston, Tillerson said he was concerned that pursuing bilateral trade talks around the globe could weaken Washington's network of allies, which he called "that very strong alliance…

US warns Hong Kong about Iranian Oil Tanker

The United States has warned Hong Kong to be on alert for a vessel carrying Iranian petroleum that may seek to stop in the Asia financial hub, and said that any entity providing services to the vessel will be violating U.S. sanctions.The news comes two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up moves to choke off Iran’s oil exports by scrapping waivers it had granted to big buyers of Iranian crude oil, including China.The fully laden Pacific Bravo abruptly changed course on Monday to head towards Sri Lanka, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Scanrail

U.S.-China Trade Talks Go to the Wire

World shares tumbled for a fourth day running on Thursday after a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that a long-worked-on trade deal with China was in serious danger.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was heading to Washington for two days of talks, but Trump's insistence that China "broke the deal" and Beijing's response that it would retaliate against a planned U.S. tariff increase raised the stakes.Europe's main stock markets and Wall Street futures sank 0.5 to 1.3 percent after a torrid day for Asia saw more than 1.8 percent taken off China and more than 3 percent off South Korea…

China's Tariffs on U.S. LNG Mean Nothing, Everything

China's decision to hike import duties on U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a move that means very little for the market in the short term, but it has the potential to deliver outsized consequences the longer the levies remain in place.As part of its latest round of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, Beijing increased the duty on LNG shipments from 10 percent to 25 percent.This will make it even more uneconomic for Chinese buyers to purchase LNG cargoes from the United States.

U.S. Urges Response "short of war" to Tanker Attack

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. Iran has denied involvement."We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened…

CREDIT Maersk

Trade Tension Hurts Shipping, Maersk Warns

A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, warned on Friday that trade tensions and an economic slowdown are slowing growth in global freight.Maersk, which is seen as an indicator of global trade patterns, cut its forecast for global growth in container traffic this year due to the trade dispute between the United States and China."The recent escalation of the trade war induced by an increase in tariff rates and threats of implementing additional tariffs could take global container trade growth to the lower end of the 1-3% interval (range)…

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates…

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S.

File Image / CREDIT: Hapag Lloyd

Hapag Lloyd: Calm Passage Despite Trade War

Hapag-Lloyd is optimistic about the year ahead, despite global trade tensions, the German container shipping company's chief executive said on Thursday after a first quarter earnings rise."Despite all the uncertainty, we see a somewhat stable development," Rolf Habben Jansen told Reuters, adding that trade wars have so far had a limited effect on Hapag Lloyd's business.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China had broken the terms of a trade deal, adding he would…

AdobeStock / © nightman 1965

Trump: US-China Trade Talks Haven't Collapsed

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said trade talks with China had not collapsed, characterizing the trade war between the world's two largest economies as "a little squabble."He made the remarks to reporters at the White House as Beijing and Washington ratchet up tensions with tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.Trump indicated negotiators from the two countries were still talking, saying they were having a good dialogue.

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

$138M Allocated for Charleston Harbor

President Donald Trump included $138 million in his budget for the coming year to help deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet so it can handle larger container ships, said Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.The project, in the works since 2011, had never been included in a president’s budget until now. The U.S. Army Corps last year revised a formula that measures the project’s economic benefit, putting it above the threshold needed for consideration.The Charleston…

World Shares Higher on US-China Deal Hopes

Global shares rose on Monday amid growing optimism the United States and China will reach a trade agreement as soon as this month.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might seal a formal trade deal around March 27, given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.The two nations have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each others' goods, roiling financial markets, disrupting manufacturing supply chains and shrinking U.S.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Sunny

U.S. Democrats Initially Cool to New NAFTA

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives gave a cool reception to the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday as the top U.S. trade negotiator opened a campaign to win broad support for the accord in Congress.Several Democrats said a closed-door meeting between United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and their caucus failed to ease their concerns about the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement's (USMCA) provisions on labor, biologic drugs and some other issues.A USTR spokeswoman declined to comment on the meeting.The support of Democrats…

Trump: U.S-China Trade Pact Possible in 4 Weeks

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States and China were close to a trade deal that could be announced within four weeks, while warning Beijing that it would be difficult to allow trade to continue without a pact.The two countries are engaged in intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war that has rattled global markets, but hopes of a resolution soared after both sides expressed optimism following talks in Beijing last week.Speaking to reporters at the White House at the start of a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Trade Hopes Buoy World Shares

Cautious optimism over Sino-U.S. trade talks underpinned global stocks on Friday as benchmark bond yields ground higher and lifted the dollar to a three-week high against the yen ahead of U.S. job data.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a trade deal with China might be announced within four weeks, although he warned that it would be difficult to allow trade to continue without an agreement. Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly said progress was being made and called for an early conclusion of talks.The pan-European STOXX 600 index nudged higher…

Dredging Operations at the Port of New Orleans, LA (CREDIT: Port NOLA)

U.S. Lawmakers Seek Massive Infrastructure Funding

Democratic leaders in Congress said on Thursday they would seek President Donald Trump's support in coming weeks for legislation to invest up to $2 trillion to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, including roads, bridges and schools.House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at separate news conferences they would try to revive an effort that sputtered early in Trump's presidency for major investments in aging public works.The White…

The El Coqui, a U.S. flag ConRo carrier, recently built specifically for the Jones Act Caribbean trades and powered by environmentally friendly LNG. CREDIT: Crowley Maritime

Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act

President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump…

U.S. Dredgers Applaud President for Jones Act Support

Wednesday, 1 May: Late this afternoon, President Donald Trump met with Congressional leaders from the Senate and House to discuss U.S. Maritime Policy. On the table was the Jones Act. President Trump assured the Congressional leaders that he is not seeking any changes to the Jones Act, nor is he seeking any waivers.“President Trump had the Jones Act matters all under control from the get-go”, said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Mr. Trump is all about jobs and national security — he’s never wavered on this.

Senator Cassidy: No Jones Act Waiver

A Republican U.S. senator on Wednesday said President Donald Trump will not waive rules requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Republican senators said the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for 10 years. Bloomberg News reported last week that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver.Senator Bill Cassidy…

A Hong Kong intermodal facility. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Marco 2811

Trump 'firm' on China Demands, Tariffs part of Enforcement

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that President Donald Trump would "stand firm" on his demands for structural changes to China's trade practices, and removal of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would be a part of a mechanism to enforce any deal with Beijing.Pence told CNBC television in an interview aired on Friday that Trump "remains very hopeful" about reaching a trade deal with China in talks next week in Washington.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington…

Acontainership delivers cargo at the port of Savannah, GA (CREDIT: GPA)

Trump: China Trade Deal to Probably Happen

U.S. President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were progressing and a final agreement "will probably happen," adding that his call for tariffs to remain on Chinese imported goods for some time did not mean talks were in trouble.Trump, in a television interview aired on Friday, also said he expected to keep a 25 percent tariff on the European automobile sector amid separate ongoing trade talks with the European Union."Our deal is coming along very well. We'll see what happens," Trump told Fox Business Network. "I think the deal will probably happen.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Customs Demands Bigger Bonds as Tariffs Bite

Stephen Wang is counting the costs of President Donald Trump's trade war. He had to put down 12 times more cash as a guarantee to U.S. customs that he would pay the bill for tariffs on the Chinese-made pumps, valves and motors he imports.The cost of the guarantee - a U.S. customs bond - has shot up, an additional hit to importers already facing steep customs bills adding up to tens of billions of dollars for tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on incoming Chinese goods…