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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Donald Trump News

(Photo: DP World)

DP World Optimistic for 2021 Amid Pent-up Demand

Ports operator DP World gave an optimistic outlook for 2021 on Thursday, citing pent-up demand for cargo and an easing of geopolitical tensions after the change of U.S. administration.Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who is chairman and chief executive of the Dubai state-owned global ports operator, said that demand and supply chain capabilities had also improved as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.“You are always cautious ... (but) the outlook this year looks good for many reasons…

Katherine Tai (Photo: The White House)

Katherine Tai Confirmed by Senate as US Trade Chief

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously to confirm veteran government trade lawyer Katherine Tai as the first woman of color to serve as U.S. Trade Representative, putting her to work enforcing trade deals, confronting China’s trade practices and patching up ties with U.S. allies.The rare 98-0 vote for Tai, a Yale and Harvard-educated daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, reflects support from pro-labor Democrats, traditional free-trade Republicans and China hawks from both parties.Tai…

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US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran

The United States on Friday sanctioned companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.They are the latest in a series of measures aimed at stepping up pressure on Tehran in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration, which ends on January 20.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had sanctioned seven companies, including Chinese-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation)

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to Resign

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Thursday she would resign, citing the intrusion of the U.S. Capitol by violent supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump.Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the first Cabinet secretary to announce her departure after the events. Many lower-level administration officials have announced they would resign, including several White House aides.Chao said her resignation would take effect Monday, just nine days before Trump is set to leave office.

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US Hits Iran With Fresh Sanctions

The United States on Tuesday blacklisted a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of a major Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as U.S. President Donald Trump's term winds down.In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd.

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US Blacklists Chinese, UAE Companies Over Sale of Iranian Petrochemicals

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on companies based in China and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of supporting the sale of Iranian petrochemicals as Washington increases pressure on Tehran in the closing days of President Donald Trump's term.The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it had blacklisted the four entities for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemical products by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd, which was hit with sanctions by…

Pete Buttigieg (Credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)

Biden Introduces Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary

President-elect Joe Biden touted the diversity of his incoming administration as he introduced former rival Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday as his choice for U.S. transportation secretary.Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate if he is approved.Appearing with Buttigieg in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said the 38-year-old would confront the task of upgrading America’s aging infrastructure and restoring what he called “our crumbling roads…

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Leaders Push Brexit Trade Talks Beyond Sunday Deadline

London and Brussels agreed on Sunday to “go the extra mile” in coming days to try to reach an elusive trade agreement despite missing their latest deadline to avert a turbulent exit for Britain from the European Union’s orbit at the end of the month.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the president of the EU’s executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen had given negotiators a Sunday deadline to find a way to resolve an impasse on arrangements that would guarantee Britain zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single market.On Sunday they mandated negotiators to continue…

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US Blacklists Chinese Entities, Individuals Over Iran Shipping Ties

The United States on Monday said it blacklisted two Chinese men and six Chinese entities for having dealt with Iranian shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and, in some cases, helping it to evade U.S. sanctions.The U.S. State Department named the entities as Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd.; Reach Shipping Lines; Delight Shipping Co., Ltd.; Gracious Shipping Co. Ltd.; Noble Shipping Co. Ltd.; and Supreme Shipping Co. Ltd.In a statement, it also said it had targeted Eric Chen…

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US Imposes New Iran Sanctions

The United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 banks in an effort to further choke off Iranian revenues as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of the U.S. election.The move freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them, while extending secondary sanctions to those who do business with them. This means foreign banks risk losing access to the U.S. market and financial…

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US Imports Surge as Pandemic Worries Have Retailers Stockpiling

The Los Angeles-based maker of Exploding Kittens and Throw Throw Burrito board games ordered 1 million extra units from its factory in China with the hope of preventing coronavirus from ruining its Christmas sales.The move from the company, which sells product through Target, Walmart and Amazon.com, comes as  U.S. suppliers and retailers have been rebuilding depleted inventories and battling uncertainty by stockpiling pandemic sellers such as toys, refrigerators, home furnishings and booze.In the last few months…

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US Preparing Tighter Oil Sanctions on Venezuela

The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top U.S. envoy for the country told Reuters on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

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Deadly Explosion Rips Through Beirut Port Area

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.Officials said they expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday's blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful explosion in years in Beirut, which is already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.President Michel Aoun said that 2…

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US Approves LNG Exports from Oregon

The U.S. Energy Department on Monday approved the export of up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of liquefied natural gas from a proposed terminal in Oregon, a move it said would ease U.S. sales of the fuel to Asian markets.The approval advances efforts by President Donald Trump's administration to increase U.S. fossil fuel shipments around the globe at a time big projects are increasingly under strain from environmental protests and lawsuits.“Today’s export authorization for Jordan Cove, the first U.S West Coast LNG project, will ease access to further position the U.S.

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Coronavirus Rekindles Global Trade Disputes

At the start of the year, U.S.-China tensions were easing after their Phase I trade deal, while Washington, Brussels and Tokyo agreed on new global trading rules to curb subsidies. A relative calm had set in.Then the new coronavirus struck.Countries across the world imposed 222 exports curbs on medical supplies and medicines and in some cases food, according to Global Trade Alert, a Swiss monitoring group. For medical products, it was more than 20 times the usual level.Those curbs are now being lifted…

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Tankers Carrying Venezuelan Oil Stuck at Sea

Tankers carrying nearly two months worth of Venezuelan oil output are stuck at sea as global refiners shun the nation’s crude to avoid falling foul of U.S. sanctions, according to industry sources, PDVSA documents and shipping data.Washington is tightening sanctions to cut Venezuela’s oil exports and deprive the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro of its main source of revenue.The OPEC member’s exports are hovering near their lowest levels in more than 70 years and the economy has collapsed, but Maduro has held on - to the frustration of the administration of U.S.

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US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Trump's Steel Tariffs

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge to President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel brought by an industry group that had argued that a key part of the law under which he imposed the duties violates the U.S. Constitution.The justices declined to hear the American Institute for International Steel's appeal of a February ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in favor of the administration. The institute is a pro-free trade group that…

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US Urges China to Accelerate Purchases of American Goods

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday underscored the importance of functional U.S.-China ties and urged Beijing to step up its purchases of U.S. goods and services as agreed under a Phase 1 trade deal despite delays caused by the coronavirus.The Chamber said the pandemic had clearly slowed progress for both governments, but there were reasons to be hopeful. It also welcomed regular talks between the world's two largest economies on implementation of purchases, intellectual property reforms and other issues covered by the trade deal.“Implementation is critical.

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

President Trump Issues National Maritime Day Proclamation

In recognition of National Maritime Day, held on May 22 each year, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation honoring the U.S. maritime industry. The full text is below.Since the founding of our great Nation, we have relied on merchant mariners to deliver goods to market and strengthen our national security. On National Maritime Day, we recognize the United States Merchant Marine for all it does to facilitate our commerce and protect our interests at sea.Our Nation’s merchant…

Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels in April approached U.S. Military ships in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo)

US Tells Gulf Mariners to Stay Clear of Its Warships

In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the U.S. Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters away from U.S. warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures.”The notice to mariners, which was first reported by Reuters, follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat last month to fire on any Iranian ships that harass Navy vessels."Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a U.S. naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat," according to the text of the notice.A U.S.

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China Exports, Imports Set to Plummet

China’s exports and imports are expected to record double-digit declines in April after a tentative recovery in March as the coronavirus pandemic batters global demand and disrupts manufacturing supply chains, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.The pessimistic projections reinforce concerns that the collapse in global demand will restrain the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy as it gets back on its feet after weeks of paralysis due to the virus outbreak.Shipments out of China are likely to have fallen 15.7% in April from a year earlier…

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US Should Avoid Phased Approach in Kenya Trade Talks -Chamber of Commerce

The United States should work to achieve a single, comprehensive agreement with Kenya that removes barriers to trade and investment, instead of pursuing a phased approach, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a document viewed by Reuters.In comments submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Chamber's U.S.-Africa Business Center said a high-standard agreement that eliminated all tariffs would boost the long-term economic outlook for both countries, and further position Kenya…

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OPEC+ Outlines Record Oil Production Cut; Mexico Balks

OPEC, Russia and other allies outlined plans on Thursday to cut their oil output by more than a fifth and said they expected the United States and other producers to join in their effort to prop up prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis.But the group, known as OPEC+, said a final agreement was dependent on Mexico signing up to the pact after it balked at the production cuts it was asked to make. Discussions among top global energy ministers will resume on Friday.The planned output curbs by OPEC+ amount to 10 million barrels per day (bpd) or 10% of global supplies…

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Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

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Trump Says Cruise Lines Suspend Departures for 30 Days

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said that major cruise lines would suspend cruises for 30 days, following a series of industry announcements that came after repeated transmission of coronavirus among passengers at sea.“At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days,” Trump said on Twitter.“It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!” he added.Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said earlier on Friday it was suspending its cruises in the United States for 30 days…

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Trump: No Promises Regarding Steel, Aluminum Tariffs on Brazil

President Donald Trump praised the United States' relationship with Brazil under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday, but declined to say whether he would impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the South American country.Ahead of a dinner between the two men at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump was asked if he would continue to hold off placing new tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum. Trump responded that the United States had helped Brazil, but said he…