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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Donald Trump News

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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…

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US Considers Discouraging Cruise Travel

The United States is considering ways to discourage U.S. travelers from taking cruises as part of a broader Trump administration effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to four officials familiar with the situation.The officials, who asked to remain anonymous, said no decision had been made. The discussions were taking place ahead of a meeting this weekend between Vice President Mike Pence, who is in charge of leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus, and the cruise industry.The administration could advise some or all U.S.

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China to Grant Tariff Exemptions on 696 US Goods

China will grant exemptions on retaliatory duties imposed against 696 U.S. goods, the most substantial tariff relief to be offered so far, as Beijing seeks to fulfill commitments made in its interim trade deal with the United States.Tuesday's announcement comes after the Phase 1 trade deal between the two countries took effect on Feb. 14 and is the third round of tariff exemptions China has offered on U.S. goods.China has committed to boosting its purchases of goods and services from the United States by $200 billion over two years as part of the agreement…

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US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

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US Lifts Sanctions on COSCO's Dalian Unit

The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 25 blacklisted two units of COSCO, named after the northeastern Chinese port of Dalian. The move sent worldwide freight costs to record highs and disrupted the global shipping market.The U.S.

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US Raises Tariffs on Derivative Steel, Aluminum from Some Countries

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation increasing tariffs on derivative steel products by an additional 25 percent and boosting duties on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10 percent.Trump said Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are exempt from the additional tariffs on derivative steel products, and Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico are exempt from the added duties on derivative aluminum articles.Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to help boost U.S.

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Trump to Discuss Traded Deal with EU's Von der Leyen

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was going to discuss a trade deal with the European Union (EU) in a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.Speaking ahead of a meeting with von der Leyen on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump said: "Hopefully, we'll get something done."He earlier told delegates that trade deals struck this month with China and Mexico represented a model for the 21st Century.(Editing by Alexander Smith)

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Port of LA Exec Says US Tariff Tiffs Could Be 'New Normal'

The executive overseeing the busiest U.S. gateway for ocean trade with China on Thursday said the "weaponization of tariffs" to advance U.S. policy interests may now be the "new normal."The comments from Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka came just a day after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu signed a Phase 1 agreement to defuse their 18-month-long trade war.The partial pact will cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese pledges to purchase more American farm…

File Image: A Japanese naval asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JP Aaron

Japan Sending Warship, Aircraft to Middle East

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday.Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region.If there are any emergencies…

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

$138M Ok'd for Charleston Harbor Project

US President Donald Trump approved $138 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project as part of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill in the 2020 Budget.According to a statement from South Carolina Ports Authority, both the Senate and the House voted to approve the appropriations bill this week as part of the fiscal year 2020 funding package, and Trump signed it into law Friday."This enormous step forward means the project is fully funded to completion and on track to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021," it said.S.C.

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Commodities 2020? Reading the Trump, China Tea Leaves

As 2020 approaches, the year ends with the tantalising prospect of a trade deal between the United States and China. Again.Initial agreement to de-escalate the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies has been interpreted as a positive for the global economic outlook. But it's worth remembering that 2018 ended on a similar note - leaving the commodities outlook once again hostage to the whims of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.In November last year, the U.S. President and his Chinese counterpart also reached a trade agreement of sorts at the G20 summit in Argentina.