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Sunday, June 17, 2018

United States News

U.S., China Closer on Trade Pact

The United States and China agreed to take measures to reduce the U.S. trade deficit in goods by having China purchase more American goods - particularly agriculture and energy products, according to a joint statement the two nations released on Saturday. "There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China," the joint statement reads. "To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development…

© Dexter / MarineTraffic.com

Tokyo Gas Takes First LNG Cargo from Cove Point

Japan received its first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Monday from Dominion Energy Inc's newly completed Cove Point export plant, the beginning of a jump in imports from the United States by the world's biggest buyer of the fuel.The docking of the tanker LNG Sakura at Tokyo Gas Co's Negishi terminal near Tokyo is another marker of shifting global energy flows as the United States ramps up exports of gas and oil from shale formations.The cargo is the first of 2.2 million tonnes of LNG a year Japanese companies are purchasing under long-term contracts from Cove Point in Maryland.

© zhu difeng / Adobe Stock

China's Export Growth Steady, Import Growth Faster

China maintained solid export growth of 12.6 percent in May, slightly slower than in April, but still providing good news for Beijing's policymakers as they deal with tough trade negotiations with Washington.Imports also rose more than anticipated in May and at the fastest pace since January, with the data coming at a time when China has pledged to its trade partners - including the United States - that steps would be taken to increase imports.China, the world's largest exporter…

The Treatment of Foreign Seafarers

The United States effectively treats foreign seafarers more harshly than any other group that enters the country without breaking the law. The general rule is that all persons who are not U.S. nationals or permanent residents must have a visa to enter the United States. Persons desiring to become U.S. citizens or permanent residents must obtain an immigrant visa. Most other persons desiring to enter the United States for a limited period of time must obtain a nonimmigrant visa.

William Donnelly, USMMA Class of 2008 (Image: Marad)

Mariners Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Ask folks unfamiliar with the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) where it’s graduates can be found and they will likely tell you on a cargo ship plying the deep oceans, or in some exotic port on the far side of the globe. And they would be, for the most part correct. However, most don’t realize that no other federal service academy offers the career options of Kings Point. Yes, many graduates become ship’s officers at sea, and some take jobs ashore in the maritime and intermodal transportation field…

© zhu difeng / Adobe Stock

Trump Announces 25% Tariff on Chinese Technology

President Donald Trump on Friday announced that the United States will implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China related to intellectual property and technology, and pledged to impose further levies if the Asian nation takes retaliatory measures.Trump said the tariff list includes goods from China's "Made in China 2025" strategic plan to dominate high-technology industries that will "drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries."(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and David Lawder Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

© Dale Stagg / Adobe Stock

China Surprises with Threat on US Energy Exports

Beijing surprised oil markets with threats to levy tariffs on imports of U.S. crude oil, natural gas and other energy products on Friday, just as China has risen to the top of the list of importers of oil from the United States.China responded to $50 billion in tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump with a similar amount of levies on a variety of U.S. goods. But China also said it would impose tariffs on U.S. energy products, which analysts considered a surprise as previous tariff threats had centered on agricultural goods and automobiles."This is a big deal.

© Leonid Eremeychuk / Adobe Stock

US Hits EU, Canada and Mexico with Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

The United States on Thursday said it will impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, reigniting investor fears of a global trade war as Washington's allies took steps to retaliate against U.S. goods.The move, announced by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a telephone briefing on Thursday, ended months of uncertainty about potential tariff exemptions and suggested a hardening of the Trump administration's approach to trade negotiations.It also sent a chill through financial markets…

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

LNG Trade Grew 10% in 2017 -EIA

Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade grew by 10 percent last year due primarily to growing liquefaction capacity in the Australia and the United States, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.LNG trade reached 38.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2017, up 3.5 bcfd from 2016 and the largest annual volume increase on record, the EIA said, citing the Annual Report on LNG trade by the International Association of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL).New liquefaction export capacity commissioned in Australia…

China Prepares to Counter Any US Trade Penalties

China's government has been seeking advice from its think-tanks and policy advisers on how to counter potential trade penalties from U.S. President Donald Trump, getting ready for the worst, even as they hope for business-like negotiations. The policy advisers believe the Trump administration is most likely to impose higher tariffs on targeted sectors where China has a big surplus with the United States, such as steel and furniture, or on state-owned firms. China could respond with actions such as finding alternative suppliers of agriculture products or machinery and manufactured goods…

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM, Hamburg Sud Launch Americas Service

French container shipping company CMA CGM announced the launch of its new service between the west coast of the United States, Central America and South America, to be operated in collaboration with the German shipping company Hamburg Sud. Starting May 24, CMA CGM will offer a weekly service with coverage to/from the west coast of the United States, Central America and South America, enabling the agri-food industry in Central and South America to export to North American markets.

(Photo: Maersk Line)

A Full Agenda for the International Container Trades

The past couple of months have been chock-a-block full of maritime activity in the international container trades. As the Big-3 Japanese Lines remain still on track to spin-off their container business units into a single standalone container carrier company, some delayed merger and acquisition activity is finally moving ahead. Separately, Congress has taken a keen interest in the Shipping Act. On May 2, 2017, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), unanimously voted to reject the Tripartite Agreement proposed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.

Photo: International Shipholding Corporation

ISC Files for Chapter 11 Protection

International Shipholding Corporation (ISHC) and certain of its subsidiaries have each filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of title 11 of the United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Company currently intends to continue operating in the normal course of business without interruption. To facilitate the Chapter 11 process, the Company has entered into a debtor-in-possession $16 million credit facility.

SS United States sits out of commission in Philadelphia. (Photo: SS United States Conservancy)

SS United States Will Not Return to Service

A comprehensive technical feasibility study has determined the SS Unites States to be structurally sound, but a number of insurmountable obstacles will keep America’s Flagship from returning to seagoing service. In February, Crystal Cruises reached a deal with the SS United States Conservancy to restore what was once the world’s fastest, safest and largest passenger liner to a fully operational modern luxury cruise ship, pending the results of a technical feasibility study. Now…

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Maritime Pilots Recognized with IMO Bravery Accolade

Two maritime pilots who defied fire to bring a burning ship to safety, averting a major maritime catastrophe, received the 2017 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea during the 2017 IMO awards ceremony, held on Monday (27 November). Pilots Captain Michael G. McGee and Captain Michael C. Phillips, from Houston, United States, were recognized for their role in averting a major tragedy in September 2016. The ship they were piloting, the 247 meters-long tanker Aframax River, broke…

Christopher J. Wiernicki

Coast Guard Foundation Announces Pacific Awards Dinner

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today its 31st event honoring the Coast Guard on the west coast. This annual event brings together notable members of the community and maritime industries to recognize the United States Coast Guard for their work to serve and safeguard mariners, protect the environment and defend the Nation’s interests. This year the event will have a special focus, 'Defending our Maritime Cyber Domain'. Admiral Charles D.

Photo courtesy of BOAM

Liverpool’s Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Campaign Plans American Tour

The campaign to build a £2.5m ($3.5m) memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront is planning an awareness raising tour of America after receiving the backing of the British Ambassador to the USA Sir Kim Darroch. The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial (BOAM) campaign wrote to Sir Kim asking for his support and in response the Ambassador has suggested the campaign holds events at the British Embassy in Washington as well as consulates including Chicago, New York, Boston and Atlanta.

Coast Guard Foundation Chairman and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Director, Will Jenkins introduced Mr. Bouchard. (Photo: Coast Guard Foundation)

Coast Guard Foundation Honors Bouchard

On Thursday, October 6th, 2016, Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. President & CEO Morton S. Bouchard III was honored at the Coast Guard Foundation 36th Annual Salute to the United States Coast Guard National Awards Dinner, in New York City. Mr. Bouchard has been a supporter of the United States Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Foundation since 1985. Through his dedication over the past 30+ years he has helped grow various programs including, education and the Fallen Heroes Scholarship program…

Dry bulk barges underway on U.S. waterways (Credit: AWO)

Importers Buy U.S. Corn at Record Pace

Importers are buying U.S. corn at the fastest pace since the mid-1990s, according to U.S. government data, as tightening stocks in Latin America prompt a rush to purchase cargoes of the grain from animal feeders worldwide. A deepening drought in Argentina and limited corn supplies in Brazil, two of the three largest exporters, have opened a window of opportunity for top supplier the United States, which has the largest available surplus for export. The shopping spree comes as a rare bit of good news for U.S.

WTO: Concern Over US Tariffs

WTO members expressed concern over the United States’ imposition of higher tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and the impact they may have on the global trading system at a meeting of the Council on Trade in Goods on 23 March, the same day the new US measure came into effect. The US responded by saying that the tariffs are necessary to address the threat these imports pose to national security. Over 40 members - including the 28 members of the European Union - took the floor…

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China Hammers US Goods with Tariffs

China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a dispute between the world's biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminium and steel. The tariffs, to take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China's finance ministry and matched a list of possible tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23. Soon after the announcement, an editorial…

U.S., China Stumble into the Thucydides Trap: Kemp

The United States and China have fired the opening shots in a trade war that may be hard to stop. Washington has published a target list of 1,300 items imported from China worth an estimated $50 billion that would be hit with an extra tariff of 25 percent (“Notice of determination”, USTR, April 3). Beijing has responded with a target list of 106 items imported from the United States worth a similar amount that would be hit by the same ad valorem tariff (“China retaliates for U.S. tariffs”, Reuters, April 4).

© David H M Wingate / Adobe Stock

EU Demands Compensation for US Steel Tariffs

The European Union is seeking compensation from the United States for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, despite Washington's assertion that they are not subject to World Trade Organization rules, a WTO filing showed on Monday. In a step already taken by China, the EU said it did not accept the "national security" justification for the U.S. tariffs but said they had been imposed just to protect U.S. industry. "Notwithstanding the United States' characterisation of these measures as security measures, they are in essence safeguard measures," the EU statement said.

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © zhu defing)

Kemp: Trade Restrictions puts World Economy at Risk

Trade and investment restrictions are proliferating around the world, driven by a combination of security concerns and protectionist pressures. In each instance, policymakers can usually cite a justification of why trade and investment restrictions are necessary. But taken together, a thickening web of restrictions on cross-border transactions is imposing a growing burden on business as well as complicating supply chains. The United States and China have threatened to hit each…

Canada's PM: US Steel, Aluminum Tariffs a 'Very Bad Idea'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said any move by the United States to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be a "very bad idea" guaranteed to disrupt trade between the two nations.Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver he was confident the administration of President Donald Trump understood that such tariffs would hurt jobs in the United States as well as Canada.Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum in March but granted temporary exemptions to Canada and Mexico that run out on May 1.

© anekoho / Adobe Stock

China'a April Exports Stronger than Expected

China's exports rebounded more strongly than expected in April after a surprise drop the previous month, suggesting global demand remains relatively resilient and providing a cushion to the economy amid a heated trade dispute with the United States.Imports in April also grew more robustly than anticipated, signalling China's domestic demand is holding up well, good news for policymakers looking to soften the blow from any trade shocks.China's April exports rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier…