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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Us Government News

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © 14KT gold

Storm Approaching: Firms Fear IMO's 2020 Rules

U.S. furniture company RC Willey Home Furnishings is so concerned that new global clean air rules will cause transport disruption that it brought forward the shipment of arm chairs and sofas from China by two months.The tougher regulations, set by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), come into force on Jan 1. Costs will rise for ships towards the end of this year and there will be a knock on effect for trucks and other transporters…

AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

China Urges Dialogue, Negotiations to Solve US Trade Row

China's commerce ministry on Tuesday urged dialogue and negotiation to solve trade differences with the United States.It is common to make revisions, suggestions and adjustments in trade negotiations, it said in a statement in response to U.S. government comments that China was pursuing a "blame game".Reporting by Reuters Hong Kong and Beijing newsrooms

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.

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…

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: 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…

 Image:  American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier Group

ARC Loads Cargo in Thessaloniki

The largest U.S.-flagged roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) carrier American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) said that its M/V Patriot loaded equipment for the Army’s 4th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) at the port of Thessaloniki.M/V Patriot moved a mix of helicopters, vehicles, containers and support equipment used to take part in Operation Atlantic Resolve for 4th CAB, which is returning to Fort Carson, Colorado. 4th CAB is being replaced by 1st CAB from Ft. Riley, Kansas, said a press release.Operation Atlantic Resolve has been ongoing in Europe since 2014…

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Mnuchin: China Talks "So far, so good"

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with China went well on Wednesday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an agreement to resolve their trade dispute."So far, so good," he said when asked by reporters on how the meetings in Beijing went. He did not say who he met.Mnuchin said earlier he hoped for "productive" trade meetings as the two countries seek to end a festering dispute that has seen both sides level tariffs at one other.U.S. tariffs on $200…

Image: American Association of Port Authorities

AAPA: US Ports Need $4B for Security

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)  identified nearly $4 billion in crucial port and supply chain security needs over the next 10 years.That funding level is what’s needed to maintain and upgrade America’s port facilities and ensure they are properly equipped to address new and evolving security challenges, said AAPA in the latest report in its “The State of Freight” infrastructure series.“The State of Freight IV” is the fourth report in as many years, conducted by AAPA…

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Offshore Terminal Plan Slowed by U.S. Shutdown

The U.S. government shutdown has delayed Enterprise Products Partners LP's plan to build a major U.S. crude export terminal off Houston, blocking the pipeline operator from filing paperwork with U.S. regulators, an executive said on Wednesday.Enterprise plans to file a 10,000-page permit application with the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard as soon as the U.S. government reopens. It takes about a year for regulators to process an application for a deep-water terminal."Tell me when the government opens and I'll tell you when it happens…

Image: North of England P&I Club

US Shutdown Impacts Shipping: North P&I Club

US Coast Guard and other federal agencies are operating at a reduced capacity following US government shutdown, said North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association (North P&I Club).Since 21 December 2018, the US Government has been in shutdown following the failure of Congress to agree federal funding. With no end in sight, it is the longest shutdown in US history, it said."We have not received any indications as yet that the shutdown is causing significant disruption to shipping," said a statement from North P&I Club.

File Image (AdobeStock / © Taras)

Coast Guard Proposes Annual Great Lakes Pilotage Increase

“When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” – H.L. Mencken, American journalist and essayist, 1880-1956.This report is about Great Lakes pilotage rates. It’s all about the money. In fact, it’s hard to find someone who even suggests that it’s not about the money.For fifty or so Great Lakes pilots, it’s about cold hard cash: now. For others, say, vessel owners, it’s about wasted resources, about lost chances for a more efficient and sustainable system; “opportunity costs,” as economists like to say.

Bob Wetta, President and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC, right, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during PAC-DBIA. (Photo: DSC Dredge)

DSC Dredge CEO Wetta Delivers Ghana Fact-Finding Trip Report

As a member of the President’s Advisory Council – Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), Bob Wetta attended the September 26, 2018 Fact-Finding Trip Report meeting in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and 13 other U.S. Government officials. Their purpose was to deliberate and adopt the final report of the 2016-2018 term of the PAC-DBIA. Prepared by IBM’s Takreem El-Tohamy, but unfortunately unable to attend the meeting, Bob Wetta presented the Ghana information…

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

US Downplays Impact on LNG Exports from China Trade Spat

Growing demand from other countries for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) means that the United States is not concerned about a decline in exports to China amid the trade dispute between the countries, a U.S. government official said on Monday.U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette downplayed China's lower imports of American LNG and other energy products following the imposition of tariffs on imports by both sides."I am not quite sure if it is going to have any impacts at least in the near term," he told reporters in Tokyo at a media briefing held by the U.S.

Kings Point Alumni Release Commemorative Video

Video marks Academy's 75th year and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.Alumni of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) released an inspiring video to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the institution and memorialize midshipmen who have died in service to the nation. Over the summer, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (USMMA-AAF) has been executing a multi-faceted campaign to mark the federal academy's decades of service and the foundational role it plays…

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China Vows Retaliation if US Trade War Heightens

China said on Wednesday that "blackmail" wouldn't work and that it would hit back if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.The proposal would increase the potential tariff rate from 10 percent the administration had initially put forward on July 10 for that wave of duties in a bid to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions, a source familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.The tariffs target thousands of Chinese imports…

Photo: Cosco Shipping

Cosco Shipping Gets US 'Go-Ahead' for OOCL Deal

China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co received the clearance  of a U.S. national-security review body, removing a major overhang of the USD 6.3 billion deal of taking over Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOCL). According to a Reuters' report, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified it that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party. Cosco said the U.S.

Kathy J. Metcalf, President & CEO at the Chamber of Shipping of America

OP/ED: The 2020 Sulfur Cap – Growing Pains or Mass Hysteria?

At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2018, the global shipping industry will be expected to comply with the IMO agreed upon 0.5% sulfur cap for bunker fuels with few waivers available.For vessels which have installed scrubbers, higher sulfur fuels may continue to be used. IMO’s recent agreement on the ban of carriage of non-compliant fuel assures that cheating will not be allowed providing that port states integrate this ban into their respective port state control inspection programs.All that said…

Bob Wetta, President and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC

Commerce Secretary Ross Taps DSC Dredge CEO Wetta to Key Post

Bob Wetta to serve on President Trump's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. On April 26, 2018, Secretary Wilbur Ross, United States Department of Commerce, appointed Bob Wetta, President and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Bob Wetta named Charlie Sinunu, DSC’s Director of International Dredge Sales to his staff and they will help identify commercial opportunities for the United States in the region. Bob Wetta shared, “Being tapped to serve on the Council is an honor and a privilege.

© Dmitry V. Petrenko / Adobe Stock

What Can Beijing Do if China-US Trade Row Worsens?

China and the United States sank into a deepening trade conflict that roiled financial markets Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of starting a trade war.Trump said Monday his threat was retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods over the weekend, a move that itself was in response to additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese…

(File photo: Port Corpus Christi)

Corpus Christi Gearing Up to Handle US Shale Export Boom

Port officials on Tuesday are expected to consider $300 million in financing that would prepare the country's largest oil-export port - Corpus Christi, Texas - to handle a surge in U.S. shale production over the next five years.International buyers would like more U.S. crude but are unable to get it because of infrastructure constraints along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Terminals originally designed for imports only recently have revamped operations to handle exports including accepting…

© 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…

an MSC Containership in port (CREDIT: Port Haifa)

Shipping Firm MSC Stops Trade with Sanctioned Russian Entities

The world’s number two container group Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has stopped any new potential trade with Russian entities that were sanctioned by the United States, the Swiss headquartered firm said on Tuesday. The United States imposed sanctions on April 6 against Russian entities and individuals, to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other "malign activity". "MSC immediately instructed its worldwide agencies not to engage in any new contracts involving U.S.

(File photo: MSC)

Top Container Shipping Lines Reviewing Iran Operations

The world's top two container shipping groups Maersk Line and MSC are reviewing their Iran operations after the United States withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement with Tehran.The 2015 agreement, worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran, lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program.U.S. President Donald Trump also instructed his administration to re-impose U.S. sanctions after a winding down period."MSC is reviewing its services…

File Image: A CMA CGM boxship / © DonWilson_12

Tough Recovery Ahead for Some Box Trades; More Uncertainty in Others

Drewry says that recovering demand recovery in the North America-East Coast South America box trades provides encouragement, but local political conditions bear watching. Elsewhere, reports that Maersk and MSC are reviewing their Iran operations underpins broader political uncertainties that could get in the way. North America-East Coast South America box tradesMaritime Research Consultancy Drewry is reporting that the headhaul East Coast South America to North America trade fell by 1% in the first quarter 2018 to 137,000 teu.

Tim Bush, Crowley vice president and deputy general counsel

Tim Bush Promoted to Crowley VP, Deputy General Counsel

Crowley Maritime Corp. has announced that Tim Bush has been promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel. In his new position, Bush will help support the company’s growth as a provider of solutions for the U.S. government and various public-sector agencies. He will be based in Houston and report to Michael Roberts, senior vice president and general counsel. “Tim is an outstanding lawyer, and adds a great deal of value to the Crowley team,” Roberts said. Bush will continue to serve as Crowley’s lead attorney on several large projects for the U.S government…